Day in the Life: Full Training Edition

So I realized that I talked a ton last year about how busy I was, how much time I spent at the barn, balancing everything, blah blah blah we’re all adults and all have to deal with this Olivia calm down. But then I realized that I never really laid out what that schedule looked like for me, and I’m self-indulgent and want to share.

Without further ado, this is what my schedule looked like when Frankie and I were in hardcore mode. Also this is admittedly an idealized version- we all know that things came up and changed day to day. It looked a little different throughout the week, so I’ll walk through what that was.

Tuesday-Thursday

5:30a- up for a workout. Mostly strength work with resistance bands, with some cardio thrown in. The program I used had fantastic 30-40 min workouts that hit that balance for me really well. (I’m using a different program these days that I actually like MUCH more. Still 5:30a wakeups though)

6:30a- grab breakfast, rinse off, listen to music, tidy up the house if necessary. The Spousal Unit does all the cooking around here so I cover dishes, and I’m usually too tired at night. So morning chores it is.

7:05a/7:15a- head to work. I work about 0.75 miles away from our condo, so I try to walk if weather permits. Sometimes I’m lazy or tired or cold or just a useless lump and I’ll drive. Either way, I call my dad to chat with him to start my day off. It’s the best way to kick off my morning.

dad_grazing
He loves his grandpony

7:30a- log in and start working! Regular office hours are 8:30a-5:30p, but I have an alternate schedule to get me in and out a little earlier. My boss and the entire leadership team seem fascinated by the whole horse thing, so they’ve been incredibly supportive and flexible with me.

5:00p- log off and hop in the car. Sit in traffic for a little under an hour to get to the barn. Ugh. I usually call the SO, my mom, my best friend, my sister in law, really anyone to keep me company. I legit hate being in the car so much. If any of you are ever free between 5 and 6pm EST and want to chat, lemme know. I require constant entertainment, and still have this commute most days.

6:00p(ish)- get to the barn, woohoo! During the summer Frankie was outside at night, so I’d either text AT around lunchtime to ask her to keep him in for me, or just go out and get him. He’s a brat and doesn’t come to the gate, so I have to tromp around to collect him. His patented move is to wait for me to come close, then walk a few steps away, then stop and wait for me to halter him. It’s not running away, it’s just enough to be annoying UGH FRANCIS.

IMG_0827.jpg
Can’t even get mad bc he’s the actual cutest

Timing then was flexible. Sometimes I’d hop on right away if the ring was relatively quiet, sometimes I’d wait a bit for it to quiet down. Or for there to be adults in the ring with solid steering. All the horses in the barn are fine with some traffic, but it’s always nice to have a bit more room to spread out. During the week we did a lot of flatwork, sometimes over poles if they were set up, lots of lateral work, extensions/collections/etc. I always tried to go along with whatever gait the lesson is working in to make it easier. Some days I’d head out for a trail ride to cool off, or some days I’d hop on bareback and plop around when we needed a mental break.

8:30/9/9:30p- head out. Usually I’d be off the horse by 8 or 8:30 at the latest, but somehow I almost always got sucked into chatting with my barn friends (still do tbh). They’re a super cool bunch. At this point traffic died down and I could make it home within 25-30 minutes or so.

IMG_2322.jpg
In my rickety old Jeep that had questionable brakes things were fine I lived

Once I was home (between 9-10ish), it was dinner-shower-bed in pretty quick succession. Maybe an episode of something if it was early enough. But I’m an annoying cranky turnip if I don’t get at least 7-8 hours of sleep and my husband is the sleepiest man alive, so bedtime seemed like a better idea.

So that’s Monday through Thursday! The slightly longer workdays meant that Fridays were (and still are) my flex days, which is totally awesome.

Friday

No workout in the morning. Maybe a stretch session, a jog, or a walk. Maybe not.

Log on to my computer around 7:30 or 8am from home. I try to do all my “tasks” earlier in the week, and save my WFH days for the more conceptual stuff- storyboarding, sketching out layouts for new projects, things like that. I have my little workstation set up in our den, but sometimes I’ll curl up on the couch and work there.

IMG_4810
This is my spot and it’s my favorite place to curl up ever

Log off around 11:30/noon. Since I work longer days Mon-Thurs, I only had to put in a few hours on Fridays!

Then it was time to head to the barn. Since 1p doesn’t count as rush hour, I could make it there in 30 min or so.

Friday afternoons were (and sometimes still are) for private lessons. These. Were. Intense. Sometimes these were entirely flatwork, sometimes grid-focused, sometimes jumping. Usually the jumps were fairly small as we focused on skills, but we bumped them up a couple times a month so I could remember how to see a spot to the bigger fences. I was usually gasping for air and had noodle legs by the end. But I also was beaming with satisfaction at what we accomplished.

41236282184_3e556b19da_o
A satisfied Frankfurter. PC- Liz Stout Photography

By the time Frankie was cooled out and put away, other people started to arrive as their kids got out of school/they got out of work. There aren’t usually any lesson kids on Fridays, so it’s the core group. We take turns bringing wine, we watch the juniors ride, we chat, it’s awesome. Friday barn happy hours are the actual best.

Depending on how much I got sucked into happy hour, I’d try to do some grocery shopping on my way home and start doing laundry/cleaning/anything else that I didn’t have time to take care of between Mon-Thurs. Eeeevery once in a while I’d get to see some friends.

Weekends

Weekends were mainly spent with morning/afternoons at the barn, afternoons/evenings at home. Or at horse shows. Everything that normal people do during the week got shoved into these days.

Monday

The weekend of the horse world, right? This was Frankie’s day off, and mine as well by default. This was my day to just go home after work and relax. No chores. No anything. Just hang out at home.

At this point, Frankie was being ridden 6x/week by myself, and 2x/week by AT, getting 1 day off, along with hilly turnout every day. It was certainly hardcore mode for both of us.

So there you have it. That’s what my life looked like for much of 2018.

dailyschedule

It was a great schedule, even when I felt a bit hectic. But I’m sure you can see why it wasn’t particularly sustainable once I added hardcore wedding planning into the mix, and now adding classes into the mix. I’m currently at a more moderate 3-4x/week schedule with Francis and while I certainly miss the drive and focus of 2018, I’m learning to slow down and enjoy the journey in a different way.

Advertisements

A Day in the Life of a Frankfurter

Stealing this idea for content from L!

A little picture into what life looks like for the Big Man.

7-7:30a: Come in from turnout to eat breakfast- grain and hay.
7:30a-12p: Nap. Drink some water. Bother the people cleaning his stall. Nap more.

cn_fri_nap_flat
12p: Enjoy some more lunchtime hay, since he’s managed to hoover up most of his.
12-3:30p: Nap more. Flat out on the side. Naps 4 dayz. Slop some hay into the water buckets for a change of pace.

upp_sat_nap
3:30-4p: Eat dinner grain, then go outside with his buddy Nolan.
4pm-7am: Eat more, play with Nolan, sleep some, ruin blankets, play more.

Repeat.

IMG_1041

On days I show up, he gets to hang out in his stall after dinner for a bit:

3:30-6p: Digest dinner, eat more hay, stare out the window.
6-7p: Get scratchies/groomies/tacked up.
7-8p: Go for a ride. Sometimes a little earlier if traffic allows. Lessons are a full hour, other rides usually are a little shorter.
8-8:30p: Groomies, rinsing when weather permits, more scratchies. Then outside with Nolan again.

Around November we’ll switch the horses to daytime turnout, which means they’ll get turned out after breakfast and come inside for the night at dinner time.

Frankie will only stay in when weather forces it- a real downpour, temps extremely low, thunderstorms, things like that. He’ll still go out in a drizzle, and I love that he gets solid playtime every day along with social time with his little herd. Yes, he comes in with dings and scrapes sometimes from playing too hard, but I figure horses will manage to hurt themselves no matter what, and this way he at least gets plenty of benefit out of it.

And of course on the weekends, I go during the day and rudely interrupt Frankie’s naptime. I’m a mean mom.

jtc_sat_napkiss

Pretty much our whole schedule revolves around naps. Hey, it’s hard work being such an awesome pony!

Next Season

“Olivia, it’s only August!” “Olivia, live in the moment!”

NO.

I am seriously so freakin’ excited for next season already, I just have to share some of the plans.

First of all, we will be kicking off next season with a bang in Ohio. I snuck this into my sidebar, but Frankie and I will be heading over to WEC in February! We had a barn powwow about whether or not we wanted to do Ocala this year vs WEC, and the unanimous consensus was to head west instead of south. It’s closer to home- less stress on the horses, easier to get there, CHEAPER to get there. It’s overall cheaper- in like, every way. There’s a great variety of classes. Because it’s so much more accessible in terms of location and price, we should have a bigger group able to go. We’ve all heard only stellar reviews from people who have competed there. AND IT’S CHEAPER. Did I say that yet? All y’all that live within driving distance of Ohio will have to come visit us!

Our other big exciting plan for the year is two weeks up in Lake Placid next June/July! We’ll be doing the I Love New York/Lake Placid shows. Our barn went a few years ago for one week and loved it, so this year we’re heading back for both weeks. It’ll be a nice escape from the Virginia heat and we’ll get to see some really world class riders go. I’m hoping some of my family will take the excuse for a vacation and get a lake house up there- it would be the perfect mix of competing and vacation! I’ve never been but I’m already so excited.

This will definitely require some creative scheduling- I do not, in fact, have unlimited vacation time. My boss has given the thumbs up for me to work remotely when I’m in Ohio at least part time, and as long as that works decently she’s OK with me doing that next summer as well. It’ll also require careful budgeting, so I’m already in savings mode to prepare. Sometimes I think about all the vacations I could take and shoes I could buy if I didn’t like horse shows so darn much…

We’ll fit in some closer-to-home shows next summer as well- I’m hoping we can do either Upperville or Loudoun Benefit again, do some Lexington shows, head to Prince George’s, etc. We haven’t decided whether we’re going to try for Regional Finals again, since we’re going to play next year by ear as to which division we’re competing in. This year was a very definite “move up” year and I expect 2018 to be more of a transition. We may move up and down depending on how we feel. Heck, I may even finally make it into an equitation class like I’ve been talking about for years. Trainer tactfully changes the subject every time I bring up doing a hunter derby so that might be a hard pass (Why doesn’t she doesn’t think my paddle-moving-llama-pony can win in the hunters???! I don’t get it?1?!). I still plan on us working hard to get after it, but I’m less married to my division for next year.

Frankie and I can’t wait! Well. I can’t wait. Frankie is just happy to be here.

Weekly/Daily Schedules

Woohoo for schedules! When I first got Frankie I was a little lost- I get to ride whenever I want??? (Seriously Olivia what did you think happens when you own a horse). I’m a creature that craves structure, so I came up with the following: a tentative outline for our rides for the week, and a tentative outline for our hacks. There will likely never be a full week that we go with this schedule, and I doubt we will ever stick to my hour-long outline perfectly, but that’s ok! This is just to help guide me to make sure Frankie is getting worked consistently without being over-taxed, and we’re working on what we need to work on.

frankie_napping
POOR THING IS EXHAUSTED AT 4PM ON A SATURDAY AFTER WORKING FOR 20 MINUTES ON FRIDAY OH NO SO OVERWORKED

Weekly Schedule

Sunday– Fun day. Trail ride, bareback, etc. Clean and condition tack
Monday– Hard hack, 1 hr. Check everything for wear and needed repairs
Tuesday– Day off
Wednesday– Lesson (jumping)
Thursday– Light hack (30 min) just to stretch legs OR fun day. Clean and condition tack.
Friday– Hard hack (1 hr)
Saturday– Medium hack (45 min). Tidy up trunk.

Summary: Frankie is in work 6 days a week, one of which is jumping and the rest with varying levels of intensity. I talked to my trainer about the frequency of riding and we agreed that he’s in fantastic shape (shout out to his eventing barn for doing conditioning sets with him!) and this type of schedule will work well to maintain muscle without over-stressing him. I’ll be taking any opportunity to get outside the ring for any of these days- we often use a big turnout to hack in, there are lots of trails nearby, etc. Once we start showing on the weekends he will get time off after each show to recover.

I wipe down my tack after every ride, but they get more thorough TLC 2x a week. My trunk is pretty neat and I intend to keep it that way, and especially now that blanket season is over it’s pretty quick to give my gear the once-over for any problems showing up.

And before I forget to mention- Frankie gets a minimum 30 minute (usually longer) grooming session every time I hop off. He’s just too pretty, I can’t resist!

frankie_trot

60 minute flatwork

0-10: Walk on a loose rein all over the ring- circles, changing directions, get our muscles moving.
10-20: Trot on a loose rein. Lots of 2-point, no stirrups, serpentines and circles and changes of bend, slowly asking for more contact as we get moving.
20-30: Walk/trot/halt transitions on a contact with a little lateral work thrown in there. Lots of extensions/collections plus transitions between gaits.
30-40: Canter work, including lots of extensions/collections.
40-50: More dedicated lateral work. For now mainly at the walk and a little at the trot, but we’ll up the difficulty as we go.
50-55: Stretchy trot.
55-60: Walk, preferably outside the ring

 45 minute flatwork

0-10: Walk on a loose rein
10-20: Walk/trot/halt transitions, slowly asking for more contact
20-30: Canter work
30-35: Lateral work, extensions/collections
35-40: Stretchy trot
40-45: Walk

Again, these are just frameworks! This is what’s working well for Frankie and me for where we are right now- tuning up our transitions within gaits and our lateral work. I’m trying to be very conscious of letting our warm-ups take plenty of time and building up the intensity slowly. Certain days we tweak it to spend extra time on one thing or another as necessary. Frankie is a very relaxed, confident horse and I want to do everything in my power to keep it that way. I don’t plan to be the person that makes him tense and anxious.

So there you have it. Frankie is working hard and loving it. We had a great hour long ride earlier this week and even though we were both sweating and tired by the end, he was still stepping out with his energetic walk and ready for more!

How do you plan your rides? Do you have a standing “framework” or do you make your plan based on where you are that day?