Tuesday 27th November
So I arrived in miami late Saturday night. Picked up my hire car and drove 2 hours north to Palm City where I am spending the next 7 weeks living and training with Tina Konyot, USA Dressage team rider.
Tina has only just arrived in Florida for the winter season from here barn in canada. On arrival we had 3 horses at the barn Calecto her Olympic horse. Anouska her ex Prix St George mare that is now in her 30′s and Hindu a 3yo spanish horse owned by Chuck Fipke.
On sunday after giving tina a hand with the stables. She rode Calecto and we had a new horse arrive, a really nice 7yo german warmblood called Leo. Tina gave him a quick lunge then we both did 20 minutes on him.
I got up to feed the horses then ran to the supermarket and bank to get things organised wile I still had my hire car. I went back to the barn. Did the stables. Yes that’s right if you want to work with the best you must be prepared to do whatever is required. Then rode Leo wile tina rode Calecto. All the horses are bathed each day after work. Leo was pretty hairy so I clipped him in the afternoon. For an unfit horse working in florida heat with too much hair, as you can imagine, its not that easy.
Tuesday. Tina was due to be flying to texas for an elite riders meeting to discuss USA dressage so I had sole charge of the yard for the day. Unfortunately for me I had a horse being shipped down from Connecticut that morning that was due to arrive at 5:30am. The driver of the transporter called me at 5am to let me know he was 30 minutes away. Fortunately having only just arrived in from the UK by body clock had not yet fully adjusted and I found myself being far more awake than I other wise would have been.
After successfully meeting the transporter, settling the new horse in (Kyra a 16yo Prix St George mare) and feeding the other horses I returned to the house for a bit of breakfast.
The rest of my day was taken up with giving all the horses 2 hours turn out (which they have every day), doing the horses stables and I was to exercise Leo and Calecto.
“All Ben ever wanted was mirrors and an olympic horse!”
All the horses are bathed before going back into their stables after exercise or turn out.
As anyone knows that has gone into a new yard to make feeds. Its not easy. The feed used in america is all different from the UK so learning the new feeds and the amounts the different horses have takes time. The amount of supplements on the other hand is crazy. I thought I used a lot back home but for Calecto this moves to a whole different level.
The farrier arrived at 3pm for leo so this gave a chance to run back to the house. Where I had my first Skype experience with Fliss. The wonders of modern technology.
I got back to the stables just after 5pm. I was just left with skipping out, water, hay, feeding and blowing the barn down.
I was home by 6pm, otherwise known as beer ‘o’ clock. We got take out Chinese. 9pm is night check. So I drove back to the barn. Hayed, put a couple of light sheets and checked the waters. I was back home by 9.30. Not bad 16 and a half hour day