My journey into the word of professional riders began yesterday with a six hour drive from Atlanta to Ocala, Florida. I arrived to an adorable house on Don Stewart’s farm. The walls were clad with aerial views of the farm and various posters from famous shows, such as Devon and the Kentucky National Horse Show.
As I wandered around the house, unpacking and getting my bearings, I couldn’t help but to feel both excited and scared. I never could have hoped that my first job ever would be a horse job, let alone with a trainer like Don Stewart. It’s scary to be on my own and now financially independent. It’s scary to have such a valuable opportunity on the line. But, it’s an opportunity I never thought I would get and I couldn’t be more grateful.
After unpacking and buying groceries, I set my alarm for 7 o’clock to start my first day at 9:00 in the morning (I’m bad at waking up).
I arrived at the farm, after a 30 seconds drive down my driveway and up the farm’s, and sat down with Bibby Farmer Hill, a wonderful trainer at Don’s farm, to discuss my rides for the day. I was originally assigned twelve horses to ride.
My morning then started with rides on Wallstreet, Hemi, Akilles, and Courteous, before I got a 20 minutes break for lunch. After lunch, I headed back to the farm to show horses to potential buyers, along with a few other riders. I rode Hemi again, along with So Money, Stardout, Millennium, and Early. The buyers probably saw about twenty horses before heading out.
After we finished with that, I ended my day by 5:00 with four more rides on Fernleigh, Bastille, Drake, and Romina, and I cleaned more bridles than I could count.
I really can’t believe that my life is now riding horses from 9-5. While riding a total of thirteen horses over the course of eight hours is going to make me very sore tomorrow, I couldn’t be more ecstatic with how today went. I feel so blessed.