Not too long ago on a forum, a fellow Adult Amateur was lamenting hitting a training and financial plateau.
Now that it's winter and life is in perma frost, that plateau seems more like the great plains.
I don't blame the lament, I, and possible the rest of the USDF AA population has been there, this is nothing new in the sport.
Amateur isn't a dirty word. We are a hard working bunch who do love their horses and are passionate about the sport. We are also the ambitious sort as well.
What annoys me is that despite the lament, the person isn't doing anything about the situation.
This isn't a sport that will be learned or perfected by osmosis. This isn't a sport where just watching will automatically grant you a shadbelly and a double bridle.
This is a sport where dues need to be paid. Hourly.
The old masters weren't kidding that you need to ride five to six days a week. They weren't kidding either about opportunity costs either. If you want to show every weekend now at training level, what are you sacrificing later on?
If you're young, broke and eager, then be prepared to eat more crow, be prepared to do a little wheeling, and a little dealing.
Ambition is great to have, but if you want to compete FEI, without the funds,you have to be even more resourceful and pennywise.
But above all, work your butt off. Because as mom used to say: if you're hungry enough, you'll find a way.