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So far Lauren Allen has created 8 blog entries.

Horse Show Brain

By |2015-05-12T12:46:45-04:00May 7th, 2015|COTH Posts|

horseshowbrainI had the most incredible ride yesterday. I’m pretty much on top of everything for the Grand Prix on Ella, but there’s a gear in the passage I’m still not 100 percent confident in, and in my last lesson with Michael he put me on a 20-meter circle in passage and had me just play with it—what happens when I use my leg like this, what happens when I use my seat like that, until I cultivated the passage I wanted.

Yesterday, I rode outside, as it’s just gorgeous in Virginia right now. The sun was low on the horizon, and it was cool and crisp, and the birds were chirping, and the air smelled like apple blossom, and ultimately none of those things mattered because as I rode, I had one of those cool tunnel vision moments, where the whole world falls away and it’s just me and the horse.

In his book “The Talent Code,” which I highly recommend, if you haven’t read it, author Daniel Coyle calls moments like that “deep practice.” Unlike regular practice, this is deep, profound and zen-like, and it’s the most important and powerful practice of a task you can do. It’s fleeting. When you’re in that place, the world becomes very small and very quiet.

I love moments like that, rare as they are. They are, fortunately, as rare as the equally quiet, small world moments I experienced riding tests in the beginning of my career, the moments where I’d warm up, go down centerline… and completely fall apart.

I call it “Horse Show Brain.”

It manifests a little different for everyone who experiences it. For me, when it would happen, everything suddenly speeds up. Everything happens faster and faster, it seems, no matter what speed we’re actually going. For others, I’ve heard it described as a zoning out, where you “wake up” and the test is nearly over and you’re not sure you how got there. And for still others, something starts to go awry, and all of the tools you’ve learned as a rider suddenly elude you, like when people get under the spotlight to sing the National Anthem and the words spontaneously vacate their brains.

At a recent show, two of my students made big, important level move-ups, one to third level, one to Prix St. Georges. Both are good riders on solid horses (that we’ve trained up the levels ourselves, thankyouverymuch) who are totally ready for the level. Both are also very bright women, smart and successful both personally and professionally. They’ve been running through the test at home, without problems. They were ready.

And because I’ve been doing this a long time, I knew that one of two things was going to happen.

Option A was that on Day 1 they were going to remember all that they’ve learned, show up, ride their tests like we’ve practiced, have a great time, and then do the same on Day 2.

Option B was that on Day 1 they were going to freeze up, ride below their usual standard, spend all night fuming, and ride like rockstars on Day 2.

Guess which happens most often? And guess which happened to them?

That’s not entirely true. My student making her third level debut kept her wits about her for most of the test, only falling apart a bit in the flying changes, and you could see it happen, watching her face.

Bless my Prix St. Georges student, her brain left the building entirely.

And sure enough, we got dinner that night, and everyone was frustrated and sullen, and the next day they both manned up, got it together and rode like champs.

It’s so frustrating, as a trainer, watching your students go through this. I imagine that it’s a lot like parenting, watching your young children get dumped, or get their first C grade, or not get picked for the team; you know it’s going to happen, and you know it’s going to make them better in the long run, but you wish you could take the pain and frustration away.

But I can’t, and so I watch my wonderful students flame out, and then I’m there to hold their hands while they vent, and then help them put themselves back together for Day 2, when they keep themselves together, rely not on their reptilian brain but on their big ol’ frontal lobe, the one that knows to drive into the changes, the one that knows to let go of the curb rein, the one that knows that the most important part of the half halt is the letting go part after, the one that remembers to keep the leg on and the butt down and to not stare at the neck.

And maybe, one day soon, they’ll have a ride where the birds and the trees and the crowd and their fears and the rest of the whole wide world disappears, and it’s just them and their horses alone in that beautiful zen-like state that allows the greatness to come through.

(And if not, there’s aways cupcakes and margaritas. They help. A lot.)



Back In The Swing of Things

By |2015-05-12T12:44:58-04:00May 5th, 2015|COTH Posts|

backintheswingA month home from Florida and I’m finally feeling settled in. That month wasn’t exactly quiet—a show, the World Cup Final, a clinic with Michael, a Pony Club rating, and moving out of my house in town and back to the farm—and I just felt very scattered. Being in one place for a while sounds pretty great.

Of course, that’s not exactly what’s going to happen. We have back-to-back shows the first two weekends of May (though, mercifully, with different sets of horses), but then the rest of the month to keep working away at home, including our first-ever Adult Dressage Camp (which was so popular we expanded it to a second weekend, and still have a wait list—wahoo!)

But I’m finally getting into a rhythm and a plan with all of the horses I ride. The babies are all pretty easy, as they’ve all pretty much plateaued from their big Florida push.

Danny, who’s had his changes for as long as I’ve known him—though rideability of them (and really everything else) has been the question—made a BIG burst of improvement right at the end of the season, and there he’s stayed for the last month. I continue to work on building his topline; while he’s far from a puny weakling, he is also capable of way more work than you’d think by looking at him, which means he fatigues quickly, and the last thing I want is for him to get hurt by out-fancying his muscles. So we do lots of incredibly-boring muscle building work—transitions, both between and within gaits, and very simple half-pass lines. And we wait for the next level of work to find us.

Johnny struggled the most with the changes; whenever I try a baby horse out, I always hit a diagonal each way and ask for a change, just to see what they volunteer from nature. And Johnny volunteered not much of anything. This didn’t scare me; I am, if you all will indulge me a little ego, pretty good at teaching the changes, and he doesn’t have any problem learning or being told what to do, so he’ll get them.

In his two years with me they’ve gone from a whole lotta nuthin’ to a very late leapy change to a one-stride-late change with no leaping, so he’s on his way. I’ve got some really good tools to address them (which I just learned you can read about in the forthcoming July issue of Practical Horseman, when my article on addressing late changes will come out! Stay tuned!), and so I shall, until they are done, whenever that is.

Dorian made big change progress in Florida, and we came home with one super solid and rideable one, and one that was persistently not only one stride late behind, but also a little launchy. Dorian is about the sweetest creature on the planet, but when he has a teenage moment, it’s a bit spectacular—never EVER life-threatening or malicious in the slightest, but he is a very big, very good athlete.

The secret to that change, which has, over the last month, become about 90% solid, is a bit like the secret to everything Danny does—dumb it down, make it boring. They’re both REALLY impressive-moving horses, which is cool, as long as it’s yours; when it’s not yours, it’s high-power in every direction, which is hard to contain.

Riding Dorian in a really simple, almost a little earthbound, canter has taken the drama out of that change. And like any big, fancy-moving horse, I know I’ll always be able to turn up the power when he’s ready to do so; I can take it for granted just a bit.

None of the development “issues” (that word again! I hate it!) these guys are facing scare me in the slightest—they’re all world-class good horses, who are all still very young. I’m in no hurry.

Fiero, too, is well ahead of “The Curve,” if there is such a thing. At 8 years old he’s clocking off the Prix St. Georges work, and only missing strength and power, which no one can rush. Virginia spring weather is spectacular, and I look forward to working him more outside, on our gorgeous hills (though the first time we did this, he cheerfully clocked off pirouette after pirouette both up and down hills for quite a while with a big smile on his face, and then could barely get out of bed the next day. Oops. Too much fun?)

Fender will also be going to hill-work boot camp, though he packed on a ton of muscle in Florida just doing his work—he looks absolutely amazing. He’s the one I have with me at this weekend’s show, where we did a more-power-than-balance first pass at the Intermediaire I, including a very cheerful line of two-tempis that he mistook for a slalom ski course. Whoops.

I can’t get over the dramatic improvement to his maturity, particularly in the last couple of months. Midgey did the exact same thing when he turned 9, and I imagine it’s a bit like the junior year of college. You wake up one morning and go, oh crap—the beer I’ve been drinking is giving me a potbelly, I’m 18 months away from having to be a functional adult, and everything my parents have been trying to tell me for the last 20 years of my life that I thought was all nonsense is all totally true. I’d better get it together! And Midgey did, and Fender did too, and it’s kind of incredible—it was like an instant change. I love it!

Last but not least, my wonderful Ella girl. My Grand Prix skills are WAY rusty, which Ella has been very sweetly and politely pointing out to be every day. Riding her is so unlike riding everything else I ride, because she is TRAINED, and I have to ride her like a rider, instead of a trainer. This is unbelievably hard for me.

Not only have I been exclusively training for the last two years, but I also ride one horse like her, instead of the six or seven others I ride on a regular basis who are all in need of my baby-horse-management skills. Fortunately, I’ve got an awesome team who’s been videoing me, so I can sit back and watch at the end of the day (which involves lots of angry shouts of “DAMNIT WOMAN SHORTEN YOUR &*#$*! REINS!!!” from my office, which my wonderful employees have learned to ignore.)

I’ve gotten most of the kinks out of most of the things, with that darned passage still the last hold out—Ella makes it so easy for me to ride the big open floaty one, instead of the short high crisp one, and it’s the latter that gives me the transition to piaffe, whereas the former gives me zilch. I’ll figure it out. Until I do, should you pass by my arena in the mornings, you’ll hear me doing a lot of yelling at myself, which Ella, too, has graciously learned to ignore.


I’m Too Good For You, And Other Lies

By |2017-02-14T09:24:22-05:00April 19th, 2015|COTH Posts|

toogoodforyouIt happens all the time.The conversation goes something like this:

Cute Amateur Lady, upon seeing me in an article of clothing with my logo on it: “Oh, do you know/ride with/work for Lauren?”
Me: “Well…”
CAL: “I would love to ride with her, but she’s too advanced for me/she wouldn’t want to teach a beginner/she’s too important to teach a beginner/I’m not ready for that level of instruction.”

As a beginner at a sport myself—triathlon, where I am the equivalent of the Schooling Show Reserve Champion of the Intro Division For Ladies With Blonde Hair—I can understand the intimidation. I am always nervous going into my bike shop, even though my local shop is owned by THE NICEST GUYS in the history of the universe, who never give me a lick of crap for my beginner-dom, who never tell me my questions are stupid, and are always too happy to help me learn basic concepts or give me little tips. Why? Because I think that, with all their knowledge and experience, as successful time trial-ers and Ironmen and what-have-you, that they’re too good/busy/important to be bothered by little old me, that I’m not ready for that quality of instruction.

This is nonsense.

I’m quite good at my job. I make FEI horses that are not only successful but also nice to ride. I have amateurs, professionals and youth students alike riding at the upper levels with great success. And I’m often the busiest girl at the ball; many times I’m at the shows with north of 10 horses achat cialis ordonnance.

But people are afraid of little old me? People think they’re not WORTHY of little old me?! Puh-LEAZE. I love teaching beginners. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Here’s a few reasons why:

1. They are clean slates. When I get a beginner rider, be it a kid or an adult, I get no baggage. No one’s told them something screwy, or wrong, or complicated. They don’t get hung up in stuff; they don’t know enough to get hung up in stuff.

By getting students (and this is true of horses too!) at the beginning of their careers, I know I can start them the right way, and help guide them through the quagmire of misinformation that so many beginners get wrapped up in at the start.

2. The learning curve is steep. Addressing the finer nuances of the canter pirouette, or the one-tempis, or the piaffe-passage transition, is one helluva thrill. But it’s tedious and difficult work. It’s exhausting. And it takes time.

Teaching someone to put their horse on the bit for the first time? Teaching someone how to get the correct canter lead? Showing someone bend on a circle? This takes but a second. And when it’s done, that person thinks I AM A GOD AMONGST MEN. Who doesn’t want to be thought a genius? If helping a student achieve her goals is a drug, then helping the beginner student is a quick and cheap fix. And like any good junkie, I’m always eager for more! (This metaphor has gone off the rails a bit. Work with me, people.)

3. They want it so bad. This is particularly true of my beginners who start as adults. Maybe they saw Black Beauty. Maybe they begged and pleaded for riding lessons as a kid and their parents didn’t cave and so now, as adults, they’re finally on their own and ready to pull the trigger. This passion is amazing, and while it’s not like my advanced students aren’t wicked passionate, this is different. This is like the first three months of a new relationship with a hot boyfriend, and everything is all fun and stars.

(Then we introduce the sitting trot, and it’s like the third time the hot boyfriend stays over and he snores and leaves the toilet seat up and belches without shame and the shine starts to wear off, but it all works out in the end. Also, I don’t belch.)

4. They’re brave. This one’s especially true of my beginner kids. When you’ve never had a bad experience on a horse, you have no baggage about expecting one. Drop my stirrups? No problem! Do a lunge lesson with no reins while singing, to work on breathing? Fabulous! Close my eyes in a canter transition, or stare up at the ceiling during sitting trot because I’m supposed to be imaging George Clooney shirtless in the arena rafters? Why not!

5. It’s a challenge. Sure, I love teaching the upper-level guys, and it’s all kinds of challenging. But teaching the beginners of the world requires a whole ‘nother set of skills, and it is so, so much blissfully harder. How do you establish good basics in someone with no foundation? When you teach an experienced rider, there’s so much you get to take for granted, particularly if her experiences have all been good (probably because she started out with a good instructor from the beginning!)

6. The journey is incredible. I have a student who, while not a beginner rider, was certainly not an experienced dressage rider when she started with me. She’ll do her first Prix St. Georges soon, on a horse she trained herself. Another who had a lifetime of work in the hunter/jumper world will make her Third Level debut. And we have two who came to us as rank beginners as adults, a HUGE challenge, who are looking to First Level and beyond. Watching them make that move, watching them hit that centerline, watching them put on their tailcoat for the first time? That thrill is amazing for anyone, but especially when you remember the lessons on proper sitting trot position, or the right way to balance the whip and the reins simultaneously, or their first dressage show EVER.

So if you don’t think you’re worthy of a proper trainer, think again. And even more importantly, if a trainer tells you that they’re too good for you, keep walking. We all are worthy of the best instruction we can find, no matter the level. No one should ever settle for less—it’s not worth it!



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By |2015-05-12T12:36:53-04:00April 16th, 2015|COTH Posts|

partnershipI am sitting on an airplane to Las Vegas. The couple next to me are in their 80s, and have been married for 57 years. He holds her hand while they snooze. A love like theirs is something we all should be so lucky to know.

The timing of this trip sucks. The expense is daunting. But six months ago, when one of my best friends announced that, as she’d be celebrating a Birthday of Significance in April of 2015, she wanted our other bestie and I to join her in Las Vegas for the World Cup Final, we couldn’t not go. Life is short. World Cups in Vegas are few (I know they’ll be back in 2017, but… Omaha or Vegas? Sorry, Nebraska.)

So even though I’ve barely been back in Virginia long enough to do a load of laundry, even though I’m missing an important NAJYRC and Developing Horse qualifier, even though I’m showing Grand Prix in a few weeks and can’t seem to ride the passage to piaffe transition the same way twice, even though—to top it all off—I’m moving out of my rented house and back to the farm, I am on a plane to Las Vegas, because I love my friends and, in spite of my consistently consistent lack of availability to grab a bite or meet up for an activity, and in spite of my constant and neurotic prattling on about the highs and lows of life in a plucky little high performance horse sport, they love me, too.

I am doing this for all the fun professional reasons as well, of course. How often are we so lucky as to see these European greats on US soil? Watching Isabell Werth ride anything is a Master Class. Edward Gal’s incredible simultaneous control and stillness is an inspiration all its own.

But the partnerships. No one gets to the World Cup by chance, but the top group. Charlotte and Valegro. Laura and Verdades. Two of the most incredible love stories of the modern dressage era. Two very young women of humble origins, on the right baby horse at the right time, growing together into the greatness that we see today, but also all we know about them behind the scenes, how Valegro loves his hacking and turnout, and how Verdades takes his confidence from Laura-not-just-as-rider-but-as-groom, at his side. A love like theirs is something we all should be so lucky to know.

My two friends and I are all very different, different backgrounds, different stories, though we have a few key commonalities. We’re all riders, obviously. We’re all strong and driven women, none of us shy about attacking what we want with gusto. We’re all also accomplished in our respective fields, and we all got that way because we’re equally bright (a good thing) and neurotic (a sometimes-not-so-good thing, though the itinerary for this trip was rather meticulously planned, and we’ve got sufficient sunscreen and breakfast bars to feed a small army, so that’s something).

We all also really need this trip, even me, in spite of it’s less-than-ideal timing, or maybe even because of it. We’ve all, independently, had a case of the oh-my-gods before this trip. The expense. The timing. Various personal and professional calamities that are just part of life and living.

And here we are, on this plane, tickets scrimped and scrounged for, savings tapped into, partially because this is the World Cup Final, and they don’t come around often. But also because we are people who love and care about each other, have each other’s backs (even when it ain’t going so good), and who will cherish the good times and make the most of everything. A love like this is something I am so honored, so privileged, so blessed to know.



The Best Winter Yet

By |2015-05-12T12:34:29-04:00April 9th, 2015|COTH Posts|

FeatureImage3My last week in Florida finished in typical whirlwind fashion. I made the brilliantly boneheaded decision to show Fender one last time on Thursday and Friday, with the plan of then packing Saturday and leaving Sunday, because there’s nothing like trying to pack up your entire life to help you focus on a horse show.

Fortunately Fender is impervious to nonsense, and had his best show yet. The amount he has matured, not just over our five years together, but particularly in the last six months, has been just unreal. I’ve always said there is something magical about 9 years old, where even the looniest of loonies gets his ducks in a row, and Fender is no exception.

We did an open Prix St. Georges class the first day, which is not the best test for Fender. I find the pattern of the walk to the first couple movements of canter doesn’t let him stay in front of my leg as easily as some of the other tests we’ve ridden together over the years. So that has been my focus over the winter, and it paid off with a 68 percent from a serious international judge, not far away from one of my year-end goals of 70 percent from such a judge. The icing on the cake for me was her telling me that sometimes his neck is too high and that he’s not round enough.

Being excited about this may sound insane, but since I have been diligently working from age 4 on keeping his neck from being too low and too round, this is a major victory!

The second day we rode the Developing test, and damn if I wish it hadn’t been a qualifier, because he was just outstanding. That test flows beautifully, but to top it all off, there was a colossal five-minute rainstorm, followed by an absolutely explosive musical freestyle, all while we were in the warm-up, with horses losing their cool everywhere around him, and Fender never blinked. He then went on to be the best he’s ever been in the ring for 73 percent, a blue ribbon and a very big class, and big smiles all around. Mission accomplished!

The show was the cherry on top of the best Florida season I’ve ever had. Client-owned Fiero and Bo made huge progress for their owners, both doing their first FEI tests with great success. The baby horses—Danny, Dorian and Johnny—all return home so much more rideable, through and useful, than when we left. They all are in varying degrees of solid in their flying changes, and the older two are quite solid in there half steps. Most importantly, they confirm for me every day what I’ve always believed—that they are the best I’ve ever had, and will all be very successful international horses.

And there’s one more horse to complete the story—Ella. To make a long story short, I never wanted to sell her, and it was about necessity and making what was, at the time, the best choice, which over time became about needing to make a sacrifice in order to keep my pipeline of horses going. It doesn’t make any sense to put all of my eggs in one basket, and since no one is buying international horses for me, I have to make them myself.

For reasons surpassing understanding, Ella has been difficult to sell. She’s not terribly big, she’s a mare, she’s red, and she’s in the United States, at a time when people are all too happy to schlep to Europe and spend twice as much. And it seems stupid for me to be sacrificing and slaving with the hopes of riding CDI Grand Prix one day, when the possibility to do so was very much within my grasp.

I ended up making the difficult decision to sell one of my good young horses, though I had the great fortune to do so to a client, who will keep him with me and, even more unbelievably, let me finish the year as his competition rider. I am so blessed and honored, and so excited that I’m bringing Ella home!

So home we went, and an extremely and mercifully uneventful trip, only to have my car blowup 24 hours after my return. (Go figure.)

I’ve hit the ground running, riding and teaching my little heart out, and got the best welcome home present I could possibly have received in the form of great success at our first Virginia show of the year, the highlight being the successes of my junior rider phenom, Kristin, who rocked both the junior and pony divisions at their first qualifier for the National Championships. It’s great to be back! Let’s get to work!



The End-Of-Season Blitz

By |2017-02-14T09:24:21-05:00March 28th, 2015|COTH Posts|

<img class="alignleft wp-image-349 " src="http://spriesersporthorse generic cialis eu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/endofseasonblitz.jpg” alt=”endofseasonblitz” height=”500″ srcset=”http://spriesersporthorse.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/endofseasonblitz.jpg 720w, http://spriesersporthorse.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/endofseasonblitz-225×300.jpg 225w” sizes=”(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px” />We’re down to the wire in Florida, with just days before my horses and I pack up and head home. And without fail, there’s this sudden franticness, to get everything done, to see everyone, to cram in those last lessons. And last week was no exception.

The weekend before I got the call that Fender and I had been invited to ride in a USEF Developing Rider Clinic with Debbie McDonald. I was thrilled, even when they told me that my rides were on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, the two worst possible days of the week. Tuesday I was also scheduled to ride both Fiero and Johnny as demo horses for a USEF Judges’ Forum, and Wednesday I’d scheduled a photo shoot with the amazing Sue Stickle for an article I’ve written for Practical Horseman.

A few frantic phone calls later and I got everything moved around. Johnny and Fiero went early, and went great. They’d both had Monday completely off, and I’d been teaching in Virginia the previous three days, so Johnny and I took a little time to get it together, and he cheerfully squeaked his way through demonstrating First Level Test 3 and some Second Level work. I get a gold star for reading comprehension for completely forgetting to practice the rein back, something I’d yet to introduce to him, and felt like a total putz when asked to show a group of 150 judges what a good rein back looked like. Needless to say, we did a fine job of demonstrating what a BAD rein back looked like. Derp.

But he was good, and they told me that he was a little too quick and too up and open in the neck, and I pretty much don’t care because I find that the best way to kill your chances of being great at Grand Prix is to teach your horse to be good at First Level. And so on we go.

Fiero was great, of course, and they loved him, of course, and we got lots of praise and then bolted out the door so I could drop them off and pick Fender up and head over to the Developing Clinic.

Fender was also a wee bit on edge from his day off, but he just cracks me up – he doesn’t get phased or frazzled anymore, and the more I just sit there with my leg on and tell him to focus on me, the more he does. Where did my baby squirrel go? He grew up.

Debbie is just the loveliest person, and her lessons were so complimentary to what Michael and I work on—she’s got this quiet, meticulous way, a pleasant contrast to Michael’s bold and brash, but she’s also a teeny tiny woman, and is so gifted at getting so much done with so little physical effort. She told me lots of things that Michael tells me (which is not a complaint; I love it when other world-class dressage minds confirm the program I’m in!), and also gave me two cool exercises, one to address Fender’s inconsistent contact in the walk (using renver and haunches in to help him stabilize), and one to think about the idea of passage (using posting trot to help him move his back). It was a great experience, and I’m so grateful to the USEF for making it possible.

I pushed my Practical Horseman photo shoot to today (cue the frantic consumption of salads and riding of my bike), and spent Thursday and Friday running around getting all the things done that didn’t get done on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m looking forward to just getting to ride my horses!


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All Of A Sudden

By |2015-05-12T12:33:42-04:00March 21st, 2015|COTH Posts|

LMS_0855webI remember this one day. It was the summer of 2010. Midge was 8. And I got on, and I picked up the reins, and there he was. He was connected to my hand, hind legs, withers, bridle. He was balanced and organized. He was just THERE. He felt like an expensive FEI horse, and while he still made mistakes, still needed to develop in his strength and timing and coordination, still wouldn’t do his first Grand Prix for two years, all of a sudden, he was there.

One of the things that’s toughest about training horses is that training is cumulative. If Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, then horse training is insanity: you pick away at things, address the same little nuances, ask the horse to try and carry himself over and over and over and then, all of a sudden, he can.

Ella and Cleo and Fender didn’t have “That One Day.” They just kept developing, bit by little bit. But for Midge and, last week, for Fiero, the years they’ve logged all came to a head in one beautiful moment.

For Fiero, it was, magically enough, at the show two weekends ago. (What timing, right?) I hopped on, picked up the reins, and there he was. Fiero is also 8.

Like Midge was at the same time, he’s doing the Prix St. Georges, but there’s still pieces of strength and balance and organization that are ongoing in their development. Of course he’s not finished. But That Day, and every day since, he’s given me the kind of feeling I think he’ll give for the rest of his life—up in the bridle, long in the neck, connected and organized, even on the days when he’s tired.

It’s a really incredible feeling, and not just because riding horses that feel like that is pretty dang fun. It’s an incredible feeling because I know I played a role in him, and in Midge, feeling like that, that through diligent and meticulous (and sometimes exhausting and frustrating and backbreaking) work, I helped them find it.

That Day makes all the other days—the days when it stinks, when it’s not so easy, when you swear up and down that you’re doing everything right and you can’t get it right anyway—all worthwhile!



December 2014 News

By |2015-05-13T21:21:49-04:00January 2nd, 2015|News & Events|

Big Success at USDF National Finals

Amanda and Mason, Third Place Second Level AA

We were so excited to qualify five horses for the USDF National Finals in Lexington, Kentucky. It was a long trip and a cold show, but Team Sprieser came, saw and conquered!


Here’s the final tally:

Amanda Wille & Mason, 3rd Place, Second Level Amateur Finals, plus three out of three wins in her Second and Third Level open classes

Kristin Hickey & Capital Call – 6th Place, Third Level Amateur Finals

Kathleen Johnson & Wonderland II S, First Level Amateur Finals, plus a Second Place in her First 3 warmup on a personal best of 69.355%

Ferris Yanney & Rocky Road Trip, Intermediate I Open Finals

Lauren Sprieser & Beverley Thomas’s Fiero, 4th Place Second Level Open Finals and 16th Place Third Level Open Finals


Year End Awards

We’re also excited to see so many of our students faring so well in our GMOs Year-End Awards. Final awards have yet to be announced, but here are where we stand with CDCTA’s Year End Standings:


Meg Melusen & Glenhaven Serengeti – 7th place Training Level Senior, 66.24; and 3rd Place Musical Freestyle, 71.22

Lauren Sprieser & Jamie Hedges’ Windhorse Ysis – 5th Place First Level Senior, 72.18

Lauren Sprieser & Judy Sprieser’s Dorian Gray – 9th Place First Level Senior, 69.07

Megan DeMichael & Agripin Rudy – 1st Place First Level Junior, 66.02
Megan DeMichael & Rama Shamonzada – 2nd Place First Level Junior, 63.71

Lauren Sprieser & Beverley Thomas’ Fiero – 1st Place Second Level Senior, 76.36; and 1st Place Third Level Senior, 74.75

Heather Richards & Hastening Cardoon – 4th Place Second Level Senior, 68.78; and 1st Place Musical Freestyle, 72.36

Kristin Counterman & Bellinger – 1st Place Fourth Level, 67.82

Lauren Sprieser & Stratocaster – 2nd Place Prix St. Georges, 69.38


Congrats to all, and enjoy a well-deserved break until 2015!

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