BY IZZY FEINSTEIN
As I embark on my last show season as a junior, I feel as if I am merely an “ordinary” rider. I have not shown at a height greater than 2’6”, have not won a champion ribbon at an “A” show, and have not shown in a derby. Instead of concentrating on what others might do, I choose to focus on what I have accomplished.
I scored an 83 in one of my hunter rounds at Princeton Equestrian League Finals, have placed at multiple “A” and “B” circuit shows such as HITS Saugerties and Monmouth at the Team, and have improved immensely from my first show in the Beginner Equitation at the 2015 Garden State Preview. This year, I am preparing to continue showing in the 2’3” to 2’6” hunter and equitation divisions.
However, when the 2018 show season ends in December, and I officially age out of the junior divisions, my love for horses and my passion for riding will not stop. Just because I am not going to show in the 3’3” Amateur-Owner divisions and will not pursue a career as a professional rider, does not mean I cannot still be successful as an amateur rider.
This fall, I will begin a new chapter of my life when I become a freshman at New York University (NYU). I hope to join the IHSA equestrian team, where I will have the opportunity to ride in a team practice once a week and during season, show on Sundays. When I come home on break, I will continue to lesson and hopefully show with my barn, Red Oak Farm, in the Outreach divisions offered to adults, ranging from Pleasure flat classes to the 2’6” Adult Hunters.
With the new divisions being offered by USEF, USHJA, and local PHA chapters, there are more opportunities than ever for juniors and amateurs alike with a large range of ability to get into the show ring.
So, for all the other “ordinary” juniors like me, don’t stress about what you haven’t done yet. Your love for riding and showing does not have to end when your junior career does.