Here’s to the Amateur Equestrians

View from the Saddle
Balancing life as a professional in the corporate world with being a devoted amateur equestrian is a challenge, but it’s all worth it to have this view after a long day at the office.

Oh, the professionals. We watch them. We idolize them. One day they wore army pants and flip flops, so we bought army pants and flip flops. Or, uh, maybe it was imported Animo riding apparel and custom Parlantis boots that they wore. (Ugh, why can’t they just like army pants and flip flops?) And no doubt they deserve it, but they do get all the glory, don’t they? All the post-win champagne-chugging excitement, all those barn floors you can eat off of, all the winters in Florida.

And bully for you if your job allows you to pull off weeklong horse shows, schedule a morning lesson on a Thursday, or meet the vet anytime after 1 p.m. But for the rest of us, real-world professionals but horse-world amateurs, life’s a balancing act. So here’s to them. Here’s to us.

Here’s to explaining to the office the ice packs and ace bandages adorning your (post-rearing incident) Tonya Harding-ed knee.

Bruised Knee

Here’s to a car that no one from work can ever ride in.

Horse Person's Car

Here’s to forgetting boot socks when you pack your post-work riding bag, and to (ew) riding without them (maybe more than once).

Here’s to stopping at a gas station next time to buy weird, scary socks, and finally learning your lesson and leaving an extra pair in your car.

…And while we’re at it, here’s to changing in your car!

Here’s to realizing halfway around the ring that in your haste to change, you are accidentally wearing two bras.

Here’s to wearing this comment-catching ensemble to the office on the weekend:

Breeches at Work

Here’s to getting your new helmet shipped to the office and getting caught trying it on. What?

Here’s to explaining an Amazon box filled with peppermints to your assistant.

Here’s to the USEF Network live stream playing on your computer “in the background.”

Here’s to grumpily scrolling through photos of your friends’ new jackets and ribbons and horse show puppies from an airport on a work trip.

Here’s to bringing a work binder to the show but passing out in a chair instead because you’ve been traveling all week and apparently that’s what people who’ve been traveling all week do at horse shows.

Here’s to rounding the second hour of a one-hour conference call and watching your hopes of making it to your last pre-show lesson wave bye-bye and your soul dribble out your eyeballs.

Desktop Horse Photos

Here’s to finally giving in and texting your trainer from your desk that you can’t make it to your lesson tonight, and also, you hate everything.

Here’s to texting again twenty minutes later to say, wait a minute! You can make it! And to trainers everywhere who understand and let this behavior slide.

Here’s to spending all day making it rain at the office and then racking up multiple refusals in a row at the evil middle-of-the-ring-on-an-angle oxer and NOW YOUR LIFE MEANS NOTHING.

And here’s to feeling totally incompetent all day and then jumping a tremendous course and suddenly, (a) your life is together, and (b) you are Georgina Bloomberg.

But even the least Georgina-like barn day makes all the real life professional work worth it. So here’s to the post-work-barn-driving, last-lesson-of-the-day-scheduling, desk-horse-photo-staring-at professionals who shed 10-40 years and all of our degrees the moment we walk in the barn, and to all the hoop-jumping we endure to make it happen. Here’s to us!

Emily Bogenschutz lives in Texas and is a freelance writer,
recent hunter-turned-jumper, and professional sneaker of saddle pads
into the washing machine. Follow her on Twitter: @EJBog.


  1. I can relate to this entire article! I’m glad I’m not the only crazy buisness professional that is counting down each measly work minute until I can be at the barn!

  2. You’re not the only one! I have horse show photos in my office, a framed Secretariat photo, horse doodles, a mug with a horse on it, SmartPak deliveries – you name it. It’s like a 12 year-old’s room. And I watch the sky like a hawk scouting for riding weather starting around 4 pm!

  3. They sure described me completely. How does the song go, Every day people with everyday dreams, but horse people go far be on everyday dreams, they are horse dreams.

  4. Love this commentary as it describes how crazy my life can be trying to fit it all in. then add the grandson and his rodeo events to the mix. All things considered horses keep me sane.


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