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Lauren Sprieser

September 22, 2013

Clairvoya, 1998-2013

When Cleo sustained the injury that would end her career and, as of today, her life, my vet, Dr. Kent Allen, told me that the average time from diagnosis to euthanasia was two years. That was the summer of 2009. Cleo was never one to go down without a fight.

But I won't know whether she'll take euthanasia easily, because I won't be there. 

September 21, 2013

Test Prep

Here in Virginia, summer gave us one last beastly hoorah with a few days in the 90s before gifting us a beautiful weekend to head off to Morven Park for the last show before our Regional Finals in October. What was supposed to be a little outing for us turned into 12 horses, but everyone rode great, and our results spoke for themselves.

August 29, 2013

Pardon Our Dust

My farm is actually three parcels of land that all came up for sale at the same time—35 acres in the back with nothing on it, 50 acres on which we built the main house, and 50 acres on which there stood a 12-stall barn, with a few big paddocks and a tiny, rock-hard outdoor arena.

August 28, 2013

Developing

This hasn't been the year I'd planned.

August 22, 2013

Work Harder And Smarter

It's hiring time again at Sprieser Sporthorse—in addition to a replacement for my sadly departing Molly (who's off to work in the Real World—what a doofus!), I'm adding stalls to my barn (more on that later), and that would necessitate the hiring of a whole 'nother person. I've blogged on this subject before, but I learn something about the process with each new hire, and about what things are important to me, and what things aren't.

August 19, 2013

The Rules

I'm a big "NCIS" fan, have been since the show came out (though I never have time to watch it "live"; I haven't had cable for a few months now, so I Netflix it, and am, therefore, always a season behind. No spoilers here!). If you've never watched the show, the main character, Special Agent Gibbs, has his own list of 50-or-so rules that form his personal creed. Some are funny, some are serious, and all are poignant and good.

August 12, 2013

Push It

"You know," my mother said, "I'm just starting to appreciate what hard work dressage is."

I looked at her like she had three heads. We've been doing this a while; you're only just now starting to appreciate this?

"No, I know it's technically difficult; I know it requires great skill," she clarified. "I mean the physical work of it all. I watch you professional riders, and it looks like you're just sitting there. You make it look effortless. In reality, you're working really physically hard."

August 1, 2013

Small But Mighty

I'm riding some wonderful horses right now. In addition to my own, I've got two super-fun almost-Prix-St-Georges horses belonging to clients, plus some other delightful client horses at the lower levels.

But the one who's making my day, every day, is a 14.3-hand Arabian named War Lhord. 

If you're thinking, "Lauren, aren't you 5'9" and leggy? Don't you look preposterous on a 14.3-hand Arabian? Is it possible I can see both your feet from either side of the horse?" You are correct, Sir.

July 26, 2013

What's In A Name?

Apparently, there's an old superstition that it's bad luck to change a horse's name. I don't know where it comes from, but it caused a 14-year-old me to revert my saintly first dressage horse, an off-the-track Thoroughbred campaigned in eventing as Sky's The Limit before coming to me, to his Jockey Club name of—wait for it—Stressful Prince.

July 19, 2013

Mid-Summer Dream: A Break

With a song in our hearts we returned home from Dressage at Lexington last weekend, not just because our squadron of riders all did VERY well, but mostly because it's the last away-from-home show of the spring/summer season, and after running pretty much straight through since January in Florida, I cannot even begin to tell you all how giddy I am to have MULTIPLE CONSECUTIVE WEEKENDS AT HOME. It's like Christmas come early. There has been cooking! There has been laundry! There has been loafing in my underwear watching "The West Wing"!

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