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Blogger Lauren Sprieser

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"!

July 15, 2013

Borrowing Exceptional Children

I don't want kids.

This is the part where all the women of the world say, "Ah! But you're 28 years old! You will; your biological clock will start ticking, and there you'll be, cooing over every infant in a 2 mile radius!" OK, sure. I'm sure this is true for lots of women, a complete 180 degrees at some unforseen time in their lives. And I'm not ruling it out. But I've never had any interest in having kids of my own, and babies make me squeamish, so we'll just leave it at that.

July 12, 2013

Going Back To School Makes Us Better Teachers

This weekend, Billy and his own personal 12-year-old, Kristin, are off to Lendon's Youth Dressage Festival, a phenomenal show that Lendon Gray first developed more than 10 years ago. The show, like any normal dressage show, has kids ride their choice of dressage test, but that's where the similarities end.

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.

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