Barn to Boardroom: Amateur Riders Balancing Work & Riding

Showing takes a lot of dedication, practice, and toughness. From hours in the saddle practicing course after grid after pole, to financial contributions, to long show days – the ladies (and gents) who ride on the county and ‘A’ circuits are fully invested in their passion. Even when it’s not show season, ammys know that taking more than a week or two off from riding means a sore back and legs for days, so you can usually find them in a lesson even when their schedules are crazy. A lot of riders have equally demanding careers, that they carefully balance with their busy riding agenda; a good can of dry shampoo in the bathroom is key for the barn to boardroom life.

We asked two devoted riders with challenging jobs how they balance the demands of riding and work, and what fuels them to pour their heart into both.




Senior Staff User Experience Designer and Creative Strategist, Qualcomm Technologies Inc.

How do you balance your career and passion for riding? Luckily my job offers me some flexibility so I’m able to find the time to ride and still manage to get my job done but at times it is a struggle. I often have to work late at night and on the weekends but getting out to see my horses makes it worth it. Just being at the barn and around the horses relaxes me and allows me to concentrate on things outside of the demands of my job.

What drives your dedication to make horses part of your life? Horses can tell when you are stressed or when your mind is on something else so riding becomes almost like a meditation exercise for me. I’m also quite competitive and a perfectionist – traits I’ve found to be quite common amongst the horsey set – so having an outlet for those things keeps me from being too “crazy” in my “real life.” Horses and design really are my passions and I’ve recently been working on some projects that allow me to combine those interests in really fun, meaningful ways.


Polo, Hunter/Jumper

Principal Consultant/President, Quality Link, Inc.

How do you balance your career and passion for riding? Up until recently it was very difficult to balance work and riding.  In my previous roles I have either been in an office 8+ hours a day or traveling 40-50% of the time which meant I could mostly only ride on the weekends with the occasional early morning pre-work ride thrown in.  Recently, I started my own consulting company and am able to have some more flexibility to be able to ride during the weekdays.

What drives your dedication to make horses part of your life?Riding my horse and playing polo is my outlet from work and other life responsibilities.  Sometimes it is hard to shut out the stress and concentrate on riding. It’s always evident when I can’t turn that part of my brain off.

Riding and playing polo is a big part of my social life; I look forward to hanging out with my riding friends on the weekends and enjoying the ‘occasional’ adult beverage at a show or polo match. I’ve even traveled to Argentina with a group of polo friends to play and watch the Argentine Open. I have to work hard to be able to have my horse and play polo, but I can’t imagine what my life would be like without the horses and great equestrian friends.

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