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Horses Are My Life, But I’m Glad It’s Not My Career

Horses Are My Life, But I’m Glad It’s Not My Career

I’ve loved horses from the moment someone threw me up in the saddle for my first pony ride. The thrill of riding, and connecting with the animal, has been in my bones ever since.

And while I still live and breathe horses as a 30-something adult, I’ve got to say I’m glad I never made it my career.

Growing up, I always wanted to be a veterinarian. It’s a noble profession, and often times a thankless one. But I realized as I stumbled through math and science classes in high school and then college, maybe blood and guts wasn’t going to be my strong suit.

“Horses are my happy place. It’s my hobby and my passion. I never wanted it to feel like work.”

I had a fun, but fairly low-key junior riding career, and never even considered (nor came close to having the talent for) being a professional rider. In retrospect, I can wipe some sweat off my brow and say Thank God, because that is a tough career path. It takes some serious skills not only to ride at the top levels, but to be to savvy enough to keep the owners, the best horses and the sponsors coming in to pay the bills. That stress is definitely not for me.

I do have dreams of one day having my own horse farm, but I’m not talking about running any kind of boarding or training operation. Everyone knows you’re lucky if you’re breaking even on boarding horses. And I’m already pulling my hair out thinking about dealing with a boarder who is as high maintenance as myself.

Even at this age, Justine knew horses would not be her career.

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Don’t get me wrong, there are many viable professions out there that are tied to horses. What I’m trying to say is that horses are my happy place. It’s my hobby and my passion. I never wanted it to feel like work.

Kudos to those who do make horses their livelihood. It’s definitely something you have to love with all your heart to get up and put in the work each and every day.

But I’ll stick with my evening and weekend rides, and continue to feel grateful to have a job I like which also supports my horse habit. Somewhere in between all of that, I seem to strike the right balance.

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