Monday, March 24, 2014

Moving Forward in 2014

So you may have noticed its been all quiet on the O'Shea Eventing front for the last several months-- since July of last year! Well, the reason for that is both very simple and very complicated. Simply put, I went back to school last August. I am pursuing my MBA in Supply Chain Management at the Wisconsin School of Business. Its been a lot of work, and for the first time in my life, I prioritized something ahead of riding.

I decided to make this move for a lot of reasons, but they can be boiled down to one fundamental truth: I want to have the financial stability to compete my horses as far as they are able to go, with the ultimate, lifelong goal being to compete at Rolex.

Zahra as a 5 year old, killing it at Training Level
There's a lot of information packed into that truth. Owning horses is expensive. It's not any more expensive than having kids, but they do require a lot of your resources, both time and money. The primary way talented riders try to make it work financially is to go the professional equestrian route: teaching lessons, training other people's horses, pursuing sponsorships. However, what I found was that until you "make it," this route leaves very little time for your own horse (if you can even afford to own your own horse, and you're not just hopping from one client horse to another). I believe in the horses I have. They are both phenomenally talented, with all the scope and potential an adult amateur could hope for! I want to be able to give them my undivided attention.

Additionally, most serious riding accidents occur when on these training horses. Some times its because they were sent to you because they were dangerous, or because they are just getting started under saddle and they just don't know any better. Other times its because there is pressure to get a horse sold, so you move it up the ranks too quickly, and inevitably the holes you left in your training catch up to you.

So, my decision was to prioritize my career in order to better the equine situation. I'm looking for a job where I can have an interesting, successful career and simultaneously, separately, hone my skills with Zahra and Puck. This summer, I will be going to San Jose for an internship with a prominent tech company. Zahra and Puck will stay in the Midwest so I can focus on learning, but they will be in training with a local dressage trainer whom I respect. I'm looking forward to coming home to two finely tuned dressage ponies! But it won't be a completely horseless summer! There is a prominent 3 day event trainer in the Bay area that I've already reached out to in order to get to know him and his program. If San Jose turns in to a full time gig, I would want him as my trainer! And no matter where I end up in May of 2015, there are two and only two criteria for accepting a full time job:
South Farm 2013
1.) Is the job a good job? Does it make sense for my goals and interests?
2.) Is the area a good eventing area? Are there stables, trainers, and shows in the area?

So, its going to continue to be slow here at OE, with only a couple of shows this fall, but there is some VERY exciting stuff coming in the mid-term future.