Spring in Aiken : Part 1

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I’ve been sharing so many product reviews , and the Holidays were packed with gift guides, I thought it would be a good idea to transition into 2021 with a new small series narrating my time quarantined in Aiken.

After spending the past few months working between my apartment, competing, and then back to my parents, I thought I could be more efficient with my time and gain a few more lessons based in Aiken. It’s just under 3 hours back to the office, and what’s driving back once a week? So, this past Saturday I moved Huckle, Frye, and almost everything I owned to Aiken where I’ll be working with/for Allison Springer and her team. She found an open stall at Sandy Hills Farm, and it’s the most perfect setup within hacking distance to her base at Fox Frolic. Huckle and I are staying with her groom and working students on the farm, which makes it the most convenient to ride, work, and try to balance my “Real Job” while revisiting my “working-student” career.

Day To Day

My typical day resembles the average working student gig. (My barn girls at home would be astonished I’ve actually responded to my AM alarms!) I try to be OUT of bed before 6:30 AM, I set layers and layers of clothes out the night before, and it almost takes a full 10 minutes to put them all on to face the cold outside. Then, I can drive over to Frye, bring her in for breakfast, and drive back to start helping the girls with morning chores by 7. We finish morning chores, and I’ve so far been able to get the first horse flatted or hacked before 10AM, when I pull out my laptop to start working. Whereas at home, I’d meander and snail pace get work done throughout the day, minutes are precious right now, so I sit myself down, ear buds in, and type for a full two hours. At about noon, I ‘ll leave my laptop out, but start to help the girls again and go feed Frye her lunch. (The farm is so close, even Huckle can walk over with me!) Allison is riding or teaching so we’ll hack the horses, lesson, or get hers ready to ride. By 3, the horses are finishing, eating dinner, turned out, and we get the barn clean and organized. Once the barn is done, I’ll drive back over to Frye to clean her stall, organize her grain for the next day, and get her ready for the evening. Between 530-630, I normally pull back into the house, pull out my laptop and start working again. My goal is to finish my work by 8/830, so I can spend the last hour doing more accounting work for one of my sponsors and work on the blog. 10PM, bed.

Thoughts

I am exhausted, constantly cold, and I think I’m allergic to horses! (Really, can you develop allergies as an adult? I’m in hives, have swollen eyes, it’s a whole thing.) But, I’m also having the most fun. The team is so fun to work with, so even while I’m typing as fast as I can on my laptop each night, hanging out with the girls is great company. Plus, they’ve welcomed Huckle. The biggest change has definitely been my attention to time-management and wasted time. I haven’t scrolled through Instagram or spent the last hour before bed scrolling TIkTok since I’ve arrived. I have a full-time job, that has to be done, and done well. So the minutes I’m not at the barn, I’m on my laptop working until 10. To be frank, It’s actually been a really healthy change. WIll I eventually break? Maybe. But, to not have those down times during the day after a few months of so much down-time and feeling restless to do something, I feel like I’m on Whole 30, but for life.

Riding

I really want to cover all my thoughts, and the exercises I’m working on with Allison. But, I’ll do a Part 2. I’ve had really tough lessons, but for me, it’s so exciting to be in my current very lost, but very hungry riding state. It’s almost a relief to be a “little bad,” and know I have so many things I can work on to be better. I’m not capped out with mediocre results, there’s things and exercises I can do to fix it. That might make little sense, and I do want to write about the logistics of what I’ve taken away from my first two lessons, but I think sometimes having a lesson where you mess up or aren’t perfect can be really beneficial. I’m having mediocre results right now in competitions, so if I have so much to take away, just imagine the results and rideability I’ll have once I get all of this down! And we will. (Maybe I’m just in the honeymoon phase,; I’m just excited to be here.)

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