In an eventing barn especially being a young professional saying "no" is rarely an option. To make it to the top networking is important and to survive financially teaching is vital. Fortunately I like people and I enjoy teaching. But the only way Im able to keep my horses and clients happy is to have above average help. Someone that can think on their feet, make good decisions, work a very long day, be personable to the clients,love the horses and be able to put up with me! It is vital that when Im away from the barn I am confident that the horses are being managed properly or else I can not pay attention to what im doing. I am sad to say that chrissy, my right hand lady has left to pursue another path. I have been so lucky to have her for the last year and I wish her all the happiness in the world! She knows I am her number one fan and will be here if she ever needs me. I also feel like I have someone out there that loves and supports my horses and I even if she is not right here in the barn.
I know the life of a groom is a very difficult one and it takes such a particular person. Every barn is different. Some yards run where the Professional and Groom have no personal relationship it is just a job, some professionals do it all themselves, some that have working students, stall muckers,moms or dads that help. Some barns run 7 am till 4pm no matter what, some run 6am - god knows when, some 5 day weeks some 7 day weeks. All I know is every barn is different in how they handle there staff. I have been very lucky with help. I had my first working student when I was about 21 and we both slept in my goose neck trailer ( with no living just a mattress) and took showers in the barn. Things have changed a bit since and I have over trial and tribulation come up with whats important to me with the work dynamic in my barn.
1. Horses have to be happy, Clients need to be happy, my help needs to be happy and I need to be happy. Communication, hard work, success, sleep, laughter and cups of tea help keep everyone fresh and enjoying the day. Unfortunately it is hard sometimes its hard to achieve all these things when you have a lame horse,no money, a 57 score in a training dressage test, its to hot or its to cold, the footings bad, there are to many horses and not enough fields, there are not enough horses to pay for the fields, your truck has blown up, that one person in the indoor never looks where their going, you dont have an indoor... all these things are why being a groom is even harder because you have to deal with the rider that is dealing with these things and be in a good mood!
I am lucky to say Megan kep ( formally Doug Paynes head girl) has agreed to come on board and take Chrissy's role. Megan and I have been friends since she moved to NJ. She got thrown into the deep end pretty quickly in her first year grooming. She had to learn at rapid pace while traveling to Holland, having up to 8 horses at 1 day competitions, cope with Dougs rapidly growing business and figure out her own personal role and goals in the sport of eventing. She and Doug finished on good terms and I think megans out of the box thinking, problem solving mentality and genuine love of the horses will be a great match for my operation.
oh yes and RIP my Red Truck it has been laid to rest in Norwood,NC after a long battle with... Everything !!
I loved you 2010 but Im excited to get to know you 2011!