Lauren has finally returned from her trip to The exotic and yet achingly familiar place of her birth in Florida. Evidenced by her boots left lying on my kitchen counter her first night home, the farrows of her boot’s sole lined with fine, white Florida sand, she walked (and rode) many miles during her stay at the Wellington Equestrian Festival (WEF).
And we have missed her. As much as Ally stepped up to perform an outstanding job on everything at the barn and the farm, we were all glad to know Lauren was home. Ally was in many was a better manager and keeper of my clan than Lauren but in the way a new, eager (not yet exhausted and broken) employee steps in at the holidays to work retail. I know we will miss the little extas that Ally provided us with while she was our barn manager.
From Ally’s perspective, the whole event climaxed on her last day to cover Lauren with an extreme bloody horse injury, and Ally was eager to hand the muck rake back to her sister. But I also feel that Ally learned a few things in this process.
- Like how much work was really entailed in this job of her sister’s. The sneak attacks that hit you just when you think the day is done and a horse goes down to colic or rain drives all the horses back to the barn just as you have completed turn-out. Nothing like walking a mile in someone else’s shoes to appreciate what their life is really like!
- Blood has never been Ally’s thing. Any mention of following in her other sister’s footsteps to be in the medical profession have always fallen on deaf ears. But when Ally had to handle literally buckets of blood she did so readily (although she did gag a lot) and Thank God she was there!
Lauren, likewise, learned a bit about the real lives of top equestrians. Through her days circulating through Grand Prix Village (on an actual imported Grand Prix horse) or working as the trainer’s aide, she learned immense amounts about hard work. And not just her work either. The riders she saw had worked years and years, lifetimes in the saddle, to be as good as they were. She learned there were no short-cuts to fame.
You all have read about Lauren’s friend Caitlyn. You can search this blog for stories of Caitlyn’s many horse shows (Harrisburg, Washington Invitational, Maclay rounds, West Coast Talent Search) and hundreds of rides right here in Texas. Lauren is a couple years older than Cate but Cate has spent way more time in the saddle and at the big shows perfecting her art than Lauren has. In all my years in the horse industry, while I have known many to ride at WEF, I have never had a real relationship with anyone who won at WEF. Like, I have never really known them-they were a top rider that I had heard about in the media.
This is exactly what Caitlyn and her horse Ky did! I was thrilled to hear of them winning a class-how exciting is that? But to come back and place high enough to win the whole division and be GRAND CHAMPION AT WEF, well, that was quite the way to end the show.
A ride with all the other grand champions on Sunday, in the International Ring, was the icing on the cake. To ride in the arena where so many greats of sport had ridden before her was unimaginable thrill.
On a side note for those of you that like the star factor, Mary Kate Olson (yes, Full House Mary Kate) rode against Caitlyn in her division. She rode not one horse, but four of the best horses that money could buy, but Caitlyn was there to win and had the experience to do so.
Finally, back home with Maui Jim and friends, I told Lauren how good he had been. No eating FitBits or chewing shoes. I wasn’t missing my glasses either. I thought we had finally passed over puppyhood and he was getting to be an adult.
Then I got this text:
We will let you know how the power of God is effecting Maui.
As always, thanks for riding along!