Welcome to the Ammy Moments series! We'll be connecting with adult amateur riders all across the community to shine a light on the riders balancing horse life with "real life" & dig into how they make it all work. Know an ammy you'd love to be featured? Are you an ammy that would like to be featured yourself? Hit us up on our "Contact Us" page!
Jordan Basham, a Virginia-based college senior, has been riding since she was 5. Now in her twenties, she tackles the last year of her pre-law program at George Mason University and celebrates 13 years with her Thoroughbred cross, iCandy (AKA Tucker). We connected with Jordan to learn more about her riding background, how she balances college and riding, and how she feels about amateur rider representation in the mainstream equestrian media.
Left Lead Collective: How long have you been riding, and what discipline do you ride/show in?
Jordan Basham: I have been riding since I was 5, so about 16 years. I've owned Tucker since I was 9 and he was 4. He will be 17 this year! I started out in the eventing world; I competed and did pony club for a few years before going between trainers. In 2018, I met my trainer through my school's IHSA team and began my journey into the hunter/jumper world.
LLC: What do you do for a living?
JB: I'm currently a senior studying pre-law at George Mason University. I plan to graduate in May 2020 and have a job lined up as a barn manager, as I hope to go pro and be a trainer some day.
LLC: Tell me about your horse!
JB: iCandy "Tucker" is a 15.2h TB cross (with QH and Appaloosa). He is 16 and will be 17 on May 15, which also happens to be my birthday! He has such a wonderful personality, he's picky about treats, LOVES having his face rubbed, and being told how great he is.
Like I mentioned earlier, I got him when we were both very young which can turn out bad, but I'm proud looking back on all we've done together. He is 100% my heart horse.
LLC: What's your schedule like for work/life/horses balance? How often do you get to ride? Do you show?
JB: Currently, we are in online school due to the COVID-19 outbreak but normally, I have classes Monday and Wednesday with lessons on Tuesdays every other week on Tucker, and IHSA lessons every Friday.
I try to ride 5-6 days a week which mostly varies on the weather because we don't have an indoor. I've shown in both IHSA and local rated shows. My last IHSA season ended but I'm grateful for the experiences and the people I've met in the process. At rated shows, I typically show Tucker in the pre-adults and non-rated equitation classes, but we plan on stepping up to the 2'9 this summer.
LLC: How do you feel about how often adult amateurs are shown in the mainstream equestrian media?
JB: I don't feel like adult amateurs are shown in the mainstream equestrian media very much. The first thing that does come to mind is SmartPak's yearly calendar which features pros and amateurs who are SmartPak members. Other than that I don't feel ammys are recognized enough, the daily grind and managing riding is hard. I do plan to go into the professional world of riding someday but currently, I still am an ammy and relate to the struggles of everyday life that ammys face which I believe should be celebrated!
LLC: What other riders/horse people do you look up to? Whether it be a professional, your trainer, or even a fellow barn friend.
JB: I look up to my trainer for all that she does every day and her drive to get the best out of her students and build their confidence. I also admire Beezie Madden for her ability to remain respectful of the horses she works with and how she cares for every detail, such as cleaning her tack after winning bronze at the Pan Ams.
I also really look up to my friend Kirstin (@kvaneq on Instagram) she's one of my best friends and is so knowledgeable and a very talented rider; we support each other and help each other through the struggles of ammy life.
We're so happy we got to have an #AmmyMoment with Jordan! Follow her on Instagram at @jordanb_eq, where you can expect plenty of adorable shots of her sweet grey gelding, Tucker. 🐴