January 25, 2013

Today was my first day at Rocky Start Stables as a working student / groom / helper-outer / general barn slave girl. I’ve been riding for somewhere over a decade and I’ve dreamed of an opportunity like this since the beginning. I somehow landed a job with advanced level eventer, Jessica Bortner-Harris. For those of you outside the horse world, basically it’s the top tier of competition in the eventing discipline, no small potatoes. Basically, I get to follow her around like a puppy and learn anything and everything I can from her for as long as she’ll put up with me. 

Rocky Start is about an hour and a half from Boone (where I’m officially living) in Thurmond, NC. It’s a teeny town in the foothills of the Appalachians. It’s a cozy little place with only nine horses right now, but there’s usually more I’m told. There’s a trailer about four big steps from a pasture that I get to stay in while I’m here. I can look out the window from where I’m sitting right now and see the six horses who are out for the night. Two are romping around and nipping at each other like a bunch of kids. This feels like what I want in a home someday. 

Today was a pretty easy day, I just fed and mucked stalls and turned out horses. Got the lay of the land. But I also got to break ice from water tanks which I’ve never had to do before. It was barely over freezing all day. A liiiiittle different from riding back home in Charleston where 70 degrees in winter like isn’t that surprising. Tomorrow I’m just going to be doing the same thing. I’ll be up bright and early to feed and check on horses. I’ll have a lot of spare time in the afternoon so I plan on spending a good amount of time grooming and getting to know all of the horses, I’ll write a good post about them tomorrow night when I finish my chores.

The real fun begins Monday though. I’m going with Jessica to see her upper-level horses who are in winter boot camp with Bonnie Mosser, an Olympic level rider/trainer. That’ll be an amazing learning day. I’ve watched a lot of eventing online, but I’ve never seen anyone ride at that level in person before. I’m kind of fangirling a little bit, to be totally I honest.

I’ll try to update this fairly frequently. Mostly for my mom, I know she’s going to be my most frequent reader 🙂 love you mom! Thanks for paying my bills while I’m taking a semester off college to essentially play with ponies all day 🙂