Thursday, April 28, 2011

First Horse Inspection at Rolex by Kaylin Medlin

I've been here since Monday night with my trainer Susan Beebee who is competing in her first Rolex. We arrived around 11:30pm from Southern Pines, NC and I don't think I've stopped working since we arrived.

Yesterday was an easy day because there wasn't much going on. I had time to figure out where some things were on the grounds and to get into a good flow with the horses. The weather has been a little touchy since we arrived, but the worst of it was today. We were evacuated for about an hour for a tornado warning. Everyone - horses, dogs and people - had to go to the Alltech Arena to wait out the storm. The horses had been a little anxious this morning before we were told to evacuate. Guess they could sense the change in the weather. It was a crazy scene inside the arena with all of those horses standing around. Thankfully most of the horses were good, (there were a few who managed to run around loose).

Once the tornado warning expired, we had to hurry back to the barns to get ready for jog. Yesterday they had changed the time to 10am to try and avoid bad weather we were supposed to get this afternoon. Well, because of the bad weather this morning, the jog got pushed back to 11am.

Thankfully Prowler was already braided, so all I had to do was finish cleaning him up and get him up to the jog lane. Susan got dressed while I got Prowler ready. While I took Prowler up to wait his turn, the sun came out and the skies cleared. Prowler was passed and Susan has the "all clear" to compete.

It's a little strange being the youngest groom at Rolex, but at the same time it's really exciting. Susan is stabled next to Boyd Martin so we get to see he and his wife Silva. There are lots of people always around and I always get nervous when I speak to someone for the first time. These are the same people I've been looking up to for the last few years and never thought I'd get to meet them, let alone pitch in and help them or have them call me by name!

Tomorrow is dressage day one. Susan doesn't go till Friday, but we will have another full day ahead of us. I'm in the barn by 7am and out (sometimes) by 6pm. Grooms are the hardest working people behind the scenes. It is something that I hope I will never take for granted when I have a groom. For those that do have grooms, I hope you share with them how much you appreciate their hard work. It's hard work being a groom, but definitely something everyone should do.

I'm very excited to be here. It's a fantastic learning experience and one I will never forget. Someday I'll be back to compete here myself. I can't wait!!!! Hopefully the rain is gone by tomorrow. I think it's safe to say we are all sick of this crazy weather!

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