COTH Posts – Sprieser Sporthorse LLC http://spriesersporthorse.com Sat, 15 Jul 2017 00:37:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Proud Of The Kids http://spriesersporthorse.com/proud-of-the-kids/ http://spriesersporthorse.com/proud-of-the-kids/#respond Sat, 15 Jul 2017 00:28:51 +0000 http://spriesersporthorse.com/?p=1096 It’s a weird year for me. I’m teaching a ton of clinics, which I love, but it means I’m away from home a lot of weekends. And with only Puck to ride at the moment, who will be showing first level next month (woo) but not with any illusions of grandeur, my focus is on […]

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It’s a weird year for me. I’m teaching a ton of clinics, which I love, but it means I’m away from home a lot of weekends. And with only Puck to ride at the moment, who will be showing first level next month (woo) but not with any illusions of grandeur, my focus is on my students and on their competitive and personal goals.

The last time my coach, Michael Barisone, came down for a clinic was last fall, when I rode five horses and was, therefore, half the clinic. For this weekend’s visit, I rode one.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!

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The Pie Rules http://spriesersporthorse.com/the-pie-rules/ http://spriesersporthorse.com/the-pie-rules/#respond Thu, 13 Jul 2017 00:29:08 +0000 http://spriesersporthorse.com/?p=1099 COTH BRule #1: If you fall off, you have to bring in pie. Variety of pie is up to you: fruit, chocolate, cream, candy; virtuous, diabetic-shock-inducing; whatever floats your boat, if it’s edible, we’re there, though it should be noted that bonus points are given if you purchase said pie from our local rockstar baked […]

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COTH BRule #1: If you fall off, you have to bring in pie.

Variety of pie is up to you: fruit, chocolate, cream, candy; virtuous, diabetic-shock-inducing; whatever floats your boat, if it’s edible, we’re there, though it should be noted that bonus points are given if you purchase said pie from our local rockstar baked goods establishment, the Red Truck Bakery. Heaven.

Amendment to Rule #1: If you fall off twice in one week, I buy YOU pie.

Second Amendment to Rule #1: If you fall off one of the following horses, you should be a bit ashamed of yourself, and therefore you have to buy both pie AND ice cream:

– Fiero, who is a wonderfully good dude, although admittedly he does sneak a little spin in there once or twice a year, so keep your wits about you.

– Vinny, a Connemara who is right on the line for us, because he can be very cheeky, but he is low to the ground, with a sizable center of balance.

– Fabulous, a wonderful elder statesman who has earned his name. If you bite it off of Fabulous, we may not admit to knowing you. (Once you’ve dropped off your pie and ice cream, that is.)

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!

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Getting To Know You, Getting To Know All About You http://spriesersporthorse.com/getting-know-getting-know/ http://spriesersporthorse.com/getting-know-getting-know/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:30:12 +0000 http://spriesersporthorse.com/?p=1084 I tell my students it takes a year to get to know a new horse. Some behave differently in response to the weather, so taking all four seasons to get to know them is important, plus it just takes a year to accumulate enough experiences on and off the property to learn who they are […]

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I tell my students it takes a year to get to know a new horse. Some behave differently in response to the weather, so taking all four seasons to get to know them is important, plus it just takes a year to accumulate enough experiences on and off the property to learn who they are and how they think. But I’m learning a bit about Puck already.

There are pros and cons to the green 6-year-old. There are things about him that are very mature, including his body, which is nice; I don’t have to worry as much about overtaxing him with introducing collection as a concept, something I always fret about with the terribly athletic 4- and 5-year-olds.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!

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The Outside Rein Rules http://spriesersporthorse.com/outside-rein-rules/ http://spriesersporthorse.com/outside-rein-rules/#respond Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:37:18 +0000 http://spriesersporthorse.com/?p=1069 I can sit and watch any horse sport done well. I love horses (news flash!), but more than that, I love dressage. And because I’m a huge nerd, I love seeing how dressage plays a role in all the other sports, that the basic tenants of training that I preach to my students apply to […]

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I can sit and watch any horse sport done well. I love horses (news flash!), but more than that, I love dressage. And because I’m a huge nerd, I love seeing how dressage plays a role in all the other sports, that the basic tenants of training that I preach to my students apply to other disciplines.

Recently I had the great pleasure of a pairs driving lesson. A student of ours has been involved in pairs driving at the top level for years, and is now coming to dressage, but has a fantastic pair of cremello Morgan mares in training for whom we did some complementary under-saddle training, including the world’s cutest Pas de Deux last year. I hopped up in the cart to take them for a spin, starting out just puttering around in the open, and then tackling cones (at which I was marginally awful), and even a few basic marathon obstacles (which went much better).

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!

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Casting Stones http://spriesersporthorse.com/casting-stones/ http://spriesersporthorse.com/casting-stones/#respond Thu, 11 May 2017 13:53:03 +0000 http://spriesersporthorse.com/?p=1041 A while back I had a client enter a show at a big level, her debut at that level, and her first show after a long competitive gap. Her horse is an amazing creature, a phenomenal athlete with an equally incredible mind, who’s also had a long history of health issues, including trying very hard […]

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A while back I had a client enter a show at a big level, her debut at that level, and her first show after a long competitive gap. Her horse is an amazing creature, a phenomenal athlete with an equally incredible mind, who’s also had a long history of health issues, including trying very hard to die on her twice, fortunately to no avail. She’s done the lion’s share of the training herself, and he’d spent a month with me to finish up one last piece of the test. Was she ready to do this level? Mostly. Was it going to be incredible? Certainly not.

But I talked her into entering anyway, and here’s why. First, on her best day, she was close enough. Second, the show was close, and we—my students and I—were going already. This client doesn’t live nearby, so it was a great opportunity for me to be there with her to talk her through it. And last but not least, horses are horses, and she’s been thisclose to this level for two years, marred by an annoying injury in the middle.

Screw it, I told her. Life is short. Carpe diem. Get in the ring.

Read the rest online at The Chronicle of the Horse!

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More Boring http://spriesersporthorse.com/more-boring/ http://spriesersporthorse.com/more-boring/#respond Wed, 19 Apr 2017 09:50:01 +0000 http://spriesersporthorse.com/?p=1031 Years ago when he was a wee thing, Midge learned the flying changes fairly quickly, and rapidly got comfortable with the fours, threes and twos. But the ones eluded us for almost a year. Midge, with his combination of crazy Dutch Harness Horse knees and boundless enthusiasm, could get through a few, but soon enough […]

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Years ago when he was a wee thing, Midge learned the flying changes fairly quickly, and rapidly got comfortable with the fours, threes and twos. But the ones eluded us for almost a year. Midge, with his combination of crazy Dutch Harness Horse knees and boundless enthusiasm, could get through a few, but soon enough he’d be launching himself with reckless abandon in about 37 directions at once, and strong and brave and long-legged thing that I am, I couldn’t hold him together.

And that, I learned, was the problem. No one is strong enough to hold back a tidal wave.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!

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Arriving, Eventually http://spriesersporthorse.com/arriving-eventually/ http://spriesersporthorse.com/arriving-eventually/#respond Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:32:07 +0000 http://spriesersporthorse.com/?p=1024 After a whirlwind last week in Florida, an exciting trip home involving—you guessed it!—two flat tires, and 2 1/2 days to move into my new house in nearby Warrenton, my Floridian team and I are safely back in Virginia, reunited with the home team, and back up and running. I’ve got a few relatively quiet […]

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After a whirlwind last week in Florida, an exciting trip home involving—you guessed it!—two flat tires, and 2 1/2 days to move into my new house in nearby Warrenton, my Floridian team and I are safely back in Virginia, reunited with the home team, and back up and running. I’ve got a few relatively quiet weeks at home until we start the usual spring chaos of constant horse shows and clinics; I’m home one weekend between the end of April and the 4th of July.

But whereas last year I had a full string of horses to show, and even more at home, plugging away at their work, this year I have… Danny, who is maybe going to do a Grand Prix at the end of the year, or maybe not.

And that’s it. Hurricane is spending the summer at Camp Barisone. And other than my wonderful 25-year-old Billy, who I visited in his field today as he enjoys his well-earned retirement, that’s all I’ve got.

It’s weird, having the fewest horses I’ve ever owned since I was a teenager.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!

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Johnny Goes To The Show http://spriesersporthorse.com/johnny-goes-show/ http://spriesersporthorse.com/johnny-goes-show/#respond Sun, 19 Mar 2017 09:37:20 +0000 http://spriesersporthorse.com/?p=1000 Third Level, Test 3. Ring 2 at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. To confirm that the horse demonstrates correct basics, and having begun to develop an uphill balance at Second Level, now demonstrates increased engagement, especially in— JOHNNY ROAD: HI! Hi hi hi! Omg you guys, we’re at a horse show!! It’s been a few […]

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Third Level, Test 3. Ring 2 at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

To confirm that the horse demonstrates correct basics, and having begun to develop an uphill balance at Second Level, now demonstrates increased engagement, especially in—

JOHNNY ROAD: HI! Hi hi hi! Omg you guys, we’re at a horse show!! It’s been a few years since I went to a horse show because there was a period of time in which I thought grabbing the bit and running with my head in the air was an appropriate response to being asked for a flying change, and also there was a while where I thought going sideways was pretty stupid. But now I’m a big boy and I’m here and I’m braided and it is SO EXCITING and oh, hey Mom! That was the bell oh boy oh boy oh boy—

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!

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Not Easier, But Less Scary http://spriesersporthorse.com/not-easier-less-scary/ http://spriesersporthorse.com/not-easier-less-scary/#respond Wed, 08 Mar 2017 22:44:43 +0000 http://spriesersporthorse.com/?p=996 As I’ve said many times before, Danny is the most talented horse I’ve ever had. He just thinks like a Grand Prix horse, partially because I’ve been diligent in training him to think that way, but partially just from nature, the beauty of the successful purpose-bred animal. He’s agile as anything (sometimes for evil); he […]

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As I’ve said many times before, Danny is the most talented horse I’ve ever had. He just thinks like a Grand Prix horse, partially because I’ve been diligent in training him to think that way, but partially just from nature, the beauty of the successful purpose-bred animal.

He’s agile as anything (sometimes for evil); he can coil and spring like a cat, with this tremendous energy and expression. Right now, with a gun to my head, I could do a pretty presentable job of everything from Grand Prix except the ones, where I can consistently do four or five, and have pulled off as many as nine. He has not yet hit his ninth birthday.

Horses like Danny are terribly fun to ride, and also a terrible temptation. I could lean hard on the ones and probably get 15 by late spring, and put in a whole season at Grand Prix with him. We’d get some good marks.

And it would be a terrible, terrible idea.

Because there are still moments in Danny’s typical work week where he’s a mess, moments where he drops the contact and puts his flexible little neck too round and I have nothing in front of me anymore. There are moments where his back fatigues and so he flings his legs into the air instead. There are moments where he falls on his forehand so hard it’ll take me out of the saddle.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!

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Growing Up In Stages http://spriesersporthorse.com/growing-up-in-stages/ http://spriesersporthorse.com/growing-up-in-stages/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 22:37:55 +0000 http://spriesersporthorse.com/?p=940 My horses and I trundle along down here in Welly-world, making little nuggets of progress, and soaking it all in. Ella is working beautifully. I love my relationship with this horse—we’re an old married couple now, and as such we have our little spats because we know how to push each other’s buttons, but I […]

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My horses and I trundle along down here in Welly-world, making little nuggets of progress, and soaking it all in.

Ella is working beautifully. I love my relationship with this horse—we’re an old married couple now, and as such we have our little spats because we know how to push each other’s buttons, but I love her and she loves me and we know each other so well that we just move like one organism. That isn’t to say that we don’t have things to work on, because there’s always things to work on. But she’s so solid in who she is now, and I’m putting together work that feels like a finished product instead of a work in progress, and that’s a beautiful feeling.

If Ella is at the end of that journey with me, Danny is at the beginning, and it’s terribly exciting. Danny hasn’t always been the most straightforward of creatures (um, understatement of the century), with his twirl-first-ask-questions-later reaction time, his terribly athletic little body that can go every direction at once, and more than a hefty dose of cheek, he’s been an exciting ride.

But he’s working for me, not against me now. And because he was such a goon, he forced me to take my time on the foundation, which means that now, the work comes from a really solid place.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!

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