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Blogger Lauren Sprieser

January 29, 2014

Caging The Railbirds

There's a girl here at the barn who's riding a client's horse, a 7- or 8-year-old who was a real success at the lower levels, and now as she moves him up she's contending with a pretty major self-carriage issue. The previous rider of the horse had him really "broken" farther back down his neck, and so she's spending a few weeks with him, as she joked, "like he's in the English Pleasure class"—neck way up, poll the highest point and nose well, well in front of the vertical. It's not the long term strategy, of course.

January 22, 2014

The Walk Of Shame

I know it's of little solace to all my friends and family freezing their collective butts off as the Polar Vortex sweeps through much of the country, but here's a little snippet from the Floridian life for you all to laugh at.

My lessons are all this afternoon today, so I took advantage of my little morning gap to hop on my bike. I've been running a fair amount while here, and was due for a spin session. So out I went.

January 17, 2014

The Fire Is Back

I've been in Florida a whole whopping week, but it's been enough. All the doldrums, all the lethargy and stagnation I felt before coming south are gone. The fire's back in my belly. And it is Good.

The trip down was easy, as was the move in. The horses' trip was slow with crummy weather, but once they arrived, I couldn't believe how quickly everyone rallied. I gave them all the first 24 hours off, of course, and just hacked everyone around on Day Two, but by Day Three everyone was revved and ready, and I started up my lessons with Michael right away.

January 12, 2014

Ebb And Flow

Thirteen days after moving into my gorgeous farm, I'm back on the road - to Loxahatchee, Fla., with five horses in tow for the winter season. And what a winter I picked to miss! It was 20 degrees when I left Thursday morning, which seemed downright tropical compared to the 4 degrees it was the morning before.

January 3, 2014

Moving Back

The move back into Clearwater Farm was remarkably seamless. My brilliant staff took all our stuff from Morningside in one trip, and all the horses in two more, and that was it. We were back!

But that didn't mean we were Home.

Making this place Home has taken much longer. First, there was finding everything. We only took essentials with us on our three-month road trip, which meant we had to find all the non-essentials. The extra double-ended snaps. The crossties. The polo wrap racks. 

December 29, 2013

Returning Home

Greetings, blog readers. I am writing this blog from my office. That's MY office. My office, in my barn, eating Christmas leftovers while enjoying the contact high from the paint fumes. 

At long last: our renovations and expansion are complete!

December 15, 2013

The Goya Syndicate

Have you ever been sure of something? Really, deeply sure, with your heart and your soul and not just your head? It's a dangerous thing, to feel that way about a horse. But when I looked at Billy, I knew. It took a little while, but when I looked at Midgey, I knew. 

And when I looked at Goya, a few hours old, wet and wobbly-legged, I knew.

December 13, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way Home From Holland

My mom's fantastic new horse, Wheatley, landed from Holland on Wednesday. If you don't know how importing horses from Europe works, they all spend two-or-so days in quarantine, and then are released completely (if they're geldings, which Wheatley is), or moved onto CEM quarantine (for mares and stallions). Wheatley's blood work was processed a little more slowly, with the inclement weather in the Midwest, but he was finally bust loose midday Saturday, and the haulers called to tell me I'd see them at midnight.

December 10, 2013

Weathering The Weather

I'm sitting at home in my PJs at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, crawling out of my skin, because 4-6 inches of snow is dumping on Northern Virginia today. I made it to the barn, but turned right back around, choosing instead to be stuck at home with office work.

Unpleasant precipitation aside, winter storms are a real threat to horses and horse businesses, and we take them very seriously. Here are some of the things we do at Sprieser Sporthorse to prepare, and weather, the weather.

November 29, 2013

Seasonal Unmotivation

I'm a big believer in down time for the horses. Whenever I can, usually once mid-summer and once late fall, I like to give my personal FEI (or nearly-FEI) horses six weeks of "fluffing," as I call it, where we spend a lot of time in the snaffle walking and trotting and cantering around on circles, punctuated by days of just hacking around. It's good for their minds as well as their bodies, and I'm always so impressed by how great they feel when I pick them back up and put them back to work on Week 7.

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