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Lauren Sprieser

October 16, 2014

Bellinger, The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Somewhere I have my first ride on Billy in competition on video. The video is hysterical, because the camera was set up next to the judge's booth, which was a two-horse trailer. Billy, who has been on trucks and planes, all over Europe and North America, who yells at the trailer when it leaves without him—whether to a show or the vet or the fix-it shop, he doesn't care; he's clearly supposed to be Going Places—absolutely hates being near trailers. And so the video starts with Lendon Gray, two-time Olympian and Living Legend, leading us past, because I couldn't get him by it.

October 9, 2014

Veni, Vidi, Whoopsie

Wednesday, October 1: We're zipping merrily down the road to the Region 1 Finals in Williamston, N.C., three horse trailers, seven horses, and four nice 20-somethings. Well, Kristin is 13 and I'm now 30, but I added our ages together and then divided by two. It all works out.

September 30, 2014

The First Thirty

I have a very vivid memory of sitting on Billy for the first time. It was January of 2003, a bitterly cold night. We'd flown to Germany that day and we saw Billy and two others at a sale barn just a few kilometers from the hotel, just to cross the first few horses off the list on a whirlwind trip. I was 18, a freshman in college, and I'd never sat on a horse like Billy before.

He felt amazing. He felt like Heaven. And I remember thinking, cool—NAJYRC this year, and we will be ready for the World Equestrian Games in Aachen in 2006, if not even the Athens Olympics next year.

September 25, 2014

Chemistry

I am grateful for Ella every day. I learned so, SO much from owning and training her from her young horse days up to her first Grand Prix. I am an infinitely more skilled rider for it, and she is such a tremendously good girl that she let me make all sorts of mistakes, and then fix them, without ever trying to eat me.

September 22, 2014

Quiet September Weeks

The air is crisp, the days are short, and we are in the middle of a blissfully quiet month at Sprieser Sporthorse. Everyone got the qualifying scores they needed for our Regional Finals earlier in the year, which means we didn't need to hit up the last local recognized show, which means that we have had no recognized shows our calendar, which means we've been mostly twiddling our thumbs.

And it has been GLORIOUS.

September 14, 2014

Happy Accidents

It's happened a few times now. Maybe someone grabs the wrong bridle when they tack their horse up. Maybe they've gotten a summer rub from the bridle or the halter or the grazing muzzle and we have to change nosebands until it heals. Or maybe it's just a stroke of strange, divine inspiration that makes me suggest an equipment change. 

September 9, 2014

A Week In The Life

MONDAY:
All horses: day off.

August 23, 2014

Standing In (Hilarious) Judgement

Let me be clear: being a dressage judge is one of the toughest jobs on the planet. First, you're watching for tiny nuances of performance in a 1,000 pound animal, and then holding them up against a standard. I don't care if you're the best judge on the planet, you can't have your eyes on all the horse's body parts all at once. You're going to miss stuff, and you're only human, but everyone expects you to be ON IT, ALL THE TIME.

August 16, 2014

The Waiting Game

Michael often says that there are three kinds of riders: riders who make things happen, riders who hope things happen, and riders who wonder what the hell happened. He then adds a fourth category, riders who wait for things to happen.

At first blush, this waiting period seems like a passive process, just sitting around and wishing and praying that some opportunity will present itself, that some rich sponsor will come along, that someone will drop the next Totilas or Valegro into our laps. But that's not what he means.

August 8, 2014

Mind Your Poodles

I am a proud college graduate holding a degree in Liberal Arts, which is a bit like an English major, but even less useful, if you can imagine such a thing. I'm a lover of grammar and syntax, and have an extensive vocabulary in a couple of languages. But I need a new word, because "problem" and its various synonyms isn't cutting it.

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