A few weeks ago I vaguely explained what's happening with the herd and how my life is changing.
A few weeks ago, I left my regular paying, 9-5 corporate non-equine related job. I left the security of knowing that despite good pay, a 401k, stock options and other various, great things in the normal world, I was unhappy. I survived six years of a job that had a crazy mentality and demanded total unrelenting obedience.
I'm happy that I had that opportunity to be there, it's given me a huge amount of perspective that I wouldn't have gained otherwise. It gave me a background for business which has become invaluable. It's helped me expand my skills to deal with a lot of situations. It was a good resource and the team I worked with was one of the best in the world.
But in the end, this was a hobby to them and no amount of bargaining or discussing could change this. So, after the last management change, the talk of unionizing and facing down another winter, I finally said I couldn't do it anymore without mentally becoming undone.
In the meantime, I'm still continuing the clinics, which has been a good thing overall. But there's one final step I'm taking and that's going Professional.
"Going pro" has been on my radar for sometime. It's not something I necessarily wanted to do until I was totally confirmed at Grand Prix with at least appearances at major venues. I enjoy the sport but lately I've been pushing the defining boundaries of what it means to be an Amateur.
I still have a slightly romanticized version of the ideal professional who not only scores exceptionally well, but has a balance between teaching, riding, business and the normal life. They have that pipeline of horses that can sell somewhat easily in the market to buy up or take the capital and run, have committed lovely clients who want to progress in their various paths, a workmanlike barn and an overall love of the game.
While I have many of those attributes, I still struggle with the idea of playing in a broader field, and fear doing what you love may lead to burnout. There's also the fear of becoming apart of the crowd.
In short, aside from the USEF rule book, there is no how-to human resources cook book of guidelines that gives you a path of what to do next. For a lot of us, there are still, and always be questions of how to do this without killing yourself. But I know now that I can't wait around until Grand Prix and to be treated seriously you have to change.
The nice part is my herd has changed too.
In addition to Sinari, Danzador and Reba, there are going to be a few new faces.
Flemmiro SSM, by Flemmingh out of a Ferro mare will be joining the herd. There are also a few planned breedings in the works to keep things growing in the right way.
So in 2014, with the renewal of my cards, the quality added to the herd, my Amateur status is officially done. I loved my time in this group. It's given me a huge amount of perspective of what people go through to achieve goals.