Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rest days, some pampering and a discussion about amateur status

I always give Tillie the day off after an event...even though she barely broke a sweat, I know it takes a lot for them not only physically but mentally as well. So I dont have many updates on the riding front...I do have a student who recently brought horses to their property to try for a free lease and I rode both of them to make sure I felt they would be a good fit for them and because they have had well over a year off. Despite me being really sore, riding felt good and actually seemed to help my muscles - as Emma always says "Motion is lotion!"

Rode this cutie Monday for a client...despite having over a year off he was quite the gentleman!

I also recently had a person contact me that offers massage services asking to come out and do a complimentary service and discuss a partnership plan. I have had massages for Tillie before...a long time ago (I tend to use a chiro more)...and knew she liked it but just didnt really jive with that person so havent really done it again.

This person is also a local instructor and we have crossed paths before and she is starting to build her "equisage" / massage business. I am never one to not listen and turn down an opportunity for Tillie to get pampered so she came out last night.

It was cool to watch and see the points Tillie is holding on to tension and then see it release after some work...Lots of licking and chewing, yawns and sighs from Tillie on those. Tillie really seemed to love when she did percussion massage to was quite funny actually.

I also loved that she gave me massages to do for Tillie on my own between sessions. I hope now we have our foot in the door that we can see if others in the same barn would also benefit from her massages...

Tillie LOVED her neck area being done and almost looked sedated!

I am excited to say I am now partially sponsored by her and will be receiving monthly massages and discounted ones if I want them more frequently in exchange for wearing her logo at events and social media shout outs!

I dont think I am a professional in the sense of bringing a long a string of horses like my own trainers, ( but hey that would be cool one day! ) but its kinda cool to have this!

So now the discussion of amateur or professional status.

In short, it doesnt change much for me since I already have to claim being a professional with teaching lessons.  I already enter in the "professional" divisions in starter trials, but recognized trials when we start doing those will be when this impacts me more...but even still it doesnt seem like it will with us being below Training level competition. I havent competed above BN and neither has Tillie so I could really enter any division (Horse, rider, open). I will definitely be consulting my trainers as to which in the future when entering.

Talking with one of my trainers before I registered Tillie and I with USEA last week, I do have to as a professional because I teach lessons and accept payment for services related to horseback riding instruction, training, etc.

Just to make sure I did some digging and Eventing Nation wrote a really helpful article on it here: Amateur or Professional: Where Do You Belong? But basically the rule is below:
The USEA uses the USEF Amateur Rule GR 1306 to determine amateur status. The rule defines a professional as any rider who accepts remuneration for services. Remuneration means compensation or payment in any form, such as cash, goods, sponsorships, discounts or services; reimbursement of any expenses; trade or in-kind exchange of goods or services such as board or training. 
However, amateurs would be well advised to read the rule, as there are many ways in which you can maintain amateur status if you are not strictly offering equestrian services. Amateurs are permitted to do all of the following: receive reimbursement for expenses related to horses, give instruction to handicapped riders for therapeutic purposes, accept prize money, appear in advertisements related to one’s achievements or that of one’s horse(s), write books or articles related to horses, and accept educational or training grants.
So while there is a gray area, I pretty much fall into the professional category despite my "amateur" like knowledge in the sport of eventing. I spoke to another one of my trainers this morning and they also said I needed to claim myself as a non-amateur but not to worry lol that it really isnt a huge difference and just means harder competition at times.

So I guess Tillie and I just need to stay the course, keep working really hard and taking lots of lessons!
I think Tillie will enjoy this perk!


  1. For me amateur vs open isn't really a big deal because I don't care about ribbons (I mean I think they are pretty and want them but I'm not going to think I'm a failure and pout if I don't get one). For me it's more about the score and the fun.

    S has to be in the same class as Werner Gevens quite a bit and he beats her a lot but sometimes she beats him and it gives her a boost in confidence.

    Honestly I would almost rather show open at the lower levels and get my butt kicked by the pros that get my butt kicked by the kids and the ponies (which is totally going to happen).

    1. I agree with because I teach, i Dont ever want someone to say I am "cheating" by entering the amateur divisions, even if I could. I just dont want any confusion and it just means setting a higher bar for Tillie and I.

  2. Amateur/Pro status matters a ton in dressage. To get your bronze medal for example: As an amateur you need 2 scores above 60% at each level. As a pro you need 2 scores above 62%. There are similar requirements for championships and things.

    That 2% is killer.

    1. Wait no that's not a thing or I wouldn't have my Gold since my first GP score was a 61! The medals are the same for everyone. Championships I'm not sure about since I've always been a pro.

    2. I certainly would be in trouble! luckily the USEA/USEF allows you to change your status at any time if you wish...not that I will be since my teaching is what pays for Tillie.

  3. I'm a professional and was never an ammy. For the most part, I don't care about it. Sure it's sometimes frustrating because I have one horse and I work full time in an office and have to compete against people who train for a living and have a whole string of horses and sponsors who buy them super fancy young horses. BUT there are amateurs who can buy extremely nice horses and put them in full training with fancy trainers and don't have to work so they can take lessons all day. I think no matter what you do, you're going to be up against people with greater resources than you have and that's just life!

    I love teaching lessons so I'm keeping my pro status, likely for the rest of my dressage career, and I'll just step up and try to fit in with the other open riders.

    1. We sound very similar Megan, thanks for the comment! Its nice to know I am not the only one out there that its sorta feels odd to be a pro despite working a different job full time. I guess I just have harder competition ahead!