Monday, Sep. 25, 2023

Day 1 At Gladstone: A Step-By-Step Guide

2:48 am: Wake up. Look at clock. Roll over and go back to sleep.

3:12 am: Repeat.

3:51 am: And again.

4:02 am: And again.

4:11 am: Give up. Brush teeth. Check email. Make a sandwich for the road. Turn on TV. Turn off TV.

5 am: Sneak downstairs, making as little noise as possible, to slip Cleo a preventative dose of UlcerGard. Wake up the entire barn in spite of your efforts.

5:02 am: Pack cooler, load up remaining details into truck. Yawn. Stretch. Twiddle thumbs.

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2:48 am: Wake up. Look at clock. Roll over and go back to sleep.

3:12 am: Repeat.

3:51 am: And again.

4:02 am: And again.

4:11 am: Give up. Brush teeth. Check email. Make a sandwich for the road. Turn on TV. Turn off TV.

5 am: Sneak downstairs, making as little noise as possible, to slip Cleo a preventative dose of UlcerGard. Wake up the entire barn in spite of your efforts.

5:02 am: Pack cooler, load up remaining details into truck. Yawn. Stretch. Twiddle thumbs.

5:27 am: Bell boots, shipping boots, fuzzy halter, self-load like a good girl, off we go!

5:36 am: Realize you forgot to pick up the pile of poop Cleo left in the aisle. Send apologetic text to working student.

5:30-10:30 am: Smooth sailing! Listen to NPR. Talk to Liz Austin, Brentina Cup winner 2006 and 2007, who gives great pep talks. Reassure Liz’s mom that you will ride forward, you promise! Talk to your mother about cats. Listen to more NPR. Stop for gas, diet cherry Pepsi and peanut butter M&Ms. Wonder if you’ll fit into your white breeches tomorrow having eaten M&Ms. Feel guilty. Briefly.

10:31 am: Drat! Foiled by traffic! Listen to Cleo complain.

11:37 am: Pull into Gladstone’s driveway. Feel your pulse get a little quicker.

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11:42 am: Set up stall, get Cleo settled, feed her lunch, unload stuff. Lots of hi’s and hugs to friends from your Young Rider days in the Midwest who you miss. Do a really bad parking job and be grateful that you brought the trailer without your farm logo on it, so no one will know that it was you.

1:15 pm: Saddle up and school in the show ring. Cleo feels awfully good for having spent six hours in a trailer and being in raging, raging season (eww). Accidentally nearly run over Lauren Sammis, who is a very good sport and has a really nice horse. Smile when Pam Goodrich tells you you’re making the nicest passage she’s seen you make.

2 pm: Bring Cleo back and give her a bath. Thank fellow Brentina Cupper and Pam student Jocelyn Wiese profusely for holding the Big White Wonder while you suds up. Her Lamborghini, aka Zoomie, is a gray too, and she feels your pain. Clean tack, tidy up tack room, hang your sponsor banners.

2:30 pm: Go check in. Make a mental note that you have to go back and provide them with a copy of your health insurance card. Promptly forget to do so. Oops!

2:35 pm: Go get your swag bag, containing hats, glassware, neato fly sheet and more. USEF has the best loot!

3:00 pm: Braid for the jog.

3:30 pm: Finish braiding. Groom. Get dressed.

3:35 pm: Yawn.

3:40 pm: Hmm hmmmmmm…

3:45 pm: Ok, you’re going a little stir crazy. Go find something to do.

3:52 pm: Run into Sal, massage therapist to the equine stars, and pester him into working on your shoulders. Bless him!

4:00 pm: Jog’s been pushed back half an hour! Phooey.

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4:30 pm: Jog starts! Grand Prix, I1, then us. Try to listen to the announcer to keep up with what horse they’re on, but get frustrated that you can’t hear over the din of excited riders.

4:50 pm: Bridle up!

4:52 pm: Uh oh. Cleo, who is normally a model citizen for the jog, is VERY interested in making beautiful babies with GP Raymeister. Or, really, anyone. Hit the brakes.

4:53 pm: No, really. Hit the brakes.

4:54 pm: WHOA!!!!

4:55 pm: With control only moderately established, go up the hill to the jogging lane ring-side.

4:56 pm: Cleo puts on her game face. Whew! When one of the judges asks you how you get your gray horse so clean, tell her about a rare product called Elbow Grease (the line’s not really funny, but she’ll laugh kindly anyway).

4:57 pm: Pass! Back to the barn, feed dinner, and up to the cocktail party. Woohoo!

7:20 pm: Check into your (very posh for $99/night!) hotel, zip in the shower.

8:30 pm: Back to the barn for night check. Pick Cleo’s stall, refill water, throw hay, put her fly/anti-poo stain sheet on and cuddle.

9:00 pm: Why are you so hungry? Oh, dinner! Stop by the handy-dandy Bridgewater, N.J., Shoprite. Hey, when did they get a Dover Saddlery store?

10:00 pm: Have a snack and two Tylenol PM. Set the alarm for 5:15—your 9:09 ride time means getting up extra-early in case you need to spot clean. Take a big deep breath and go to bed!

LaurenSprieser.com
Sprieser Sporthorse

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