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Blogger Lauren Sprieser

March 4, 2010

Bigger And Better

Given the snow has cancelled FOUR clinics for us this winter, I haven't had a lesson since January. There's been some pretty major freak-out-itude going on 'round here. So when Scott said he could move his schedule around to accommodate two trailer-in lessons for me on Monday, normally my day off, I jumped at the chance.

Yes, I drove three hours up and four down (rush hour traffic) for 1½ hours of riding. News flash: we horse people are crazy.

February 28, 2010

Lemonade From Lemons

After a week of the usual pre-clinic chaos—lame horses, sick riders, people who can't get their trailers out because of an inability to operate a shovel—Lendon called me at noon on Friday to inform me that all of New England was getting whomped by—Surprise!—an epic snowstorm. Her flight had been cancelled, and when Lendon Gray, a tough-as-nails Mainer, says the weather is cataclysmic, I believe her.

February 23, 2010

The Flying Hairball's First Show

One of my clients had to back out of a schooling show on Saturday, and I made the last-minute decision to take her place. But who to ride? Training 1 and 2, hardly daunting tests. But should I take Fender, give him an opportunity to get off the farm and try wearing the big horse pants, or take Douwe, the Friesian I train who needs to get off the farm but goes better in a first-second level kind of way than in a training level one?

February 16, 2010


The snow is melting slowly, the roads are almost passable, and life is slowly returning to normal. I have a few choice words for VDOT on their idea of plowing a road versus my own, but I'll let it slide for now. And I'm 99 percent sure we're off to Florida next winter, which will guarantee a Virginia winter of 55 degrees and mostly sunny every day from December to April. You can thank me later.

February 11, 2010

Snowpocalypse, Part 2

10 a.m. Tuesday: The farm truck is stuck halfway down my driveway. I did not put it there, and that is all I have to say about that.

I am, however, in charge of supervising its removal. My working students schlep valliantly, and out it comes. I really want it at the barn, but there just ain't no way. So it goes to the end of the driveway, and there it will stay.

February 10, 2010


Fender has settled in very nicely, and what timing—we’re waiting now for Round 2 of the 2010 Snowpocalypse, and there’s already 27 inches on the ground. So far I’ve managed to ride him every other day, which is perfect. I’m aiming for four rides a week; we’ll see how that goes. As it is, he’s the only one of my horses making any kind of progress.

February 9, 2010


5 a.m. Friday morning: I wake up shivering. Why is it so cold in my house? Thermostat is on. Power’s on. Heater’s making noise. What’s up?

Oh no. I try to start the stove—no dice. I run outside to check and confirm my fears. I am completely and totally out of propane.

It is now 6 a.m. and T-minus four hours until the snow is scheduled to start.

February 1, 2010

The First Time

I can't remember my first time on a horse. I would have been very, very young, and it was probably a pony ride at the park. I do have a vague recollection of riding ponies tied to a hotwalker-like contraption at the local rec center in the town I grew up in; I couldn't have been more than 5 or 6. I remember liking it, a lot.

January 28, 2010

Beauty In The Boondocks

At some point, as a quality professional horseperson, you're going to get invited to a Black Tie Affair. I think this is hilarious. Our clients are the kinds of classy people who have classy soirees; we are the kind of people who think Danskos are formalwear.

January 26, 2010

A New Pony!

I've been conspicuously silent on the subject because I wanted to get the Is dotted and the Ts crossed, but it's officially official: I just bought a horse!

He's a coming-4-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Sir Donnerhall—Silvermoon. He comes to me from his breeder, Donna Garner, in Kentucky. Donna's a lovely woman and already a patron of the sport—my horse's mother, Alabama, is in Germany in training with a superstar expat Canadian trainer named Eiren Crawford, who steered me to the horse, and whom I owe a very large beer as such.

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