As the leader of the Ridgefield, CT show stable, Lainie is faced with a great deal of daily job stress that is inherent when running an operation with a hands-on approach. Whether showing at the Winter Equestrian Festival with 25+ horses, or managing the daily training schedule of her clients' horses, she is constantly on the go and giving her best effort.
She counters this highly demanding lifestyle by enjoying her non-horse related hobbies. Lainie finds relief through her passion for antique furniture and cars – in fact, she has found treasures while antiquing during the down time at every major horse show across the country. As you can imagine, her 2 homes are decorated with her finds and remodeled to her liking. This creates a welcoming environment for her to also relax and read one of her historically based novels or mystery books – another way Lainie likes to unwind after a busy day.
Another stress reliever that Lainie relies on is her vacation time. During the spring and fall, she makes a trip up to Maine to enjoy fishing, lobster trapping, canoeing, boating and of course, antiquing. When she has a day off at the shows, she will plan a day trip to take a break from the hectic horse show energy. When she is not on the road, Lainie relaxes while socializing with her neighbors in the hometown she has lived in for the last 25 years.
Lainie has also developed a wonderful support system that keeps her business running at a top level. She credits her longtime friend, Jerry Foye, for his assistance with the day-to-day operations. Jerry helps to organize the daily schedule, flat the horses, oversee transportation, and be her guidance on the ground when she is showing. His relaxed energy complements hers and his efforts and commitment help to reduce her stress and maintain a successful show barn. Lainie also has a dedicated group of grooms and assistant riders who take impeccable care of the horses and ensure they are prepared well for competition – Lainie's main groom has been with her for 16 years and is an integral part of the operation.
Lainie's lifestyle did not always include a focus on stress reduction. As a young professional, she not only rode 8-12 horses a day, but she also ran 2-6 miles each day and did a weight training program several days per week. While this may have created a foundation of strength and fitness, she acknowledges that this may have been a little overboard and she has had to adjust her training program to keep from burnout and injury. She now incorporates fast paced walking, massage therapy, and regular stretching into her routine.
Another lesson Lainie learned about the necessity for balance and stress relief was discovered during the early 1990s when she was winning everywhere on the horse, Nobleman. At the time, she often created unnecessary pressure on herself to win and had unrealistic goals that she eventually realized can be detrimental to her overall health. As she developed a more balanced approach to competing and lowered both her physical and mental stress levels, her happiness and her business began to grow.
In addition to stress reduction, Lainie is also committed to a diet of whole foods and making sure she gets plenty of sleep every night. With a career that takes her all over the county, she is careful to plan her meals at every stop. When on the road, she usually stays in a camper and is able to prepare her own food and pack a lunch for the day. If she dines out, she orders wisely, choosing lean proteins with a double vegetable side (and sauces on the side). She shies away from salt and avoids fried and processed foods that include white flour and refined sugar. On occasion, however, she does indulge in a little chocolate or frozen yogurt.
Lastly, sleep is one area where Lainie refuses to compromise. Every night she gets 6-8 hours of sleep in order to recharge her body for another busy day. If she is on the lighter side of that window, she will try to sneak in a nap during the day - lucky for her, she can fall asleep just about anywhere. Because sleep is a priority for her, if she knows she has to get up before 5am (like she has to most days during the Florida circuit), she will cut back on her social plans and go to bed early. Maintaining this sleep pattern keeps her calm and happy – she can feel the difference in her mood and energy if she didn't sleep enough the night before.
Lainie's commitment to a healthy lifestyle that minimizes stress has allowed her to become one of our nation's renowned trainers and a World Champion Hunter Rider. Brigadoon Show Stables consistently exceeds their horse show goals, all while having a fun and enjoyable showing experience. Lainie has targeted the important areas in her life that make a difference to her overall health and this is shown by her consistent success as a trainer and competitive rider.