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A “Poor” Equestrian Ponders AA Shows and Six Figure Imports

Poor is a relative word, and horse people know that. I can’t deny the huge luxury it is to have a horse, any horse. In a country where many struggle to afford healthcare, grocery bills and safe housing, no equestrian should ever complain about being poor. The fact of the matter is that in the grand scheme of things, one who rides cannot be truly poor. However, it sure feels that way sometimes.

I walk within different circles in my life. At school in my graduate program, I’m pretty wealthy. I’ve got stable income, own a house, have some savings. But in the hunter/jumper circuit world, I’m the tiniest of peons. An insignificant gnat who locally shows OTTBs and has no plan (or desire) to ever get to the AOs. And I’m never more aware of that than when I go watch an AA show.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore a glamorous circuit. Seeing Wellington for the first time opened my eyes to the hunter/jumper world more than any book, video or blog. I’m extremely fortunate to live a short drive from the HITS Desert Horse Park, and love heading to Coachella for long days watching exquisite hunters in the sun.

Opinion piece on wealth disparity in the horse world. Published online to The Plaid Horse magazine blog. Read entire article.