Sixteen-year-old Mikaela has spent her summer as a working student for Jan Byyny at Surefire Farm. Two weekends ago, she was a groom for the Area II Young Rider Team. Area II won the CH-Y** individual gold (Connor Husain and Piece of Hope) and the CH-J* individual silver (Hanna Krueger and Pinney North). Sadly, Mikaela’s summer has come to an end and today she reflects back upon her experience. Thanks for blogging, Mikaela! If you have something to share with EN, send it to [email protected] Thanks for reading!
I promise this is the last time I will interrupt your Olympic coverage! As I head home to Southern Pines after my Adventures in Virginia and Kentucky I figured it would be a good time to reflect on my crazy insane amazing wonderful summer. I would put more adjectives in but I don’t want it to get to long.
First of all you can sleep when you’re dead. What is sleep you ask? Well it’s this crazy thing us working students and grooms get very little of but learn to work off of by about the second day. I recommend lots of caffeine and canned Starbucks drinks to get you through this phase. Also when you are without power for a week don’t expect to get any thing outside of the barn done due to lack of light, water and other amenities people are used to having and a party is required when you get said power back. And try and remember that 90-degree weather is cool and if we complain Mother Nature just gives us 100-degree weather. Then when it comes to showing it doesn’t matter what you do in warm up just the ring so don’t screw up if warm up is going well and if warm up is not going well just put it behind you and pretend you never warmed up. And each day you learn whether its that what your doing might just be right or learning never to make that mistake again you are ALWAYS learning so remember to keep your mind open. And finally get the job done at all costs.
Now when it comes to NAJYRC’s USA backpacks and fashionable *lucky* belts are the new things as backpacks are much easier to carry around than buckets as you might end up carrying it for awhile.
Sticky spray keeps quarter marks on amazingly well and a purple throw away shaver is the perfect size to put a II on your horses butt. It is also much easier in the vet box when 90% of your stuff is safely there the night before and the final load at least an hour before the first rider. In addition to that when each rider’s tack is in neat piles it makes it so much less likely things will get lost when you take it back too the barn with each horse.
And stud duty is a treacherous job; expect to stay completely soaked from about 8 to 2 and get asked many times if you in fact did get any water on the horse. Show Jumping day is filled with every emotion you could possibly imagine and watching a horse soar over the colored sticks can be the most nerve-wracking thing ever.
And last but not least the friends you make will last a lifetime and the stories and memories that come out of it are truly amazing. Whether it is working back at surefire or grooming at young riders I would not have changed anything about my experience and each and every person is amazing and I cannot wait to do it all again next summer.
Until Next Time Go Eventing and Go Summer!!! -Mikaela