If asked to describe myself, there are many words I could use. But the first one that comes to mind is horseperson. I'm a rider at my core, and horses are not just a hobby of mine--they are part of who I am. Maybe the largest part.

The purpose of this blog is not only to serve as a training log, but also as a tribute to my best friend.

30 July 2011

my love/hate relationship with training camp

"workin' 9 to 5,
what a way to make a living
barely getting by
it's all taking and no giving..."

It's that time of year. My favorite time of the entire NFL season, but the bane of the existance of any part of me that wants to have a life outside of football. Yes, Training Camp 2011 has begun! And, in case you're wondering, the days are a LOT longer than 9-5! But I like Dolly's attitude...

Despite the hours, I love Camp. It's full of constant activity, you finally get to see the entire team, the fans are pumped and full of energy, and you can just smell the season on the horizon. And it's a season full of promise, no matter what team you are, because anything can happen. Training Camp is great. And this year is especially interesting, as the lockout prevented any team-sanctioned offseason workouts. When the guys arrived back to the facility to check into Camp, it felt like seeing friends on the first day of school after a long summer break apart.

Rookie cheat sheet... don't have as long to get to know these faces as we normally would!

However, Camp is also the busiest time of year. Our schedule alternates between one-a-day practices and two-a-days, and on two-a-days, I'm here by 8 AM and usually leave around 9 PM. So it's impossible to fit riding in on those days.

Though yesterday was our first day of practices, so the first day we were dealing with media and all of that, this week has been insane with the preparation. I haven't ridden since last Sunday! But I did have Tessa take a jump lesson on Randy on Tuesday, and my trainer said he was great. I'm not a huge fan of other people riding my horse... not that they'll mess him up on the riding part, but I doubt anyone takes care of him pre or post-ride the way that I would. In fact, I guarantee it! But I have to swallow my doubts enough to trust that he will at least be taken care of enough to be by. And I know he will. I am just particular!  

So Randy has only been ridden twice this week... my ride on Sunday and Tessa's on Tuesday. But there is hope for Camp. Today is our first one-a-day and I think I'm going to be able to get a ride in on such days going forward.

I got up around 5:30 this morning, pulled on breeches and a tank top, grabbed the dog and hit the road. I was at the barn by 6:15, and on by 7:00 (I'm a meticulous groomer...).

Randy and I got in a nice 40-minute session. We worked on our leg yields and shoulder-ins, as well as transitions galore. He needs a ton in every ride because he is very long through his neck and getting him to really sit back and not lean on the forehand can be difficult. It's getting better, but his natural way of going is with a longer frame than I'd like--so we'll continue to work.

There were also a couple of terrifying tarps in the arena, near the edge. Randy is not a very spooky guy, but he was giving those quite a look. However, we walked all around them and then over them, and then we trotted over them. He is such a good boy. I love the feeling that he trusts me enough to do something scary just because I ask him to. He didn't even consider stopping at them, because I told him to go. Good pony.

After I rode, I washed him down, took care of his legs (he gets dew poisoning/scratches very easily with the humid FL weather), slapped some hoof conditioner on his feet and deo-gel around his face, and put him in his stall to feed him breakfast. I washed my bit, wiped off my tack, threw it on its racks and hopped back in the car to go home, shower and head to work.

I've finished getting my credential list in order for today, I've sent in my round two edits for our 2011 Yearbook, and so I decided I'd make a post while I have the time!

Practice begins at 2:30. It's a public session, which is always fun. The fans should be out in droves. It's amazing to see the support. It's going to be an exciting season.


Now I just have to continue figuring out how to continue balancing my job--which I truly do love... when I'm here, I don't feel like I'm working--and my riding.

I have a feeling it's going to be a busy autumn.

No comments:

Post a Comment