I'm not a superstitious person by nature, but there are a few things I take with me to every show, and a few little routines I have that have become a habit. (Don't worry—no lucky socks in dire need of washing.)
I judged a few schooling shows at the Quantico Marine Base stables when I first arrived in Virginia. While there I chatted with a few of the faithful Marine husbands, at the show to support their wives. I forget how we got on the subject, but one told me that there’s a saying that goes around Marine basic training: “Embrace the suck.” It’s boot camp, preparing you for life as an elite warrior—it’s going to suck. And the sooner you accept that it’s going to suck, the easier things get.
It's been nearly a month since my last blog, and a ton has happened, and none of it has been bad.
But you haven't heard from me because in the last month, a ton has happened, and even though none of it has been bad, it has been a ton. I am grateful for the work, so, so grateful. I have terrific horses to ride, for which I am also incredibly grateful. And I have about two more weeks to push through before I get to take a three-day vacation, and man oh man, am I ever grateful!
Understatement of the year: life in the horse business ain't easy. The ups are terrific but the downs can be so, so down—achingly long days, dirt and sweat and blood and tears, life and death and crushed expectations and placing hopes and dreams in the hooves of 1,200-pound prey animals on lean legs.
But those ups. The days where the horses go well. The days were the clients make progress. The big wins. Those are the good days, and the universe has this funny way of handing them to you exactly when you need them.
I've known Ella almost 10 years, so I think I probably know her better than anyone. And while she's quietly confident in herself now, she's terribly introverted, so she probably wouldn't be all that excited about me sharing all of her wonderful little quirks with the world in a blog post.
But: I think she's wonderful, brilliant, and should be shared with the world.
Plus, I have thumbs and she doesn't. So world, meet Ellegria!
I've made the decision to offer my phenomenal 6-year-old, Johnny Road, up for syndication. Johnny's always been one of my favorites, not just because he's got freaky talented legs and a wonderful mind that takes pressure better than any horse I've owned at that age, but because he's my kind of nerdy—he's smart and clever and more than a little obnoxious, and I find that combination tremendously endearing (which probably explains why I'm still single.)
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.
(*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.
As my students all can attest, I've been geeking out all week about an article featuring nuggets of wisdom from Carl Hester. I've been so stoked about it because a) he's awesome, and b) so, so many of the things he highlights in the article are things that I believe in, and preach to my own students.
I'm a child of the modern era. I grew up with the internet, YouTube and smart phones. And while these devices certainly weren't designed with the horse world in mind, they've done plenty to make our lives in the barn just a little bit easier. I've incorporated some really great technology into the way I run my business. Here are a few of my favorite devices, apps and other techno toys that make my business run well.