It’s literally been months since I posted last, though I’ve not forgotten totally about this blog. I’ve started probably dozens of posts, only to let them sit in the drafts folder forever. I’m not 100% that I’ll keep this thing going, but we’ll see.
I don’t really want to talk too much about Pilgrim just yet, at least until I can have something nice to say. So I’m going to steal this post idea from Hillary at Equestrian at Hart, who asked “What’s your after work barn routine?”
To keep Pilgrim living the lifestyle to which he is now accustomed to, I work full-time, sometimes more than full-time, and my schedule can be erratic. I’m the executive director of a non-profit, which means I’m the boss so anything that goes wrong I get to fix. The nice thing is that since I’m the boss I also make my own schedule, so I try my hardest to get out of the office no later than 4:30, usually bringing my computer home with me to work at night. Though the barn is by my house, it’s 30 minutes from the office, and traffic gets messy if I leave later.
Lessons at the barn start at 5:30 and go until about 8 PM. Most days the 5:30 lesson consists of 5+ riders, which can be a pain. So on days that I don’t get to the barn until 5, sometimes I’ll just wait until 6:30, when there’s usually less riders in that lesson.
Anyways, when I get there I always go say hi to P first and give him a carrot.
Then I go to my trailer and change out of work clothes and spend 5+ minutes struggling to pull up my breeches (summers in NC suck). Then I stick my clothes back in my truck and head back in the barn to get everything ready.
I pull out my saddle, bridle, running martingale (new addition to the tack collection thanks to P’s recent behavior) and grooming tote, and set them up by the grooming stall. Then I go to my tack trunk in front of the stall and change into paddock boots/chaps while P stares at me, and typically throws his halter at me.
Next I bring P out and attempt to groom him to somewhat acceptable standards. We board at a hunter/jumper barn and even the school horses are expected to be groomed to perfection for a lesson. Of course all but 1 are bay, so I struggle with this a bit more than the lesson clients and usually don’t have time to get him gleaming. Especially if I’ve managed to get there in time to ride before the 5:30 lesson. If that’s the case, I pick feet, run a brush over him quickly, and tack up at warp speed to get out before the crowd.
Then we ride!
Our rides, particularly in the last couple months, vary from 10 minutes to 1 hour. Sometimes we fight for an hour to get a trot circle without an explosion, some days we w/t/c/jump perfectly and call it a day in 20 minutes.
Since it’s still 90+ degrees here, P always gets at least hosed off afterwards, which he hates. Even if he’s hot, he won’t stand still unless it’s lukewarm water. So I usually hose myself off first while the water is cold (I’m fairly certain the h/j kids think I’m feral), then add the warm water in for Princess P. If I have 5 minutes, I stick the purple shampoo in his tail every chance I get to keep the white part as clean as possible.
Then I throw the sweaty saddle pad in the bed of my truck to take home and wash, and put my tack away. I’m the worst at cleaning it, and am usually running short on time, as it’s either 6 PM or 8 PM, depending on which lesson I chose to ride during, so tack cleaning happens on weekends.
Luckily my husband is the chef of the home, so he’s usually got dinner going by the time I get home. I do homework with my older son, who’s in 3rd grade, and then he and I and the 2 year old read a book until dinner. After dinner, which is usually around 8, the kids can watch TV until 9:30 and I go shower and pack my bags for the next day. Kids and I are in bed by 9:30 and I usually do some work, read, or catch up on shows on the iPad until 10:30 or so. I get up at 5:30 every morning to be at the gym by 6, except on Wednesdays, where I’m up at 4:30 to meet my coach at the gym at 5. So sometimes I don’t even make it to 10:30!