I realized this morning as I walked down to the stable that I haven’t given you all an outline of the daily routine! Apologies!!!
My day begins at 4:30 with a (relatively) brisk walk down to the stable under an inky black sky with the stars appearing much brighter and vibrant than at home. As the landscape is quite flat with a distant horizon in all directions, the view is pretty incredible. As I help with stalls, hay, water and grain the sun slowly creeps over the eastern perimeter of the stable. We have a canal just to the right of the dressage ring with the Florida equivalent of “forest” on the other side. There is a resident alligator calling out to intimidate the frogs, birds and fish in the canal. I call him “Boots” as I believe that is a fine aspiration for a noisy gator!
After morning stables there is a time for a quick breakfast and coffee. The first set of horses begin their daily exercise at 7AM. Riding continues uninterrupted until well after 2PM with lessons and training being tailored for each horse and rider combination. There is a small break in the schedule until 4PM when afternoon stable chores begin with mucking, transporting bedding to each stall for the next day, cleaning tack and polishing boots, setting up the stable for the next day and beginning to think about dinner for ourselves!
After some down time in the evening, we do a night check and last distribution of hay and water around 9. Then it is time to go to bed and catch up on some sleep before starting the schedule all over again.
For anyone that thinks that this is an unfair schedule or too much work to do in a day...well, it is not a bad situation in my opinion. Working with one of the world’s top rider/trainers and being allowed access to their full training system while interacting with their staff on a daily basis - it is a privilege to be allowed to be a part of the team caring for the superstars of the stable. And the amount of knowledge that is at your fingertips - how to braid, grooming tricks and tips, riding techniques, the training system and all the small details that make success more of a routine rather than luck!
If any of my readers are interested in busting their butt to further their knowledge and riding skills - pop me an email and I will forward your resume to The Boss. If you are not organized, OCD about safety and cleanliness and a good rider, well, maybe work on those details first.