Chris Stafford of the USEA Podcast Channel has brought us another round of interviews this week. This week’s subject revolves around college education and balancing it with an eventing career. Allison Springer and Katy Groesbeck joined Chris to offer their input on how their college experience has evolved into a career as an eventing professional.
Both Allison and Katy earned four-year degrees from liberal arts colleges before beginning their respective eventing careers in earnest. Allison, though a successful Young Rider, went to college with a dream of competing at the Olympics but no plans to become a horse professional. After graduating, though, Allison did some soul-searching and found that she did not want to look back and say that she did not give her dreams her best shot.
So, as we all know, Allison ventured into the eventing scene full time and hasn’t looked back since. Allison does attribute much of her success to her education, though. “My education is the best thing sitting in my back pocket right now,” Allison told Chris. “It helps with talking to sponsors or syndicate members. It’s important to have intelligent conversations and engage people on a different level other than just the horses.”
Allison also gave some sound advice to other eventers who may be struggling with the decision to go to college or become a horse professional. “It’s important to try to also see the big picture in life,” Allison told Chris. “Make sure all the bases are covered. All of the time and thought and care that we put into our horses we don’t necessarily put into our personal lives. There is something to be said about stability. We are best at achieving our goals when our lives are as stress-free as possible.”
Katy always knew she would attend college and even contemplated joining the Navy to be able to pay for her education. Both of her parents were horse professionals, and they were supportive of Katy’s endeavors at the University of California Los Angeles. Katy did not see herself becoming involved professionally with horses.
“I did not want to be a pro; I didn’t want to make my living because I’d seen how hard it was,” Katy said on the podcast. Katy did take her horse to school with her and worked both on campus and as a working student to make ends meet. Like Allison, after graduating, she realized that her dreams were worth following, and she decided to venture into the horse world as a professional. Katy echoed Allison’s sentiments that having a college education is still beneficial now.
If nothing else, both Allison and Katy feel that it’s important to have a backup plan in the event that riding becomes limited. As we know far too well, anything can happen, and virtually nothing goes according to plan when you deal with horses. My parents have always stressed the importance of a good education, and I tend to agree with them. As Allison stated, it’s a nice card to have in your pocket should your career plans change.
For much more from Allison and Katy, check out the full USEA Podcast with Chris Stafford here.