British show jumper Charly Edwards specialises in breaking in and producing young horses for the sport. Charly lives on her own yard in Hampshire, England. In Charly’s own words, here’s what a day in the life looks like for a professional rider.
“My alarm goes off at 6:30am, I try to aim to get at least seven hours sleep a night. The day starts with Mike (my boyfriend’s) alarm going off, and he is always out of bed first, he is more of a morning person than me! I go downstairs, feed the dogs, (we have four), drink coffee. We usually start the day with a run which is five to eight km, depending on the route.
“We get back, cook breakfast, shower and get dressed, usually after running, me or Mike cook an egg-based breakfast. I am very much a breakfast person. Mike and I eat breakfast together every morning and it calms my brain for the day ahead. My head can be very manic, and he is a massive calming influence on me. If I have a busy day ahead, I talk it through with him.
“The girls who work for me start work at 8am, and I am usually on the yard by then if I am not doing emails. I start riding at 9am and I send a list to the girls as to what order I am riding the horses in, and they get them ready for me. The girls who work for me have their lunch hour at 12pm – 1pm. I try to stop for lunch with them and sit and eat with them. I think being a team is very important. I usually cook some chicken and have salad with it, or some soup. Sometimes I stop later for lunch if I have a personal training session. I try to run six days a week, and I also have a personal trainer five days a week for weight training. We are lucky in the fact we have made a gym on the yard, so that she comes to me.
“Afternoons are usually spent riding the rest of the horses or coaching, or any paperwork that needs doing. I try to snack on healthy things. I only snack if I get hungry, and try to snack on high protein bars.”
“Mike gets home from work at 6:30pm and during the week I have dinner cooked. We try to eat very healthy and clean, and I enjoy cooking. After dinner we go for a walk around the fields and see all the horses. Then we sit down, and just relax and watch something on Netflix. I like to think my time management is good, I have a great team around me which makes everything a lot easier. Mike is someone I cannot do without. I never used to have any days off until I met him, and he has made me realise just how important they are for not burning out.”
“On competition days it depends on what time we are leaving, but the whole day is then geared up towards myself and the horses being able to perform at peak performance levels.”