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Lauren Sprieser

July 5, 2013

Second Generation, Second Chance

I can't remember my last ride on Clairvoya. It would have been winter 2009-2010, but beyond that, I don't recall. I know that the last person to ride her (at any other gait than the walk - she's spending her retirement being a haughty, but fairly civilized trail horse for my brave aunt Jane!) was my mother, and I remember that ride, the heartbreaking realization that the injury she sustained just after the Brentina Cup (where we won the Young Rider Grand Prix) made her such that she couldn't continue to work even at the lower levels, and that retirement was the only option. 

July 3, 2013

Team Sprieser Rocks The Ride For Life

The PVDA Ride for Life is a special little show. It's a weird show, a funny, dusty venue with funky stabling; it's not far away but does seem to be in the middle of nowhere, with accommodations far away. And it always seems to be on the first hot-as-hell weekend of the year. 

June 11, 2013

Johnny (Will) Be Good (at Dressage, Someday)

When Ella and Fender and Midgey were all kids, they went to their first horse shows when I felt they were ready, when they could balance reasonably well around turns, when they could make reasonably prompt transitions, maintain an age-appropriate degree of self-carriage, and largely go where they were told. With Ella and Midgey, this was doable because I was a working student, and with Fender it was possible because my business was so young, and I didn't have many clients at horse shows.

June 7, 2013

Knowing Right From Left Is A Teaching Necessity

Ask any horseman what it takes to be a good teacher or a good trainer, and you'll get the usual soundbites: patience, creativity, a strong work ethic, great passion. Yeah yeah, sure sure. I'm coming up on my seventh year running my farm and teaching lessons for a living, and before that I rode with lots of great people, so I come from a place of experience when I say that, while yes, all that deep, profound stuff is true, what you really need to be good at this job is less like a Hallmark greeting card and more like Larry the Cable Guy. For example:

June 4, 2013

DQ Problems: Helmet Hair Edition

A few weeks ago I was invited to ride in the PVDA Ride For Life's Dancing Horse Challenge. This will be my third trip to the DHC, a fantastically fun freestyle extravaganza at the Price Georges Equestrian Center in Maryland that raises money for breast cancer research AND gives us all an excuse to wear a lot of pink and embarrass our horses, so it's really a win-win.

May 23, 2013

The Octopus On Roller Skates

Johnny is my third personal 4-year-old—Ella came to me at age 5—and as different as they all are now and were at the same age, they all have a few things in common. They tend to follow a pattern, and as such, I have a loose pattern on my approach to them.

May 21, 2013

Self Sufficiency

It was not the week I'd planned on having.

The Plan looked like this: make prompt recovery from The Plague, get back to work, go to horse show with awesome clients, win everything, party down.

May 13, 2013

Put It In Park

Every year or so, usually after a few months of running myself ragged, I go through a two-week period of serious enthusiasm. I mean, I am JONESED. I'm getting stuff done. I'm up late, sans caffeine, and then up early again the next morning with a big smile on my face. I tell myself that I must be doing something right; I must be eating right or doing really well with whatever exercise regime I'm on, or that maybe I've just biologically hit my stride, because, clearly, all this energy is so great.

Then I get the Plague.

April 30, 2013

Get A Life

A while back I scheduled a two-day clinic, which then had to be cut to one day. And somewhere between then and now I forgot to add lesson times back to my nifty e-scheduling system, which meant my students didn't know I was going to be around. And on Friday night, I went to make my schedule for the following day… and found I had nothing to do, other than ride a few horses. It was too late to call anyone to ask if they wanted a lesson for Saturday. 

April 21, 2013

A New Passion, In Three Parts

Friday, 4/12, 9 p.m.: My schedule for tomorrow is made, my bag is packed, and I'm checking the big email the triathlon director sent us to figure out exactly where we're supposed to meet tomorrow afternoon for the Mandatory First-Timer Meeting.

Which is when I see that I'm supposed to pick up my packet before 3 p.m. Before 3. No exceptions. 

I work on Saturdays. I've already cancelled two lessons to get to Richmond by 3:30 for the mandatory meeting, something I only learned was mandatory a few days before.

Oh booger.

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