MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedMarketplaceDates & Results

Lauren Sprieser

January 22, 2013

USDF/FEI Trainers' Conference, Day One

Way back in October, a call went out for riders for the USDF/FEI Trainers' Conference, held in Florida in January, at the McPhails' stunning farm right here in White Fences. I sent off videos and was told we'd all hear back in December.

In the meantime, I had to buy my plane tickets for my trips back to Virginia to teach. The only weekend in January that worked was the weekend right before the Monday-Tuesday of the Trainers' Conference. Perfect, I thought to myself as I clicked "Finalize Purchase." If I get picked, I'll fly in Sunday night and be set to ride Monday-Tuesday.

January 17, 2013

The Now What Place, Redux

It's a seriously great place to be in your training, when your horses do everything you want them to do, and you're just kinda waiting around for them to get strong enough/quick enough/confirmed enough to move onto the next thing. But oh, is it ever boring.

January 15, 2013

Four Kinds Of Horses

My favorite teacher from high school, Mr. Bulak, says that there are four kinds of academic papers. The best is short and good, and the second best is long and good. Third best is short and bad, because while it's bad, at least it's over with quickly. And the one you don't want to write is long and bad.

January 11, 2013

Inferiority Complex

Yesterday was my first day back with a personal trainer, a Christmas gift from my family. After really enjoying running last year, I've decided to try my hand at some sprint-length (that's usually 1/2 mile swim, 15 mile bike, 3 mile run) triathlons. Training for that is going well (I have a nifty app for my iPhone that tells me what to do each day for 12 weeks), but the personal trainer thing will add resistance training, and (I hope) complement the cardio work I'm doing. 

January 5, 2013

Cool Training

The ponies and I have settled in Florida, where the weather is divine, and that is all I will say on the subject. While the horses remember where they packed their hind ends - the first few days always feel like garbage, as they recover from the long trip - I've had time to putter around. I've been running and biking and swimming; I've made a bajillion trips to Target for all the stuff I forgot. 

And I've also gotten to hang out and watch some riding.

December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas, Bellinger!

Christmas is, of course, not about the gifts. That doesn't stop me from being excited about the gizmo Allison and Molly gave me that clips my iPhone to my bike (so I can run the "MapMyRun" app, which sometimes gets a little confused and tells me I've jogged a 6:45 mile - not a prayer in the world of that ever happening, but I'll take it!), and my parents' gift of "Born To Run," a book on barefoot running, the combination of which makes me sound like I'm quite a jock, when really all I want to do right now is sit on the couch and eat crap and watch reruns of NCIS. 

December 21, 2012

The Packing List

Saddle Pads:

  • 6 white everyday - nice enough but not too nice
  • 4 show pads
  • 3 brown pads (the pretty ones with my logo on them)


  • 2 everyday scrims, 2 nice scrims
  • 4 coolers (2 everyday, 2 nice)
  • Sheets, turnout sheets, blankets (Ugh, blankets. We'll only use them a few nights, but there will be a few nights in the 20s or 30s. Woe is me!)

Fly masks (that's more like it!)


December 21, 2012

An Almost-Musical Year In Review

(Badly) to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (with apologies in advance for some tremendous artistic liberty, i.e., placing it fast and loose with syllabic counting):

December 16, 2012

The Two-More-Weeks Plan

Plans have been finalized, packing lists made, epic laundry begun. It's t-minus two weeks until I leave for Florida, and the horses are in the final stretch of training preparations. I want them to be as ready as they can be to "hit the ground running," so to speak. 

December 15, 2012

Santa, Baby

Dear Santa,

Syndicate content