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ellaathome

Arriving, Eventually

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 […]

johnnynice

Johnny Goes To The Show

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 […]

LSprieser.PersonalPrint InternetLicense.12PBD0359.CopyrightSusanJStickle.com.jpg. (ZF-5424-25566-1-001)

Not Easier, But Less Scary

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 […]

dannylexingtonxtrotsmall

Growing Up In Stages

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 […]

undertheradar

Under The Radar

Somewhere in the world, the 2028 Olympic champion is a foal out in a field. He’s ewe-necked, sickle-hocked, downhill and shaggy, with a club foot and a chunk of mane missing, because his buddy chewed it off. Somewhere in the world, there’s a young horse that everyone says is too short to make it big. In […]

devonsmile

In The Quiet, In The Dark

I like the quiet moments at the shows. I like the mornings especially, when I come to feed Ella and clean her stall before heading out to the farm to work the rest of the horses. I like the stable compound before the masses descend, when it’s just quietly eating and breathing horses and a […]

johnnyflorida

Notes From The Trip To Florida

December 1: It’s official! Nine horses will be going to Florida, to a brand-new barn that we’ll have all to ourselves. Awesome. I’ll bring down one working student—conveniently also named Lauren—and hire someone local to do stalls for us. It’ll be a lot of work, but it’ll be OK. December 5: Well, now there are […]

LSPRIE1

No Kicking Of Cans

Danny is 8 this year. He’s always been wildly talented; I bought him in June of his 6-year-old year, by which time he could do big clean changes, a few half steps and a passagey trot that, while all will be handy one day, I had to basically sit down and take out of him […]

brunch

Break’s Over

I’m terribly careful with my horses and their schedules. I’m a little bit of a nut about making sure they get down time, not just for their bodies, but also for their brains. They’re all individuals, of course, and some can handle more shows and more work than others. But in my time with Ella […]