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COTH Staff Blog - Sara Lieser

March 18, 2014

Getting Carried Away

My first morning in Ocala did a lot to ease my fears and doubts about the usefulness of this trip.

As I walked to the barn at 6:45, warm air tickled my face. I quickly shed my jacket and gloves. After spending the last several months adding layer after layer before facing the cold, I felt renewed, reborn in the gentle, humid air.

March 14, 2014

Setting Off On An Ocala Adventure

When my trainer and friend Sara Kozumplik Murphy first suggested I come to Ocala, Fla., in 2014, I thanked her but figured it was just one of those things people say to be conversational.

“Oh, when are you going south this winter? Where are you going and how long are you staying?” I’d gotten used to letting them know that I’d be braving the cold in Virginia. I mean, I’m from Maine. I’ve got winter riding gear. I’ll manage, and I’m not trying to get to the Olympics anyway.

March 20, 2013

The Perfect Birthday Present

On the night of my 33rd birthday I tucked Eli away into his stall with a feeling of pride. He’d just come home from an overnight stay at the veterinarian, and my little ex-racer cryptorchid was now a gelding.

My pride had nothing to do with the surgery. It was the fact that I had a stall in which to house my project pony during his recovery.

February 14, 2013

First Ride Foibles

Common sense has never been my strong suit, and that sometimes makes for some entertaining times on the farm. Let’s just say that my first ride on Eli/Sweet Roll, my new off-the-track Thoroughbred, didn’t go quite as smoothly as I might have hoped.

I did start with a sensible plan. I picked a warm weekend day for our first ride. I talked my husband into being my ground person and videographer. But I began to veer off course as soon as I brought Eli in from the field.

January 17, 2013

Taming The Mental Beast

Eli, aka Sweet Roll, is chilling out in the pasture with no shoes, so until I can update about him, I have a different story to tell.

Two years ago, I was eliminated in the show jumping at my first preliminary event with my former horse. The confident animal that skipped around at training level needed more support than I was providing coming into a triple combination, and he stopped, twice. Whistle blew. Game over.

December 6, 2012

Taking The OTTB Plunge

It would be difficult for me to enumerate all the opportunities I’ve experienced as a member of the Chronicle editorial staff, but this Thanksgiving the Chronicle led me to do something a little bit crazy. I drove to the track to pick up a horse I’d seen exactly one photo of on the Internet.

Of course I knew about off-the-track Thoroughbreds before working at the Chronicle. But it’s a big leap from knowing something exists to participating in re-training them.

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