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Lauren Sprieser

July 30, 2010

EEMI, Day 1

After our adventure with the ratchet straps in packing for this weekend’s horse show, I was unhappy, although not altogether surprised, when, lumbering down the highway, I watch a bale of hay and four bags of shavings come a’tumbling off my trailer roof and into traffic.

This is going to be a hellofa day.

July 30, 2010

Strap Me Down

It's T-minus two weeks to Gladstone, and I am a big ball of stress.

I'm pretty predictable: Once I'm on the grounds, I'm cool as a cucumber. But until then, I'm not sleeping well, I'm unfocused, I'm eating anything that will hold still long enough. I'm a red-hot mess.

With a "normal" show this ridiculous period of psychosis only lasts a day, tops, if not a mere few hours. But Gladstone is A Big Deal, and accordingly, I'm fried well in advance.

July 26, 2010

The Next Generation

My kids were stars this weekend! Four riders, all of whom I’ve helped before, stepped up to ride for the Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association (CDCTA)’s First Level team at the Region 1 Youth Team Championships. For some it was a big step up; for others, this was a walk in the park. They rode well, made improvements from Day 1 to Day 2, and hit the things we’d worked on in practice.

This didn’t surprise me one bit.

July 20, 2010

Kids These Days

I teach a few kids year-round, but I see a lot more of them during the summer months, when school is out. I love teaching kids—they are funny, goofy and ambitious. You can tell them to do anything, and they’ll do it. They don’t get scared like adults do, don’t overanalyze like adults do, and seem to have a lot more fun than adults do. There’s a lot to be learned from kids.

July 16, 2010

End of the Pilgrimage And Back To The Daily Grind

Ella and Midgey happily spent their last New York night in turnout at Gleneden, sparing me the pain of a 3 a.m. wake-up call. And as such, I got to have a great dinner with my aunt and cousin, who I NEVER get to see, in Manhattan, where I hadn't been since graduating from college. I don't regret my decision to go pro one bit, but sometimes I do get a little nostalgic for What Could Have Been, having a job outside of the horse biz and living somewhere closer to civilization.

Dang, though, if having horses like these doesn't snap me right out of it!

July 14, 2010

The Pilgrimage, Day 3 and 4: Life at Lendon's

Greetings from The Big Apple! Ella was a stellar citizen on her early-Gladstone-morning hack, so I didn't do much Monday. I ambled around, then stripped stalls, chucked my stuff and popped ponies in the trailer to Lendon Gray's, about a two-hour drive.

July 12, 2010

Pilgrimage Day 2: Attack of the Stupid

It’s one thing when my horses are idiots; it’s another when I’m to blame.

The plan was to school Midge during the lunch break, so I’d be out of everyone’s way. I cleared it with Those In The Know, tacked him up, and off I went. But a schedule change was made, and someone had a lesson during the “lunch break,” so I was asked to just ride around the arena.

July 11, 2010

Gladstone, The Holy Land

It’s 7 a.m. I’m sitting in the rotunda at Gladstone, still in the morning cool, and I’m thinking about the past.

It’s easy in the High Performance world, even as shallow as I’ve waded in, to get caught up in the details. The footing, the drainage in the stalls, the want of outlets for fans and fridges. Ride times and selection processes. The parking.

July 8, 2010

The Program

Most of the country is in the middle of a nasty heat wave, and we in the Mid-Atlantic are particularly broasted. My grass is brown, my ground is hard, and my days are starting earlier and earlier to try and get horses done in the coolest part of the day.

July 6, 2010

More Photos From The Ride For Life

Professional horse show photographers have an increasingly tough gig these days. Cameras are getting more and more moron proof, which means the average quality of a photo taken by Suzie Q. is getting better and better. And while the Internet makes it easier for them to share their work with the world, it also makes it easier for the world to steal their work, cut into their bread and butter.

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