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Lauren Sprieser

January 12, 2014

Ebb And Flow

Thirteen days after moving into my gorgeous farm, I'm back on the road - to Loxahatchee, Fla., with five horses in tow for the winter season. And what a winter I picked to miss! It was 20 degrees when I left Thursday morning, which seemed downright tropical compared to the 4 degrees it was the morning before.

January 3, 2014

Moving Back

The move back into Clearwater Farm was remarkably seamless. My brilliant staff took all our stuff from Morningside in one trip, and all the horses in two more, and that was it. We were back!

But that didn't mean we were Home.

Making this place Home has taken much longer. First, there was finding everything. We only took essentials with us on our three-month road trip, which meant we had to find all the non-essentials. The extra double-ended snaps. The crossties. The polo wrap racks. 

December 29, 2013

Returning Home

Greetings, blog readers. I am writing this blog from my office. That's MY office. My office, in my barn, eating Christmas leftovers while enjoying the contact high from the paint fumes. 

At long last: our renovations and expansion are complete!

December 15, 2013

The Goya Syndicate

Have you ever been sure of something? Really, deeply sure, with your heart and your soul and not just your head? It's a dangerous thing, to feel that way about a horse. But when I looked at Billy, I knew. It took a little while, but when I looked at Midgey, I knew. 

And when I looked at Goya, a few hours old, wet and wobbly-legged, I knew.

December 13, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way Home From Holland

My mom's fantastic new horse, Wheatley, landed from Holland on Wednesday. If you don't know how importing horses from Europe works, they all spend two-or-so days in quarantine, and then are released completely (if they're geldings, which Wheatley is), or moved onto CEM quarantine (for mares and stallions). Wheatley's blood work was processed a little more slowly, with the inclement weather in the Midwest, but he was finally bust loose midday Saturday, and the haulers called to tell me I'd see them at midnight.

December 10, 2013

Weathering The Weather

I'm sitting at home in my PJs at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, crawling out of my skin, because 4-6 inches of snow is dumping on Northern Virginia today. I made it to the barn, but turned right back around, choosing instead to be stuck at home with office work.

Unpleasant precipitation aside, winter storms are a real threat to horses and horse businesses, and we take them very seriously. Here are some of the things we do at Sprieser Sporthorse to prepare, and weather, the weather.

November 29, 2013

Seasonal Unmotivation

I'm a big believer in down time for the horses. Whenever I can, usually once mid-summer and once late fall, I like to give my personal FEI (or nearly-FEI) horses six weeks of "fluffing," as I call it, where we spend a lot of time in the snaffle walking and trotting and cantering around on circles, punctuated by days of just hacking around. It's good for their minds as well as their bodies, and I'm always so impressed by how great they feel when I pick them back up and put them back to work on Week 7.

November 16, 2013

The USDF National Finals Is Worth Fighting For

A few days into the show I observed to someone that it didn't feel like a championship. Other than the big fancy indoor ring decorations, and the super-snazzy high-tech judges' booths, this could have been any other big-deal horse show.

I joked that it was because, unlike other national and international championships I've attended, this is not a show filled with people who hate each other. (And I think that's really not actually a joke.)

November 9, 2013

Rolling With The Punches: USDF National Finals, Day 3

There are many good qualities required to be declared a "good rider." A solid seat, quiet hands, lots of know-how and experience. But to be a good show rider, you need one other thing—the ability to roll with the punches. Because if you can't, not only will you not win much, but you'll also stroke out. Showing horses is barely-organized chaos under the best of times.

And sometimes, it's not the best of times.

November 8, 2013

USDF National Finals, Day Two

I have quoted this clever one-liner I read somewhere about horse showing before, and I'll use it again: Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains.

While it was a gorgeous, sunny day in Lexington, Ky., today, for Fender and I, it rained.

After our Regional Finals performances—where Fender was World Champion of the World in our warm-up class and then super-exhausted for his Finals—I was determined to not spend my best horse in the locker room, to come into the National Finals Championship class with lots of energy.

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