Never turning pro? Zero ambition to upgrade your horse, fancify your tack and/or move up a division? Aiming for inches?

Ammy and you know it!

These are 10 signs you know you’re as amateur as they come…and proud of it.

1. You proudly display your second-place ribbon, even though there were only two people in the class.

You do you, amateurs. I once took third place, and there were only two people in the class. #TrueStory.

2. When asked about your horse’s breed, you proudly reply that he/she is “first generation mutt.”

Who needs a purebred when you have your steady-eddie Quarathoroughaloosa?

Is that a treat in your pocket?

3. You know the only thing better than a fancy saddle is a not-so-fancy saddle that you found at the local tack sale for next to nothing.

Fun fact: A coat of dye can make that old dressage saddle look like it costs about $1200 more than it really did. Ask me how I know.

4. When you watch top-level competitors, you’re actually really glad that it’s not you in the ring.

Give me the 18” crossrails division any day of the week. The pony and I could walk over that height if we needed to (and probably have at one show or another).

5. You’re unashamedly a “fair weather rider.”

Hey, nobody is going to the Olympics over here. My riding probably won’t suffer if I skip riding in that downpour for a day or seven.

Looks like a good day to groom. ©Bethany/Flickr CC

6. You spend equal amounts of time riding as you do taking pictures.

That Instagram feed isn’t going to fill itself with adorable between-the-ears shots.

7. Some days you’re all about riding to your limits; other days you’re all about grooming and going home.

Also included are those bareback rides where you just hop on and kind of wander around the arena for a half hour or so. Everyone needs a chill day, right?

8. You might be going to the show because you love to compete, but you might also be going to hang out with your barn friends and drink wine.

Did your horse rub out a braid? Eh, it’s probably not that noticeable to the judge. Just have another glass before you ride your round.

Wine is “win” with an “e.” ©jenny downing/Flickr CC by 2.0

9. You have no problem admitting that you need help.

I will gladly pay people in money, wine or second-cutting hay if they can help me solve that problem with picking up the left lead, or assist me with getting my mare through the hormonal teenage phase of her life. I’m not a professional and I’m also not too proud to admit it.

You work on that. I’ll just stand over here and watch.

10. You’re in it for the love of the horse, and only the love of the horse.

Because we’re sure as heck not making any money on this passion.

OBSESSED. ©carterse/Flickr CC by 2.0

About the Author

When Aubrey Moore isn’t riding her horse Flynn, new pony or doing near-constant maintenance on her truck, she can be found with a glass of wine in hand, chatting happily with her cat Frankie.