Auburn Equestrian Prepares for the Upcoming Season
Sept. 15, 2009
AUBURN - The Auburn equestrian team will open its fall season this Friday in a doubleheader against Southern Methodist at 10 a.m. and Texas Christian at 3 p.m. at the Auburn Equestrian Center. Auburn junior, Anna Schierholz, writes about how the team is preparing for the upcoming meets and season.
"It was a long summer. For three months, we ran, rode and worked to repeat 2006 and 2008 (in which Auburn won the overall national championship in 2006 and the Hunt Seat title in 2008). Finally, the home opener of the 2009-10 season is upon us, and we couldn't be more enthusiastic. After celebrating a big SEC win Saturday night in football (Gene Chizik's first conference win), we turned our attention to our own team, our own victory and our own preparation.
Sunday afternoon brings a sense of sport. As we arrive at the horse center, the spirit of Auburn still fresh from last night's excitement, we know that today's practice is the first of several that will lead to our season's first two wins. As we prepare our horses for practice, there is a constant audacious chatter.
As we lead our horses to the arenas, we discuss how good we want to ride, how good it would feel to celebrate with a "Bodda Getta" at the end and how we would be one step and one day closer to receiving rings in Jordan-Hare next fall.
Before we get on our horses, we are one unit, working together to function. But, as soon as we get on, our focus shifts. We think, `How can I work the hardest today? How can I win my point? How can I improve so that my team can win?'
During practice, we drill so that perfection is our habit. We pledge that no team will work harder than us. If we don't get it right, we do it again. We watch our teammates closely. We polish, refine, improve and perform.
After we feel confident in our performance for the day, we head back
to the barn. As a team, we complete our barn chores, being sure to leave
our facilities better than we found them. Before we all leave, we listen
to our coaches speak. They preach hard work, support and winning, and we
are reminded that we are Auburn athletes, here to set a precedent.
The next morning, our alarms sound early. We carpool to campus dressed no differently than any other female athletes, arriving at 5:45 a.m. Inside the athletic complex, we all come together to push ourselves through a hard workout. We yell and cheer and get fired up, knowing that no other equestrian team is working as hard as we are right then. We thrive and become closer as we push each other harder.
After workouts and a morning full of class, we are anxious to get back out to the barn. A little rain didn't stop us from practicing. After all, Friday is our day to shine. On this Monday, we know we are just four short days from the opener. We are even more confident in ourselves than before, babbling about starting our season 2-0, taking all four MVPs and winning each section of each meet.
We are Auburn women, and we will represent our university proudly Friday, for win or lose, we believe in work, hard work."
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