Riding Tips

Letter to My Rookie Self: Jamie Graham

jamie graham horse
Written by Jamie Graham

Equestrian Advice: This is part of our Letter to My Rookie Self series, an open letter equestrian reflection project. Learn more and/or submit your own letter here.

Dear Rookie Self,

You’re probably wondering if you’re still obsessed with horses. Answer is, “yes, you are” and the obsession just grows with age.

Remember that time after your first fall when you were 14 and at that moment you just wanted to give up riding as a whole? Don’t do it.

Get back on that horse, and finish off your lesson.

Or that time after high school graduation, you were heading off to college and you were thinking “I’m going to have so many commitments and be so busy, should I stop riding?”

jamie green horse

Source: Jamie Graham

Don’t do it.

Keep riding no matter how busy your college life gets.

And that time in grad school when you were juggling your grad assistant position, along with classes, and the 45-minute drive to the barn to take lessons that you could barely afford? Keep doing that no matter how tough it gets.

jamie graham horse

Source: Jamie Graham

Then came the time after grad school when you had to go into the “real world” and you knew your heart was in horses and wanted to do an equine-related job, but society told you that you would never sustain yourself and that it wasn’t realistic.

Don’t listen to them, because you DO get to work with horses full time and you WERE able to sustain yourself.

jamie graham horse

Source: Jamie Graham

But even after your dream of working with horses full time became a reality, sometimes life happens (like a whole global pandemic) and you lose your job. You’re going to be back at square one again and you feel like this is the universe’s way of telling you that you are destined to do something not related to horses.

But don’t listen to the universe. Don’t listen to anyone but yourself and the little voice inside of your head that has always told you not to give up on horses.

Because now you have your own horse related business and you are able to give advice to those young riders like your rookie self.

No matter how bleak your situation may seem, don’t give up on horses.

No matter how unfair the equestrian world may seem, don’t give up on horses.

No matter how many times people tell you that there is no point in finding an equine related job, don’t give up on horses.

Follow your passion, and follow it until the very end.



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About the author


Jamie Graham

My name is Jamie and I live in sunny Phoenix, Arizona with my wonderful husband, two rescue dog and my 20 year old full lease Appendix Gelding, Gunny. As a certified personal trainer, recreation therapist and equestrian athlete, I am extremely passionate about promoting the mental and physical benefits of exercise and how it directly links to our performance in the saddle.