I am a junior rider, and I am looking for advice on opportunities for my riding, as a junior rider.
Every weekend I take a riding lesson at an excellent show barn. I ride a really nice pony, who is a little stubborn, and he is an excellent teacher. My trainer, who brings many riders to shows on the A and AA circuits, is often not at the barn when I am there, but there is an assistant trainer who teaches me in my lessons most of the time.
I do not own or lease a horse, since lessons and showing are already expensive enough, and my parents cannot afford to pay for an expensive board plus monthly fees for a horse. Leasing is just as expensive, so I just take weekly lessons.
I feel like I am learning a lot in my lessons every week, and it is almost show season, (I show locally, but hopefully in a few years my trainer will let me ride some of his horses at the rated shows).
Are there things I could do, that my trainers would approve of me doing while still taking weekly lessons, and showing with them? I know some times there are ads saying that people need their green ponies ridden, and sometimes shown, or other things too like just an exercise rider, etc. I do not want to be disrespectful to them, I appreciate all they do to keep the barn in such great condition, and have great horses to ride, and to be able to teach me. I want to get as much riding in as I can, but I know since I can only do one lesson per week, I am going to get pretty bored being at home and only riding once per week, but also some shows. I know there are other riders that do this too, but I do not know exactly how, and what their trainers think of it.
Also, since I do not have any plans for the summer once school gets out, do you think I would be allowed to volunteer at a horse retirement farm, or volunteer to do something with horses. I know there also is a therapeutic riding center in my area too, but since I am under 16, but not far from it, I do not know if I would be considered too young to do those sort of things.
If there are other things you know that I could do around horses, please let me know!