My biggest obstacle along the way to where I am in the sport today has definitely been the financial disparity between myself and the majority of the people against whom I compete. Unlike most of my competitors, I cannot afford to pay a professional to ride my horse every day. The professional at my barn is nice enough to ride my horse if she is ever being particularly uncooperative, but this only happens maybe once every few months, and is a far cry from the help most other people in my division receive. This factor has definitely made getting my horse to perform at her current level a much longer and more arduous process. Additionally, I work for my barn as a groom to help offset some of the costs associated with owning a show horse. Consequently, I work 12 to 16 hour days whenever I am at a horse show while my competitors, for the most part, just have to show up and get on their horses. Even though my relative lack of funds has made it a more difficult journey, I would not classify the experience of working hard to attain my success as a negative. I am grateful for it; it has, without a doubt made me a stronger rider and better worker in and out of the arena.