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Lauren Sprieser

July 14, 2010

The Pilgrimage, Day 3 and 4: Life at Lendon's

Greetings from The Big Apple! Ella was a stellar citizen on her early-Gladstone-morning hack, so I didn't do much Monday. I ambled around, then stripped stalls, chucked my stuff and popped ponies in the trailer to Lendon Gray's, about a two-hour drive.

July 12, 2010

Pilgrimage Day 2: Attack of the Stupid

It’s one thing when my horses are idiots; it’s another when I’m to blame.

The plan was to school Midge during the lunch break, so I’d be out of everyone’s way. I cleared it with Those In The Know, tacked him up, and off I went. But a schedule change was made, and someone had a lesson during the “lunch break,” so I was asked to just ride around the arena.

July 11, 2010

Gladstone, The Holy Land

It’s 7 a.m. I’m sitting in the rotunda at Gladstone, still in the morning cool, and I’m thinking about the past.

It’s easy in the High Performance world, even as shallow as I’ve waded in, to get caught up in the details. The footing, the drainage in the stalls, the want of outlets for fans and fridges. Ride times and selection processes. The parking.

July 8, 2010

The Program

Most of the country is in the middle of a nasty heat wave, and we in the Mid-Atlantic are particularly broasted. My grass is brown, my ground is hard, and my days are starting earlier and earlier to try and get horses done in the coolest part of the day.

July 6, 2010

More Photos From The Ride For Life

Professional horse show photographers have an increasingly tough gig these days. Cameras are getting more and more moron proof, which means the average quality of a photo taken by Suzie Q. is getting better and better. And while the Internet makes it easier for them to share their work with the world, it also makes it easier for the world to steal their work, cut into their bread and butter.

June 29, 2010

PVDA Ride for Life, Day 2 and 3

Well! That was a horse show!

Our day started with normal morning chores on Saturday, but as none of my students rode until the afternoon, I got twitchy and decided to ride Ella a little bit.

June 26, 2010

Rock Lobster and Ride For Life, Day 1

We're at the PVDA Ride for Life this weekend, but before I write about that, a brief example of why, even after 2½ years in the South, I'm still a Yank.

After the two-hour drive to the lovely Prince George's Equestrian Center, I stepped over to the Port-O-Potties. Imagine my surprise when I opened one up to discover a crustacean on the floor, waving his little claws at me. Naturally, my first thought is to go get my camera (yes, there is something wrong with me), and as I return to the stabling, I say to my working student, "Hey Nicole! There's a lobster in the bathroom!"

June 23, 2010

Pony Club Rally

I love youth education; it's one of the things most dear to my heart, and I like giving back to the youth equestrian community where I can. So last weekend I judged a Pony Club eventing rally at Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Va., a lovely place.

I'm a huge fan of Pony Club. It produces riders with good basic skills who have to demonstrate those skills before they move up; riders with good stable management skills; kids who take the health and comfort of their horses extremely seriously and know as much as any vet tech.

June 17, 2010

Down Time...Of Sorts

I'm in a showing lull, hooray, hoorah. Ella and some students are going to the PVDA Ride for Life next weekend, but other than that our next outing isn't for weeks, and I'm VERY grateful for the downtime.

Downtime means focusing back on the training and not on the show work. Midge is really cookin' along; I'm using Kyra's piaffe-to-canter-pirouette exercise to great success, and I've expanded it into the canter half-pass, another weakness. I make walk half-pass, two little quick half-steps, then canter half-pass for a few strides until I feel his balance start to falter.

June 11, 2010

Hit The Road Jack

One of the things I did this winter while there was 812 feet of snow on the ground was watch a lot of the Winter Olympics. (Another thing I did was bake myself into a diabetic coma; more on that later.) And while watching the Olympics, I saw an interview with superstar speed skater Apolo Ohno. He talked about his training program, how much time he spends at the gym, his diet, his meditation. He takes himself incredibly seriously as an athlete.

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