Lauren wrote a deeply personal piece for NoelleFloyd.com, a leading equestrian lifestyle magazine, about the ups and downs of being a professional rider, and how social media can both make it seem much sunnier, and communicate truth. For more information on the Red White & Blue (Ribbon) Club, click here.
I was hiking with a friend and student of mine, an amateur rider who brought her last horse up to the FEI-level in dressage. Her next project is a young, athletic Warmblood mare who was, at the time, hissing and spitting about the application of leg, as the young and athletic Warmblood mares of the world have been known to do.
“I’d be a little panicked,” she said as we scrambled over hill and dale, “if I hadn’t known you for a decade and watched you suffer through Midge and Ella and Fender and Danny and Dorian’s five-, six-, and seven-year-old years when they were teenage dirtbags. And they all worked out. So I have faith.”
It’s a sentiment I hear often. I’ve been writing a blog for the “Chronicle of the Horse” for 10 years, a decade that has seen many a young horse come into my life, behave like a doofus for a while, then finally accept the rules of life and grow up to be a perfectly delightful international horse either for myself, an amateur, or a kid. I’ve also brought their stories out into the world through my personal blog, and at least once a week I get an email from someone who tells me that the stories of my idiot young horses growing up gives them hope for their rogue youngster. I love writing, and I’ve used the medium to share both the ups and downs of life as a dressage trainer, of which there are many.
In these internet-fueled times, where much of our time and energy is spent on social media, it’s easy to get caught in Wonderland, taking everyone’s Facebook and Instagram lives as reality. I can’t imagine how it must feel to be the average amateur rider, dealing with the frustrations and plateaus of training with their one horse on whom they focus their attention (and, accordingly, base their happiness), only to see on Facebook a pretty picture of me frolicking on Elvis in the field. That moment I posted for the world to see is a sunny view of my life, but I promise you, things are not always as rosy as they appear. What they don’t see is Puck had a fat leg that day, Swagger is two inches taller behind at the moment, and I’m dealing with having gained 10 pounds since I hurt my back this winter. On the flipside, I’m thrilled to death because I have two new working students, which brings an end to me running my barn at 50% staff. And that’s just this month.
Read the rest at Noelle Floyd.