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July 2, 2015

George Morris, Uncomfortable Situations And Losing To Win

The whole drive I had been chugging Red Bull and giving myself pep talks about developing a thicker skin while anxiously surfing my XM radio. A few weeks earlier I had been having some conversations with peers about our need to cross-country school more often and in more “uncomfortable” situations. It’s pretty easy to set everything up to go according to plan while schooling, and often that is important, but if you’re looking to sharpen your instincts for a championship competition there’s only so much trotting back and forth over a ditch that’s going to help you. 

June 26, 2015

Soaring With Eagles

The tragic passing of Guillaume Pucci has been heavy in my heart and mind since I first heard the news. I did not know him personally, but I know that we shared the same passion for horses and our sport; the loss of this fellow competitor has brought about hard questions that are nearly impossible to answer.

June 25, 2015

Back In The Ring With WakeUp

I guess there will always be ups and downs in dressage and in life. So we need to celebrate the good times as much as possible, right?!

Last weekend was one of those times to celebrate. I’ve been ecstatic to have WakeUp back and working, but last weekend was a milestone. He went back to the show ring earning a 71.70 percent in the Developing Grand Prix and a 72.8 percent in the Grand Prix.

June 24, 2015

A Day In The Life: Timeline Of A DIY Grand Prix Day

5:15 a.m.

Time to get up! Nikki needs breakfast, and she’ll be quite upset if she’s not one of the first ones to eat. Momma Pope and I can be out the door in about 15 minutes (most of which is wasted by me looking for socks).

We hurry out the door and hop in the truck. Momma drives while I try to put on my boot rubbers in the constraints of the passenger seat. We call this the early morning pretzel routine because I am incapable of thinking to put the rubbers on before we are en route to the Mid States Summer show in Mason City, Iowa for the $20,000 Grand Prix.

June 24, 2015

Amateurs Like Us: Making Healthy Choices

Before becoming pregnant, I like, many horse people, could be accused of making some questionable health choices. How long has that yogurt been sitting out in the hot truck? I’m sure it’s still fine, and I’m starving! Can’t feel my arm after a fall? Just take ibuprofen. It will get better.

However, now that my health decisions are impacting someone far more fragile than me, I am at least trying to be more cautious.

June 15, 2015

Tie Me Up

Social media is funny. Every now and then I'll write a blog that I think is AWESOME, really knocking it out of the park, and it'll get almost no response. And every now and then, I'll flippantly post a funny little photo on my Facebook or Instagram page, and it'll go viral.

June 12, 2015

New Horizons... Again

Some days I think somebody should pinch me because I’m finally making a living doing what I love: riding talented horses and teaching fun and supportive clients. On some days I travel to up to five barns and over 100 miles to ride and teach, which can be tiresome but also provides a great variety; no two days are the same.

June 12, 2015

How Ella Got Her Groove Back*

(*Before we begin, an author's note: I came up with this blog's clever title as a reference to the late 90s rom-com, but really, it should be called "How Lauren Got Her &#$! Together And Is, Slowly But Surely, Learning How To Ride Her Nice Horse." But that has less of a ring to it. Carry on.)

Ella came home with me in January of 2006. She was 5. I was 21. Neither of us had any idea what we were doing.

June 11, 2015

Finding Horses In My Travels

It’s been a while since my last blog, mainly because I couldn’t seem to come up with anything besides complaining about the weather. It wasa long winter, but one way I avoided the winter blues was by traveling as much as possible. 

June 10, 2015

Amateurs Like Us: Babies And Horses And Fears, Oh My!

People decide to have or not to have children for 10 million reasons, but for every horsewoman I’ve spoken to, that decision has an extra complication. There’s no getting around the fact that you’ll have to take some time off from riding in order to birth a child.

Also, like many horsewomen I know, I’m not someone who always wanted a baby. I know exactly what to do with a poop-stained tail or a colicky horse. Try handing me a toddler with a tummy ache and a dirty diaper, and I’ll probably just laugh at you.