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Lauren Sprieser

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.

February 2, 2013

Keeping It Green

Ah, horses. So beautiful, out in their fields, eating the grass, living in harmony with nature.

Hah! Not.

January 26, 2013

Live From West Palm Beach, It's Saturday Night

Greetings from the press corner at the World Dressage Masters! I'm here doing a live blog for the Chronicle - if you'd like to tune in, check it out here; the freestyle starts at 7:30 on Saturday night, and you can read the archives after the event.

January 22, 2013

USDF/FEI Trainers' Conference, Day Two

My mother has spent the last few years exploring meditation as a means of relaxing her wound-tight mind. Mrs. Sprieser is an incredible, fierce and brilliant woman who has achieved much in her career by possessing, among other things, a tremendous type-A personality, by which I come honestly. I've never been a good sleeper. As a result, she's been on my case to try to get into meditation as well lately.

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.

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