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Lauren Sprieser

April 2, 2013

Homeward, And Onward, Bound

Three days, a thousand miles, and two cups of coffee later, I'm back in Virginia. And really, I don't think I've ever been happier to leave Florida. It seemed like everything I touched this winter fell apart, and I refuse to let it get me down, but I'm really quite glad to be home.

I've gone through all the plans from A to about Q at this point, so we're on Plan R:

- Midge is staying in walk work to try and keep good muscle tone while he heals.

March 28, 2013

The Internet Can Bring Breeders And Riders Together

Earlier this month, Michael Pollard wrote a great blog, a rallying cry for American breeders. He comes from an eventing perspective, but the need for more, better horses bred in the United States is true across all the international disciplines. Between the cost of importation and the euro, European horses are expensive and not easy to get.

March 21, 2013

Floridian Essentials, 2013 Edition

It's T-minus one week until we start the trip home from Florida, but of the many, many things I learned this year, some were equipment-related. Every year I get better and better at living the Floridian life: what stuff to bring, what products to use. And it's important, because I'm pretty convinced that there is no place on the entire North American continent worse to keep a horse than South Florida.

Here are some of my 2013 season essentials.

March 17, 2013

The Pipeline

We're taking a lot of hits, the U.S. Dressage program. We're not good enough, we're not spending enough time in Europe, etc, etc. One thing I'll certainly jump on board with is that we don't have enough really good horses, and that we're reliant on wealthy sponsors purchasing made horses for us far too often, that not enough of our top riders have a pipeiine of horses they're making themselves. 

March 12, 2013

The Every-Six-Months Plan

A client vetted a horse recently, a delightful horse, exactly what we wanted. Unfortunately, the horse had really unfortunate X-rays, showing lots of damage to multiple joints. The horse is in his mid-teens, has been showing at FEI for years, rides great, and has never had a joint injection in his life.

March 4, 2013

To Show Or Not To Show?

At the heart of it, there are four reasons one shows a horse. One is that you just want to go and have a great time, and the results be damned—you're in it for the social element. Awesome. The second is that you and/or your horse have loftier aspirations, but you need mileage. Maybe you're inexperienced at showing, or maybe you're an experienced rider with a young horse, and it needs to learn to go to the shows and behave. 

February 20, 2013

The Lines That Make You Go, "Duh!"

If you've never sat in on a lesson between two upper-level riders, I bet you'd think it's really beautiful work, full of piaffing and passaging and half-passing and the upper echelons of dressage.

You'd be mistaken. I spend a remarkable amount of time in my lessons trotting a 20-meter circle and hoping that whichever horse I am on will put his or her head up, down or in, respectively.

February 18, 2013

Getting Better

This week was not the best horse show prep I've ever had. I had clients in town visiting, and then it DUMPED rain on us for two days, and as soon as the rain stopped Michael caught The Plague To End All Plagues. I got Midge worked every day for the week leading up to the show, but I only had two lessons, one of them with poor Michael huddling, pale and wobbly, in the corner of the field because every ring in South Florida was a giant puddle.*

(*Except for the rings at the Global - even with all that awfulness, they were PERFECT. They should be VERY proud!! I love that place.)

February 11, 2013

A Trip Home, By The Numbers

Approximate flight time, each way: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Temperature difference: 40 degrees (UGH)
Hours in Virginia: 44.5 (9 p.m. Friday to 5:30 p.m. Sunday)
Number of lessons scheduled: 25
Oldest horse, with youngest person: 21 (Billy), 12 (Kristin)
Youngest horse: 5
Oldest person: Age is just a number!

Breeds represented: 8 (Warmbloods, Thoroughbreds, Arabians; one Friesian, one PRE, one Quarter Pony, one splendid Irish horse of unknown but sturdy origins, and one Welsh Cob-TB.)

February 3, 2013

Before You're Good

My freshman year of college, I was given a guitar, and I vowed to learn to play it because 1) folks who play the guitar are super cool, 2) I now owned a guitar, and 3) the boy who said he'd teach me was really cute.

As it turns out, I'm not very good at the guitar, and I gave up pretty fast. But it wasn't my lack of talent that kept me from being a super cool guitar player. It was that I didn't want to learn how to play the guitar; I wanted to know how to play the guitar. The learning part really stinks.

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