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Blogger Lauren Sprieser

September 29, 2016

How To Prepare For Devon

THREE MONTHS BEFORE: Natasha, one of your assistant trainers, asks if she can join her family on a vacation for a chunk of time that includes Dressage at Devon. It’s not great timing, but you’re well staffed at home, so missing one person won’t be a disaster.

THREE WEEKS BEFORE: Get into a fender-bender (you’re fine, car is not), and watch as your beloved VW gets towed to the repair shop, where it sits. And sits. And sits. And sits. And sits. Fortunately, GEICO is a bunch of rockstars, so you’re in a rental car and everything is fine…

September 19, 2016

Through Fire

My coach, Michael Barisone, is a Big Deal Guy.

We’d met in passing a few times, but never had more than a superficial "Hi, how are you, nice ride," conversation until I was at Gladstone a few years ago for one of the USEF Talent Search type things. I had Ella and Midgey, both on the brink of Grand Prix. I was 24 or 25, taking clinics here and there with whoever was around, all good people, but there was no single thread to my training, and I was deeply, terribly lost in the weeds.

September 8, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Embrace The Suck

Readers have unearthed this blog post from dressage rider and trainer Lauren Sprieser, which was originally published on on Aug. 19, 2015, and made it one of the most popular articles again. Read it last time? It's worth another look!

September 5, 2016

Bringing Them Along

It’s September! I love September. September is when the temps finally break (though apparently not this week), when the kids go back to school and free their parents up to ride a bit more, when the shows ramp up again after a quiet July-August.

August 25, 2016

The Team Experience

I occasionally peruse the COTH discussion forums, and a few weeks ago, after the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, someone started a thread debating the merits of the Young Rider programs.

July 26, 2016

That Show Ring Shine

A lot goes into a winning competition ride. Years of great training for the horse and for the rider; smart preparation leading up to the show, including conditioning and fitness work; tack and equipment that helps both horse and human perform their best; and a great strategy to manage two brains—and lots of emotions—on the day.

July 25, 2016

Pulling The Trigger

For all intents and purposes, there’s three reasons I show a horse. One is to win, or at least to do as well as I possibly can. This is the end goal, when I’m ready, when the horse is ready, when we together as a pair have the experience to do what I want to do, and an end game in mind. The second is to increase the value of the horse—horses need competition scores to prove their worth, or for sport predicates or breeding achievements. And the third is to help a horse (or me!) gain experience.

July 1, 2016

The Michael Poulin Hypothesis

With the official naming of my wonderful, brilliant friend Ali Brock to the U.S. Olympic Dressage Team for the Rio Games (along with Steffen Peters, Laura Graves and Kasey Perry-Glass), our mutual coach, Michael Barisone, joins a very small club: Olympians themselves who’ve coached a rider to the Olympics as well. It’s a huge achievement, and I’m just bursting with joy for Ali, Michael, and the rest of the wonderful folks involved in this exceptional team.

June 16, 2016

Let Summer Begin

I’ve been on the road for several consecutive weeks, between clinics and horse shows and the general chaos of spring and summer, and I love it, truly. If I didn’t, this would have burned me out long ago. But I’m staring down two—TWO!—consecutive weekends at home with not much on my dance card except the normal things, and I’m quite excited. But that’s why you haven’t heard much from me. 

May 30, 2016

Outside The (Little White) Box

At the end of the day, dressage competition is done in a 20- by 60-meter arena, with perfectly manicured footing, and as such that’s where we spend a fair amount of our training time.

But staying within the confines of the Little White Box is a great way to make a rider crazy, and forget what it does to the horse, a creature evolved from wandering grazers, although admittedly every time one of my fancy Dutch things goes catapulting through the air because he’s spotted a leaf or a bird, I am reminded of how much smart the domestication process has apparently taken out.

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