A shadowy figure who goes by “The Aiding & Abetting Amateur” is a frequent contributor here at HN, keeping us in-the-know on all things hunter/jumper. But did you know that she has her own blog as well?
Check it out at http://aidingandabetting.tumblr.com/. We love the author’s voice and her sense of humor about a sport that often takes itself WAY too seriously. We also admire her willingness to delve deeper and investigate important issues that no one else really wants to talk about, a quality that tends to stir up lively discussion on the site.
We decided to turn the tables on “The Aiding & Abetting Amateur” and ask her a few questions of our own.
What were your motivations for starting your own blog?
My best friend and I came up with the idea of this blog. Both of us have had our fair share of frustrating experiences in this industry: We’ve been burned by trainers, barn managers, vets, you name it. Eventually, we got tired of listening to everyone else. We went, what we call “rogue.” Our philosophy is, read as much as you can, listen as much as you can, and be informed, as much as you can. If you don’t abide by this type of philosophy, you are at the mercy of everyone else (most of whom are trying to make money off of you). This industry is a tough place, but it doesn’t have to be! The good news is is you have knowledge at your disposal all over the internet and knowledge empowers and creates a habit of better decision making.
Tell us about the blog and its content, in your own words.
My blog is directed at anyone interested in competing in equestrian sports in a realistic and sustainable way. The content is first and foremost supposed to entertain, but beyond entertainment we hope to offer suggestions on how to compete in the most economical way possible. We realize that everyone has limited resources. For most of us these include: time and money. Our hope is that by providing content with tips, advice, and even some more technical knowledge, we will provide the “amateur” with the raw materials to make informed and wise decisions. Our content also aims at providing the reader with timely news and breaking stories. As well, we hope to establish a relationship and dialogue with some RR rated judges, officials at USHJA, and USEF.
The ultimate goal of the blog is to have a space for interaction. I would love to have more questions and comments coming in. In an effort to stir up some interaction we have started doing some giveaways (shameless plug: there’s one coming later this week!)
Why do you keep your identity anonymous?
Operating under a pseudonym is awesome! You can talk openly and honestly about anything. I wanted my blog to be a place where I could be as candid and real as possible. By maintaining my anonymity, I am able to say what I want to say. It’s totally liberating.
What’s your own involvement in the sport?
I started riding at a fairly young age and continued on through high school and college. During college I was a working student under a Grand Prix rider. I point to this experience as one of the most challenging yet important experiences in my riding career. I was exposed to so many new ideas and philosophies during this time. The facility had a very active breeding operation, so I got to experience everything that goes along with that. Of all equestrian enterprises, I can confidentially say breeding is one of the most stressful and work-intensive.
I have always lived in the hunter-jumper world, although I have several friends in different equestrian circles (dressage, eventing, polo, etc.). I have show experience in all three rings; however, I tend to focus my limited resources (the most important one being time) on the hunter ring. After the emergence of the hunter derbies and more creative classes, my love for the hunters grew significantly. My dream is to ride with Scott Stewart, John French, Kelly Farmer, and Jennifer Alfano. I think that what they (and many others) create in the hunter ring is truly beautiful.
What are some of your own favorite websites or blogs?
I am a self-admitted Etsy addict. It is a vacuum that sucks up all my time and money!
Of course I love Horse Nation! And I visit The Chronicle daily (all their bloggers are wonderful!).
I also frequent several other equestrian blogs which are listed on my “recommended pages” page. Fran Jurga has one of my favorite, information-filled blogs: www.thejurgareport.com. Check it out!
What’s with the name?
Our name came partly from the legal term “aiding and abetting,” but also from the novel Aiding and Abetting by Muriel Spark. It’s one of my favorite novels, and I’m kind of a bookworm. If nothing else, I thought the name was…. unique.
Each week, we shine the light on a blog we think deserves some attention. If you’d like to recommend a blog for us to check out, send a link to [email protected].