It may or may not be something you are aware of, and having said that, it doesn’t even matter really. But this past winter I decided to go training steeplechase horses full time. This after a year or so of “kind of” doing it. I took over a barn with rich history in the heart of Monkton and since then have been learning on the move. The reason I’m telling you this is not simply to fill you in on my life’s goings on but to give you an idea on the thought process I’m dealing with right now.
I get the impression that being a leading NFL coach is a lot like being a steeplechase trainer. Not at my level but the really good guys. I mean have you ever thought while watching football in the winter that these coaches seem to work all the time. Like scouting other teams, running practice, media, trades, injuries and that’s just the stuff we know about. It seems relentless. Well that’s how it is for trainers too.
Except for the 7 figure salary and your players being able to learn their sport by reading a book. The training is only part of the picture, horses have to be happy and healthy. Learn their job and be prepared for 1 big day that they have no idea is a big day to begin with.
At a point, I am hoping to reach that level but for now I’m making do with what I have at Powerstown. (The name of my barn). And with that in mind, I am nearing my first runner of the season. Tubal, who was a nice novice in his first year last year is going to run in the Carolina Cup. So to do that, I put a plan in place and count back the days and try to meet every target along the way. Simple right?
Well for starters, I’ve never ran in or won the Carolina Cup so I’m only guessing at what it takes and also the Maryland winter doesn’t always cooperate with those plans. Not to mention the fact that it’s a stake and everyone with one eligible will be thinking the same as me. So as of today we are 15 days out and my hair is beginning to turn gray. Not because things are going wrong, nothing like that but as a man once said, this is not life or death, no it’s far more serious than that.
I guess in truth, I just want to start with a winner, the season, my life as a trainer and above all for the horse. Because without them, we have nothing. They are the cogs in the wheel, the essential part of a sport that we are lucky to take part in.
I will leave you for now and the next time we chat I guess we’ll know the result of the Cup.