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July 24, 2012

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Lauren and Midgey's busy schedule includes a week at "camp" before the USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Championships. Photo by Susan J. Stickle.

Tuesday, 7/24-Friday, 7/27: The usual 16-or-so hour days.

Fender, who has anhidrosis, is my first horse of the day, usually by 6 a.m., depending on how hot it's going to be. His case is fairly mild, and we treat him with beer (the finest of the fine, Natural Light; lucky guy). Next up, in no particular order, are Midge and Ella (wahoo!), though this week Allison will get a lesson on all three of them, since she'll be in charge of all of them when I'm gone in August. More on that later. Then Allison, Molly, Molly (yes, I have two employees named Molly this week. The younger (by, I think, 5 years, and neither is old!) is up from Wytheville for 10 days with her wonderful horse) and I will ride any of these whose owners' don't come for a lesson: Caz, Strap, Bo, Rochet, Roadie, Indy, Kodi, Tres, Lobel, Splash and Chippy. Whew.

I start teaching at 9:30 a.m. and, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, go until 8:15 p.m., usually without much in the way of breaks. Wednesdays and Fridays I'm in Middleburg in the afternoons and Allison teaches at home until the wee hours. And then we do it all again.

Saturday, 7/28-Sunday, 7/29: The Youth Team Championships at Morven Park, where I'll be coaching the mighty CDCTA Team. This year's team looks smokin' good, and even if they weren't, paying it forward is one of the highlights of my year. I'm excited!

Monday, 7/30: A minor miracle: a day off. Cue the frantic doing of laundry, seeing the acupuncturist and chiropractor, and general pandemonium to get ready for…

Tuesday, 7/31-Thursday, 8/2: My last few days at home before the chaos really descends. My lesson schedule is jammed already and sure to only get crazier, since this will be my last time at home until the end of August.

Friday, 8/3-Saturday, 8/4: Midge, Ella, Allison and I will head up to Michael's. Ella will hopefully get the all-clear to be in full work by this point, which will be up to Allison for the next three weeks. Michael and I are going to work together to prepare her for the red girl, who's not difficult by any stretch; we're both just very particular about how she's ridden. Allison is more than qualified for that job. For Midge, it's the last bit of instruction before he gets to spend a week with Allison and Molly hacking and fluffing around in the snaffle.

Sunday, 8/5-Saturday, 8/11: Pip, pip, cheerio, it's off to London I go! My amazing mom scored us dressage tickets and a sweet place to stay (a friend of hers lives blocks from Greenwich. Shut the front door!). I will be blogging, Instagramming, Facebooking and Tweeting like a fiend, not to mention getting very inspired for…

Sunday, 8/12: …wait for it! First, a day at home to frantically (again) do laundry, unpack, repack, and hopefully NOT get the flu I usually get when I travel on airplanes for more than a few hours. Cue the consumption of much zinc. Because I'll need to be in top shape for...

Monday, 8/13-Monday, 8/19: …Boot camp! Midge and I will spend a week at Michael's getting polished to a shine. I hope. Either that or I'll be whimpering in the fetal position, but I hope not. Midge is an awfully good man in a storm.

While in Jersey I get to do a few fun things besides ride, work out and fret. I'm going to meet with my buddies at RJ Classics to talk about ideas for new additions to their dressage line (email me suggestions!). And I hear I'm giving some kind of talk at Skylands Saddlery, too.

Tuesday, 8/20-Sunday, 8/26: Illinois! I'm actually not sure when we're leaving exactly, but Michael; his assistant trainer, Justin; Wyatt, the fabulous Dutch gelding Justin has qualified for the Developing PSG Championships; Midge; and myself will head off to Lamplight Equestrian Center, my old stomping grounds. Fun fact: I did my first horse show at Lamplight. I was 11, and got a 39 percent at Intro A. I've learned a few things since then, I hope.

Another fun fact: I'll miss my 10-year high school reunion by a few days. I'm actually really bummed about that - I'm one of those freak shows who actually liked high school.

Monday, 8/27: the long drive home, followed by…

Tuesday, 8/28: …a full day of work. No rest for the wicked!

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