Young grand prix rider Callie Schott, who works with John and Beezie Madden, is giving Chronicle readers a sneak peek into the daily life of a top jumper barn in her blogs. Her first blog talked about the Breeder's Bridge To High Performance contest, and Callie was featured in the Chronicle's article The Path To Grand Prix Is Paved With Hard Work.
I get asked quite often what it’s like working for John and Beezie Madden and what it takes to be successful in this business. I think a look at my daily schedule during the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Fla., gives a pretty good picture of life in this business. The past few years with John Madden Sales have shown me that a daily commitment and constant passion for the sport are necessary to find success.
A Typical Day For Me
On a normal day I wake up between 4:45 to 5 a.m. I share a house here in Wellington with several of my co-workers, which is close to the show grounds. I get to the barn between 5:30 a.m. and 6.
I start by checking the showing orders of go for all of our horses and our “outside” horses. Outside horses are those not at our barn, but with clients that we also are involved in training or supervising.
Based on the orders of go, John, Beezie and I will make any modifications to the plan we made the night before for all the horses. We make changes about who will be at the ring with each horse, who will teach which student, and who will ride what horse.
Next is setting jumps in our arena at the farm for schooling and lessons that day. John normally has a precise plan for the jumps each day that we follow.
After the ring is ready, if I have time, I may spend some time dusting or cleaning in the barn or get my first horse ready. If the day's schedule is really tight, one of my co-workers will have gotten my first horse ready while I was setting fences. I’m normally on my first horse by 6:30-7 a.m. on a show day.
The majority of the day is filled with more riding and walking courses, for me or students. In between schooling horses, I also juggle showing, teaching and helping Beezie or our students at the show ring. On a typical day, I probably sit on between six and eight horses a day.
We end each day with a wrap-up. I help with any loose ends in the barn (cleaning tack, picking up jumps, sweeping, etc.), then do the daily list for the horses for the next day with John and Beezie and make sure all is organized for the next morning. The daily list is a handwritten page detailing each horse's schedule posted in the barn that John, Beezie, I, our clients and all the grooms and other riders or working students use to organize their day.
On days without night classes, we leave the barn around 6 p.m. Days with night classes, we don’t finish up until nearly 10 p.m. On days that end earlier or are lighter show days, I may also end up helping with paperwork for billing or entries or spending some time reviewing entries for the Breeder’s Bridge contest. We are now at over 50 entries and some look quite promising.