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Blogger Lauren Sprieser

August 25, 2011

Stockholm Syndrome

Long, long ago (a few months) in a galaxy far, far away (the Chantilly, Va., Dover Saddlery store), I heard a young person lamenting how boring her weekend was going to be, because she had to take a DRESS-AAAAAHGE lesson. She pouted, making a face and crossing her arms.

I could have cried.

I felt the same way I feel when I hear my students tell me tales of previous trainers reducing them to tears, telling them they were idiots or telling them they'd never achieve anything until they dreaded riding, or at least dreaded riding dressage.

August 23, 2011

Shake, Rattle & Roll

I'm home! Home, home, home! No clinics to teach, no shows to attend.

To welcome me home? A 5.8 earthquake, epicenter only an hour or so away.

After 10 weeks of feeling like the sky was falling, the earth opened up. Awesome.

But the chaos appears to have settled for now, though apparently there are theories that there could be more quakes—even more sinister ones—to come. Let's just say that tonight I'm eating dessert first.

August 17, 2011

Confessions Of A Success Junkie

"You talk all the time about how horses are allowed to be where they are; how Fender's allowed to feel like his butt fell off, or how Midge is allowed to lose his confidence sometimes, or how sometimes Ella's going to feel a little tired after three hard days and really just needs to go out for a hack and it's OK," my friend Joan is saying to me. "So why aren't you allowed to be where you are?"

August 12, 2011

Barn Rules

1. If you turn it on, turn it off. If you open it, close it. If you use it, put it back in the same condition—and location—you found it. And if you come across my gloves, please put them back in my helmet, because I'm most certainly looking for them; it is my natural state.

2. Your lesson begins at the time we've scheduled it for. If you have to cancel, try to do it before 24 hours. There are directions on my website; use those, not Mapquest or Google.

3. Wear a helmet, always, every time, every ride, no questions asked. This is not negotiable. Seriously.

August 11, 2011

Day 3 At Morven And An Epiphany

The final day at Morven jacked the temps back up to their normal high-90s, and all the ponies just deflated. When I got on Fender to school (at 6:30 a.m., thank you), I swear he looked back at me like, “You MUST be joking. You MUST!!”

I was not, alas, poor Stinky, so he sighed dramatically and rode like a good kid and went back to the barn feeling very pleased with himself, having made a big, lovely change each way, half-passes that didn’t suck, and lovely uphill trot work like a prince. Good man.

August 7, 2011

Conquering Morven, Day 1 & 2

Well, this is not quite the weekend I had planned, but we're making it work.

First, Landon returned to Hunterland much sooner than expected—a stall opened up with a new trainer who places a much higher premium on flatwork than the last, so his owner needed to move fast. I'm disappointed, of course, but happy he's in good hands.

August 3, 2011

Sue Makes Me Look Good

I was not a tomboy as a kid, but I was no girlie-girl. To this day, I can do about three things with my hair. I didn't learn how to put on makeup with any real authority until well after I'd graduated from college. I bought my first flirty, girly skirt as a 20-something. I like jeans; I hate high heels.

July 25, 2011

Diary Of A Hot Week

Tuesday, July 19. High: 90 degrees, Heat index: 98 degrees. I start my day at my normal time—getting on Fender about 6:45—which means we're done working the horses who live here at about 11. It's a little uncomfortable at the end of the day, but we do OK. After lunch, though, the fun ends. About half my lessons cancel, but a few die-hards show up.

July 20, 2011

Lexington, Day 4: The Grand Finale

Our final day at Lexington continued our good fortune, though everyone—two-leggers and four-leggers alike—was pretty pooped.

Tres had a much better Grand Prix that wasn't reflected in the score, and I rode Ella like her hair was on fire, with GREAT success… until the canter. The trot, piaffe and passage scores were all much higher, the walk was the same, and then I made dumb mistake after dumb mistake in the canter stuff. And hey, guess where all the coefficients are hiding in the Grand Prix test? The canter! Doh!

July 16, 2011

Lexington, Day 3: Good Rides and Great People

Thank goodness for great helping hands! Our team had 11 rides today, beginning at 8:30 and ending after 4, and I would absolutely have keeled over sometime after lunch were it not for my amazing Stephanie and for my awesome student Allison and her parents, who drove down solely to hang out with us for the weekend. How amazing is that?

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