Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Welcome to Virginia by Kate Berta

Well, I guess I should start off with an introduction. My name is Kate Berta. I am currently 21 years old and a senior at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky, where I am a double major in Exercise Science and Psychology. I really have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my majors when I graduate, but my parents more than myself hope I figure that out really soon. I started riding when I was six years old and have not looked back. I wish I could tell everyone this really cool story about how I got involved horses, like my mom was a upper level rider and my dad trained horses, but that’s definitely not the case. My parents only really like horses because it’s a part of my life. I can’t tell you why I started riding, all I can say is it’s in my blood.

Anyways, moving on from myself, I currently compete two horses, Brandenburg’s Lucky Charm “Bailey” and Bourbon. Bailey is an 11 year old ISH gelding I bought in 2006 and have gone Intermediate on. Bailey and I have had some setbacks but now are on our way back up the levels. Bourbon is a 5 year old TB gelding who never raced and isn’t even tattooed. I bought Bourbon a year ago as a resale project and he has gone from greenie to training in a year. I am so proud of Bourbon and seeing the progress he has made is very satisfying as an owner and rider.

So now that you have had the spark notes introduction of my team and I, you are probably wondering why I got asked to write this blog. Well, I am currently a working student for Stephen Bradley in Boyce, VA and I’m here to tell you about my experience with Stephen. I arrived here at Long Branch Farm on May 24 and will be staying here till about Aug 4 when I have to venture back to KY to finish school. Our day usually goes like this:

6:30- Wake up.
7:00- Start morning chores (Bringing in horses, feed, muck stalls, hay, water, blow vac. All the normal fun stuff around the barn)
9:00ish- Stephen usually arrives and we tack up horses for Stephen and then once he gets done with his horses then we usually have our lessons and ride the horses we get to ride that day
3:00pm- PM feeding
6:30pm- Turnout

We usually stay pretty busy but since there are 4 working students, including myself, it goes by pretty fast. Stephen has already taught me so much. Because I am an upper level rider majority of my lessons and fine tuning my instincts and teaching me new exercises to improve the way that particular horse goes and how to be a softer rider in my aids. Stephen has also taught me a lot about how to pay attention to finer detail. I have been extremely lucky to be able to ride and learn from Stephen and recommend him to anyone.

Our next show that Stephen and the team will attend will be Maryland Horse Trials II, but until then I will keep everyone updated on our adventures here at Long Branch Farm and Team SS Bradley.

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