This week marks my two year anniversary as the right hand man of Kate Chadderton Eventing. It’s crazy to think that it’s been this long ! Everyone doubted the fact that a 14 year old, tiny, blonde child, with a lot to say would last very long around the Australians. But somehow I’ve managed to (Even though one of the vets still asks me every time they come to the farm “You still haven’t been fired yet?”)!
Two years ago I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but thankfully I changed for the better! (Hopefully, anyway?) So for anyone looking into becoming a working student, or is going to be a working student, or is a working student, I would like to tell you guys about how this indentured servitude will improve not only your riding, but affect your entire life:
1. You will do everything quicker, and multi task
By everything, I mean everything. When you have to have two horses tacked up in under 10 minutes and you somehow manage to get it done, or a list of 500 things you need to do and pack before leaving to go south at 2 AM, you seem to never slow down. Add that to the fact that you can now eat, text, watch a movie, do home work, clean the house, watch the dogs, and 50 other things because your used to doing that many things at work and you suddenly have a whole 20 minutes of free time!
2. You will become a “Wrap Master” (Even better than Eminem)
Between polo wraps, standing wraps, and any other kind of wraps you can imagine your expected to do them all – perfectly, and quickly. If we ever showed up to an event and one of the horse’s standing wraps was too loose and falling down- I would not want to even think of the Aussie wrath I would be unleashing! (Note- Excessive amounts of polo wrapping will lead to better rapping)
3. You will master the art of sleeping in strange places
Not sure if this is better or worse to be honest. But I can pass out on the back seat of Kate’s truck with two dogs and a bunch of bags and have the best sleep ever. But, the down side relates to our first trip to Aiken – where after 24 hours of straight no sleep I passed out in the trailer tack room on top of all the hay. Let’s just say I still haven’t lived that one down, and the fact that just about everyone has photos of me sleeping on their phones.
4. You will know everyone, and their dogs
You would think that it’s the riders that would know everything about everyone. But somehow the working students end up knowing it all. Maybe its because we’re silent bystanders, maybe its all the time we spend at the wash racks at events, who knows? But we just do!
5. You will learn new languages
We’re not talking free enrollment into French classes over the summer, we’re talking full immersion in “Ringside Sign Language” (You know, the signs your rider or coach makes you when she’s on the phone, talking, or doing something where she can’t talk to you? I don’t know why they don’t offer it in High Schools!) and “Australian” (If you’re surrounded by them and you can’t figure out what they’re saying, or you cant win at a game of australian slang, you might as well consider your working student career over)
6. You will become a master at Tetris
All the intense, late night, want to go to sleep because you have to wake up in two hours, packing sessions will make you adept for playing Tetris for the many car rides to events.
7. You will become more comfortable in uncomfortable situations
All those times you have to get your golf cart towed, ask some stranger for help, or beg someone to help you, will eventually make you a lot braver when it comes to dealing with things that before made you feel awkward.
8. The hack life will choose you
You will hack, and hack a lot.
So if you’re considering becoming a working student, don’t just think of the benefits to your riding, think of the every day benefits to your life!