From Endurance to Dressage
Problems are problems no matter if they are of the First World variety or not. And frankly, I can't help it if I make more money than some because I sure as heck make a lot less than others. Somehow though, if you fall comfortably into the middle class, you don't get to complain about the ridiculous cost of diesel or groceries or your pool guy. My pool guy just raised his rate by 25%. Holy crap; I wish I could get a 25% raise. Right now, I am struggling.
I can't speak to what teachers make in other parts of the country, but for where I live, I make a good living. I also work hard, and I work way past my contracted hours, so my actual per hour pay is a lot less than what my contract says it should be. I also spend a lot of unpaid time over the summer preparing for the next year, and I take continuing education courses during the summer and even during the school year.
This year though, bills have been coming at me from the right and the left. Newt, my new truck, is the biggest culprit, but there have been a lot of other unplanned for expenses as well. With the rising cost of everything, I've had to look for every opportunity to make a few extra bucks. The discretionary portion of my income has been slowly vanishing to the point where I no longer have those extra dollars to play with.
I've picked up a few extra side hustles as they've appeared: I did some work for my attorney friend, I sold a rare book, and I've been taking paid classes on Saturdays. In January, I took two Saturday classes back to back. That was a long work week.
This Saturday I took another one, and I am hurting this morning. While teaching isn't the same kind of tiring that roofing might be, it's still a long day. More than the physicality of it though is the mental fatigue that comes from multi-tasking. I look at five screens all day long, frequently running two online meetings at the same time all while screen sharing, talking, email messaging, monitoring and participating in the chat, and trying not to sound like an idiot.
While Saturday's class was engaging and useful, it still meant a six-day work week. It also meant that most of my chores didn't happen until Sunday which made my one day off feel like anything but.
Nearly all of the extra money I've been earning has gone to pay for Newt's endless list of problems. The extra money I'll receive from this weekend and the money I earned by working for the attorney is all going toward the vet bill I'll have when my boys go in for their spring vaccinations and dentals. I don't have enough yet, so I am keeping my ear to the ground hoping that some other little side gig will present itself. I've also signed up to be a Professional Development Teacher for the summer which would mean a bigger payday than what I am currently getting. I have a meeting on Wednesday night to find out more.
Anyone else feeling like they need a second job just to finance daily life?
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: