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  • Writer's pictureLiz Moorman

Balancing Act: Juggling Work, Family, and Horses

For amateur exhibitors in the stock horse world, finding the delicate balance between work, family, and their passion for horses can feel like a never-ending tightrope walk. With the demands of daily life pulling them in multiple directions, these dedicated individuals must navigate the challenges of time management, financial constraints, and emotional exhaustion while striving to excel in the show arena. In this article, we'll explore the strategies and tips that amateur exhibitors employ to maintain equilibrium in their busy lives, all while pursuing their dreams in the show ring.


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Finding Time in the Chaos:

One of the greatest challenges from amateur exhibitors is carving out precious time for their equestrian pursuits amidst the chaos of work and family responsibilities. From early morning rides before the sun rises to late-night grooming sessions after the kids are in bed, these individuals make every moment count. For many, weekends are dedicated to horse shows, requiring careful planning and coordination with family members to ensure everyone's needs are met.


Creating a Supportive Network:

Central to the success of amateur exhibitors is the presence of a strong support network comprised of family, friends, trainers, and fellow equestrians. This network serves as a source of encouragement, guidance, and assistance during both the highs and lows of the equestrian journey. Whether it's a spouse cheering from the sidelines, a trainer offering words of wisdom, or a fellow exhibitor lending a helping hand, the support of others is invaluable in navigating the complexities of work-life-horse balance.


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Managing Financial Resources:

Balancing the financial demands of horse ownership with the realities of everyday expenses is another significant hurdle for amateur exhibitors. From boarding and training fees to entry fees and travel expenses, the cost of pursuing to show at this level can quickly add up. To alleviate financial strain, many exhibitors adopt budgeting strategies, seek out services that can be done while at shows. These could include banding/braiding, bedding stalls, cleaning tack, or having another type of equine based side hustle. By carefully managing their financial resources, amateur exhibitors can pursue their passion for horses without breaking the bank.


Embracing the Emotional Rollercoaster:

Beyond the logistical challenges, amateur exhibitors must also content with the emotional rollercoaster of equestrian competition. From the exhilaration of victory to the disappointment of defeat, the highs and lows of the show ring can take a toll on even the most resilient individuals. To navigate these emotional ups and downs, exhibitors lean on coping mechanisms such as mindfulness, self-care practices, and seeking support from loved ones. By acknowledging and embracing their emotions, amateur exhibitors can cultivate resilience and maintain a healthy perspective on both success and failure.


Tips for Success:
  • Prioritize and schedule: Allocate dedicated time for work, family, and horses in your daily schedule to ensure balance.

  • Communicate openly: Keep lines of communication open with family members, employers, and trainers to manage expectations and coordinate responsibilities.

  • Set realistic goals: Establish achievable goals for both your equestrian pursuits and personal life, taking into account time, resources, and priorities.

  • Practice self-care: Prioritize self-care practices such as exercise, relaxation, and hobbies outside of the barn to recharge and rejuvenate.

  • Celebrate small victories: Acknowledge and celebrate the small victories and milestones along the way, recognizing the progress made despite the challenges.


In the whirlwind of work, family, and horses, amateur exhibitors navigate a complex dance of time management, financial constraints, and emotional resilience. Yet, amidst the chaos, they find joy, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose in pursuing their passion for horses. By employing strategic strategies, fostering supportive networks, and embracing the journey's emotional ups and downs, amateur exhibitors defy the odds and prove that with dedication, determination, and heart, anything is possible in the world of horse shows.

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