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Blogger Lauren Sprieser

August 30, 2012

Camp Sprieser For Fit Grand Prix Horses Begins

I was the fat kid from my birth until… well, right now actually. I hated gym class, was sucky at sports and slept through high school health class. So when I said, "Oh jeez, I need a fitness plan for my horses," I went for the big guns.

Enter Dr. Stephanie Davis, my small-but-mighty (and adorable) savior.

August 27, 2012

Lamplight Day 4: Chapter Read, Lessons Learned

Visualization is a big part of my pre-show preparation, and it's very detailed. I don't just imagine "A Enter collected canter, X halt salute." I dream up every half-halt, every flick of the wrist. For Saturday's ride, I added one little word to every corner, every movement, every brief pause in the test: fight.

Not fight with Midge, of course, but fight for every point. And fight we did, climbing our way back up to place third on Saturday and fourth overall by just tenths of a point.

August 24, 2012

Lamplight Day 2

I keep looking back at my ride yesterday, and at my warm-up, and at my plan over the last few weeks, looking for the reason it all completely went to Hell.

Did I not warm up enough? Did I warm up too much? Was he tight, tired, not through enough? What did I do wrong? Did he do anything wrong? What's the reason?

August 23, 2012

Lamplight Day 1: How A Horse Show Should Be

Back to business. The first day of the show starts tomorrow, with our Intermediaire II class in the afternoon, which meant today was my last chance to school and to do whatever I needed to do to make Midge his best for Thursday.

August 22, 2012

Homecoming

When I was nine, I wanted to go to the Olympics for figure skating. (And swimming. No big deal.) I loved skating and took regular lessons. One day at school, playing football with other fourth graders, I got tackled, and I broke my femur. I spent a month in the hospital in traction, three months in a body cast, and emerged crippled, atrophied and unable to walk. It was November, and I grew up outside Chicago, so swimming as rehab was out.

August 21, 2012

Really Rocky Road Trip

My last two days at Michael's were filled with good rides, more wandering about looking for things to keep me busy (including a manicure session with some of my friends on the Paralympic Team - super cool!), and then laundry and packing and hitting the road early Monday morning.

August 17, 2012

Camp Barisone, Days 3 and 4

I will spare you all the thrilling details of Camp Barisone, Days 3 and 4 - great rides, 3-mile run, oil change, Walmart. Midge continues to feel fantastic, which is making me a little anxious. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

August 16, 2012

Camp Barisone, Day 2

Day 2 at Camp Barisone for Magnificent Chestnut Dutch Horses went much better than the first, mostly because I wasn't at the farm most of the day. If idle hands are the devil's plaything (Yesterday I went shopping at both Marshall's and the Dover Saddlery store; NOT good!), I was all virtue today.

August 15, 2012

Camp Barisone, Day 1

To the tune of Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (A Letter From Camp), by Allan Sherman:

Hello Mother, Hello Father

Here I am at Camp Piaffer

Midge is splendid, just as always

When I sit down in piaffe, there his hind legs stay!

 

Had my first quick lesson early.

Midgey feels super, not too burly.

Super half-pass, but those pirouettes

Michael says still aren't quite right, which I do not get.

 

Done quite early, twiddling my thumbs.

August 14, 2012

Making The Grade

A huge victory on the farm this weekend: My wonderful assistant trainer, Allison, passed both her Pony Club Dressage B and A exams, all in one go, proving that she is both a) crazy and b) super awesome. I knew both of these things already, but now the Pony Club - and everyone else - does too. I'm SO proud of her, and have been shouting her achievement from the rooftops.

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