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Blogger Lauren Sprieser

January 3, 2015

Looking Back, And Planning Ahead, 2014 Edition

It's the end of the year, a time for cheer and fuzzy scarves and family and, between bites of baked goods (in spite of my annual plea to our clients to not bring us the stuff, which always goes ignored), reflection on the year's events.

Back in February, I had a great chat with a friend who's also a sports psychologist. She encouraged me to write my goals for the year down, rather than just thinking them, because a) there are studies that show that those who write their goals down are more likely to achieve them, and b) it makes reflecting on them a lot easier.

December 18, 2014

Finding The Fair Gig

My last blog, about being willing to put in the long hours and work hard to reap the benefits a great working student position can offer, received more than a few comments to the tune of this: "Sure, a great working student job is great, but so often the positions are not as advertised, or we're treated like crap, or there's no security blanket should something happen. It's not worth the risk!" 

December 11, 2014

Dressed In Overalls, Looking Like Work

I had an open working student job all summer, and then added another position that I needed to fill this fall. (Both filled, amen!) It meant that it was a summer of resumes and interviews, and of getting down to a science my hiring procures. And it is thus: someone emails me asking for more information about the job, and I write back with a description of a typical day, as well as with what other chores I expect my staff to do. And I also tell them what I offer for compensation.

December 8, 2014

Oh, What A Feeling

Ella piaffes beautifully, but it took a little
training to get Lauren's feel to recognize
her quality. Photo by Susan J. Stickle

Midgey spoiled me.

November 22, 2014

Time To Recharge

I am home! I am Home! I am HOME!! For WEEKS IN A ROW! This is amazing.

November 21, 2014

At Least The Grilled Cheese Was Good

Sunday at the USDF National Finals was a quiet affair. With all my students' rides complete, and just one finals class for me left—Beverley Thomas's Fiero in the second level open finals—we had a leisurely breakfast, rode my test (Fiero was terrific) at noon, and with awards not until 5:30 p.m., Ferris and I went to the movies. Fiero led the class for a long time and ended up placing fourth in tremendous company; I got my ribbon, we made our lap around the Alltech, smiled for pictures, and then we were done.

November 8, 2014

The USDF Finals 2014: Coming Together

Holding horse shows in November is a dangerous business. We've had rain, sleet and frost, not to mention windchills in the high 20s—a sharp twist for us in Northern Virginia, for sure, but nothing like what the folks from Texas and Florida are going through. 

But you can't not love the USDF National Finals.

October 30, 2014

A Clinic On Moving On Up

Michael came down to us this weekend for a last clinic before Team Barisone heads to Florida next month. He came with a special guest—his wonderful wife Vera, also a very experienced Grand Prix rider, not to mention an absolute riot. So it was not a clinic As Usual.

Moreover, all of my horses—who were all GENIUSES last week—felt like absolute crap all of this week. Fiero felt pretty good, actually, so that's not entirely true, but Johnny, Dorian and especially Danny spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday giving me complete heart failure.

October 25, 2014

Plugging Away

I have a love-hate relationship with the USDF National Championships. It's a great show, a ton of fun, and an honor to attend. And I know why it has to be so late in the year - so that all the regions can hold their Championships, and let participants make their plans to get to the show.

But Fiero and I are stuck in Second Level purgatory, and I'd really like to be either a) giving him some down time before Florida, or b) making our cheerful way towards Prix St. Georges.

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.

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