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December 21, 2012

An Almost-Musical Year In Review

(Badly) to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (with apologies in advance for some tremendous artistic liberty, i.e., placing it fast and loose with syllabic counting):

In the first month of 2012 The Cosmos gave to me: a tan and some big palm trees.
(This January marked my third Floridian pilgrimage, my second since moving to Virginia, but unquestionably the best. I learned SO much in Florida, but it was also a real turning point, shaking off a crappy 2011 and moving on to bigger and better things.)

In the second month of 2012 The Cosmos gave to me: Midgey's first Grand Prix!
(Yes, it was just a schooling show. But it was the first of many good tests Midge laid down this year at Grand Prix, and it was my first proof of what I've believed since Midge was 5: that he's the best horse I've ever had, and that he'll go all the way.)

In the third month of 2012 The Cosmos gave to me: Stephen Clarke's affections.
(Someday, I hope to meet Mr. Clarke and shake his hand. When I got frustrated this year, I remembered that the man who was a few months away from judging the Olympics declared his love for my weird little horse, and that gave me the confidence to kick on.)

In the fourth month of 2012 The Cosmos gave to me: e-scheduling all my lessons.
(I didn't write a blog about this, but let me tell you - it's the best thing that happened to me this year. The hours I spent scheduling lessons are no more, and this system syncs to my iPhone, so I always know what I'm up to. If you run an appointment-based business, check them out. It'll change your life!)

In the fifth month of 2012 The Cosmos gave to me: the BIGGEST HORSE SHOW EVER!
(I've taken clients to shows before, often having a dozen rides a day, but upwards of 20 rides a day? That was a whole new phenomenon. Of course, by the end of this year it had become old hat, but that show was a first.)

In the sixth month of 2012 The Cosmos gave to me: Stephen Colbert!
(The tiara. The foam fingers. Can we ever thank Mr. Colbert enough for his contribution to dressage? In case you were under a rock for the entire summer, here's Part One and Part Two of that amazing series.)

In the seventh month of 2012 The Cosmos gave to me: Ella's annoying surgeries. 
(Ella's trials and tribulations certainly weren't the highlight of my year. What I am grateful for is that while they were expensive and endlessly time consuming, her injuries were minor. I'm even more grateful that they've healed completely, and she's going brilliantly.

In the eighth month of 2012 The Cosmos gave to me: a great National Championships.
(It certainly didn't go the way I'd hoped, but my trip to the USEF National Developing Horse Grand Prix Championships was a HUGELY educational experience. My bombing-out there has led me to dramatically change my approach to fitness, and I'm seeing that pay off in spades already. And every Grand Prix I ride, every show I attend, I learn more about how far I have to go, and can ride accordingly at home.

In the ninth month of 2012 The Cosmos gave to me: my fifth anniversary
(Five years in this amazing place with these amazing people. Whoda thunkit?)

In the 10th month of 2012 The Cosmos gave to me: 5 BLM wins
(13 riders, 4 days, many miles, many more smiles. We came, saw and conquered Lexington, and lit a fire under the bellies of all my riders for 2013!)

In the 11th month of 2012 The Cosmos gave to me: slick new wheels
(THE JAMCO. The beautiful machine. Hauling with it is a delight, and I'm sleeping at night WAY better knowing how safe my horses are in it.)

In the 12th month of 2012 The Cosmos gave to me: my first 8k
(It was FUN, it was fabulous, and it's lit a fire under my butt to carry me into my triathlon training for next year, which I'm hoping will also do big things for my riding.)

For these, and for all the other things, good and bad…
the scary Hurricane, and our emerging relatively unscathed
- the day where, after consistent weeks of insanity, the girls and I said "screw it" and ran off to lunch instead
- my CDCTA girls smoking the Youth Team Championships while being class acts
- the clinics all over the mid-Atlantic, and all the fun people I've met
- an incredible trip to the Olympics
- Allison achieving her Pony Club Dressage A
… and on, and on, and on. it's been an amazing year. Here's to the next one!

LaurenSprieser.com
SprieserSporthorse.com

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