About Lauren Sprieser

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Lauren Sprieser has created 307 blog entries.

The Wonderful Mr. Wofford

By |2023-02-03T05:18:27-05:00February 3rd, 2023|Snippets|

I didn’t know Jimmy Wofford long, nor did I know him well. But from our first meeting he dazzled me with his tremendous respect for the horse and for horsemen. He treated me, a nobody dressage trainer from Nowhereland, like a peer. He was quick to help, and earnest in his passion for helping horses be their best. And he was so tremendously proud of his charges.

We’d met a few times before I reached out to him two years ago to talk fitness with Elvis, a horse who’d always felt to me like he would muscularly burn out. Jimmy took time out of his busy life to take me through a conditioning program, and then again through his thoughts on downtime, that changed our lives, and allowed Elvis to become a Grand Prix horse.

I kept Jimmy updated on Elvis’s adventures, and we playfully called him “his dressage horse.” He always had a kind word (even about a sport he claimed to not understand), and I’m so sad they never got to meet.

He was a joyous person, respectful and brilliant, and yet always with a twinkle in his eye. One of our last interactions was this one, after I’d bitten it off a young horse I had in training with a friend who runs out of Fox Covert, the Wofford family farm:

I hope Jimmy’s friends and family find comfort and peace. May we all live a life so highly regarded, and be so universally loved.

Comments Off on The Wonderful Mr. Wofford

The New Year Is An Opportunity For Change

By |2023-01-30T06:07:37-05:00January 18th, 2023|COTH Posts|

What a long strange trip it’s been, 2022. In all things with horses, we plan, and God laughs, so it’s never really a shocker to me when whatever the plan was in January stops being the plan about 837 times before the year’s end. Add in a pandemic coming to a… well, “end” isn’t quite right, but at least a new phase—plus an economic boom, an economic bust, life, death, losing a work wife and gaining a husband, and it’s been a year for the books.

It’s all left me in a place of opportunity, a place to make some changes in how I do things. As I’ve gotten older, I’m just a little less scared by the changes, the departures, the surprises. I now see them more as exciting moments for growth rather than calamities. It doesn’t make them easy, but I’m getting better at it.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!

Comments Off on The New Year Is An Opportunity For Change

Toughen Up or Soften Up? Striking A Balance In Equine Hiring

By |2023-01-30T06:09:51-05:00December 19th, 2022|COTH Posts|

There’s a real hiring crisis right now, and it’s across all industries, not just ours. The COVID pandemic has been unkind on so many fronts. To me, we’ve got two problems. One is about the expectations of those who think they want to work in the horse industry, about what a day, a week, a year in the life looks like. And the other is a serious problem with our industry and how we shape our business models.

Let’s begin with the latter. Most equine businesses rely on less skilled, less trained workers to do the unsexy parts of horse care: stall mucking, barn cleaning, schlepping through the mud and the heat and the flies. For some, that’s low-cost labor in the form of paid grooms. But for others, that’s working students, those interns who are paid few (or sometimes even no) dollars but gain experience and resume line-items that help them climb the ladder to better-paying jobs within the industry.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!

Comments Off on Toughen Up or Soften Up? Striking A Balance In Equine Hiring

Holiday Gift Guide for Horse Folks

By |2022-11-21T07:32:36-05:00November 21st, 2022|Snippets|

Tis the season – the season where many people are thinking about holiday gifts for their dedicated barn staff, horsey caretakers, and equine enthusiasts. Here are a few great gifts for the horse person in your life – professionals, amateurs, and youth riders alike.

1. A Ride iQ membership. Ride iQ is a revolutionary app that provides audio lessons on a huge range of subjects – dressage, jump work, ground work, sports psychology for riders, fitness, and more. Members get real-time instruction from some of the best in the business (including me!), plus access to an awesome Facebook group for members, some terrific podcasts, and more.

2. Fir-Tech goodies for horses and riders. Fir-Tech is a ceramic fiber from Catago, and is of similar quality to other similar products from other brands, but at way better pricing. I particularly love Elvis’s Stable Boots at horse shows when he’s not able to get the same amount of turnout as he does at home, and the Neck Brace for me. It’s great for when I’m a little stiff… which never happens, obviously, as a professional rider…

3. Kingsley Boots. Kingsley came to me four years ago and wanted me to try their boots. I’d been a longtime proponent of another prominent German riding boot, but the Kingsleys had me at hello, with their stiff exterior but remarkably short break-in time, their custom fit, and their many many fun options (even though I’m their most boring rider and my boots are rarely all that exciting). I just retired my pair of everyday boots after FOUR YEARS – an incredible run for a pro! I think everything Kingsley makes is wonderful, but I’m a huge fan of their fleece lining, which they can put into any of their boots, including these stunning work boots.

4. Roeckl Gloves. I live in Roeckl Gloves year-round, because they’re hard to kill… and lord knows I try. Much of the year I’m in the Madrid, but my winter favorite is the Winter Roeckl Grip. They’re warm enough for winter riding but thin enough that I’m not burdened by bulk.

5. The Mantra bangle. Everything from Swanky Saddle is gorgeous, but I particularly love these Mantra Bangles, especially the GRIT one – my fav, and based on my cool tattoo! And they’re on clearance right now, so go get ’em.

6. The Neue Schule Turtle Top Snaffle. What I really want everyone to do is bring in my friend Stephanie Brown Beamer for a bit fitting, but she’s one person, and she can’t be everywhere. But riding in a quality bit that fits well is a great start, and this is my workhorse bit. Almost everything in my life is going in a version of it, so it’s as close to a sure thing as exists. By the way, you’re probably riding in a bit that’s too bit as well – even Rowan, the 100% Irish Draught in my life, goes in a M. You just do not need a 6″ bit, friends, it’s not possible.

7. A Pivo. I first bought a Pivo to record my rides for my own review, and it gets a solid B at that job – easy set up, holds a charge well, but every now and then does this Exorcist thing where it spins around and loses me. But the real superpower of the Pivo is its virtual lesson capacity, because the instructor can take over the robot. It’s so easy (I’ve been meaning to make a video for social media on how I do it, and I’ve just been slammed; hopefully this will light a fire under my ass to get it done), the lesson hosting system is free to use, and they’re on sale for 50% off right now.

8. The Pro Lite Multi Riser half pad. Why not wear a shock absorbing saddle pad when you ride, and protect your horse’s back? This is my favorite because the pockets for shims allow me to get creative and extend the fit of my saddles as my young horses develop and change. Every horse, every day!

9. OneK Avance with MIPS. Do me a favor and check the date on your helmet. If it’s older than 3 years, time to get a new one. If you don’t know how old it is, time to get a new one. If you’ve bonked your head in it, it’s REALLY time to get a new one. And frankly, if it’s not a MIPS, it’s time to get a new one. MIPS technology is really worth the investment, because it’s so superior in its protection to a traditional ASTM hat, and the OneKs are such great bang for your buck. I like the Avance for its sun protection, and you can also customize your helmet with some great color pieces.

10. A gift card for a car detailing. Horse girl cars are… something else. A nice detailing is such an incredible gift, and it’s something certainly we horse pros never do for ourselves!

Comments Off on Holiday Gift Guide for Horse Folks

Reserve National Champions!

By |2022-11-20T05:42:13-05:00November 20th, 2022|News & Events|

Lauren Sprieser and Guernsey Elvis are your USDF Reserve National Champions! Massive congratulations to The Elvis Syndicate on their 74% performance at the USDF Finals in the Grand Prix Freestyle to take the ribbon. Watch the ride below, and read all about joining the incredible team of owners behind this exciting horse here.

Comments Off on Reserve National Champions!

Peace in Nowhereland

By |2022-11-01T14:43:09-04:00November 1st, 2022|COTH Posts|

Hello. It’s October. You haven’t heard from me since the end of August. I’m fine; nothing’s happened of note. I’m just… nowhere.

The hours are long right now. I’m pulling long days and longer weekends. And as an extrovert who recharges by socializing with others, having no time to do so has left me feeling a bit gray. Nothing serious. No one’s dying. I’m old enough and wise enough to know that this will end, and that’s a comfort. But I’m just nowhere.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!

Comments Off on Peace in Nowhereland

Bravo, Boys

By |2022-08-27T20:38:57-04:00August 27th, 2022|Snippets|

Today, as I write this, Abe Pugh and Alice Drayer’s Trakehner stallion Elfenperfekt placed fifth in the nation at the USEF Festival of Champions in the Grand Prix division, the highest championship division we offer in the United States.

I don’t know exactly how Abe and I met – I think we just said “hi, how are you” at enough horse shows until one day, voila, we were friends. But I do remember watching him ride Elfenperfekt – Pistol to his friends – at a show, noting that no one was there coaching him. I then remembered that, years before, a guy I barely knew named Michael Barisone came up to me and, politely, said that I looked like I needed a coach, and offered help.

So I put on my big girl pants, marched over to Abe, and said that if he wanted, I’d be happy to help him, with the exact same promise that Michael had made to me years before: I’d be there when Abe needed me, I’d be nice to his clients, and I’d never, ever try and take his horse away from him.

That was almost six years ago. Since then, Abe and Pistol have won a World Cup Qualifier, countless regional championships, and many year end titles, as well as top placing at CDIs and USDF Finals. I’ve taught Abe to be more diligent, to take it all a bit more seriously, and about throughness. Abe’s taught me about courage, about balance, and about fighting for your dreams. I make Abe tuck his shirt in, and fuss at him about his rogue elbows; he tells me to ask my horses for more, and to be brave when my baby horses feel wicked. I tell him to wrap better; he tells me to try and chill out when I go on vacation. And I offer to drive and fly all over for him, just as he offers to help me fix the floors in my basement. I don’t have a big brother, but I imagine this is what it’s like.

And then there’s that tremendous horse, Pistol, my goodness. What does one say about such a creature, one who gives his whole heart, every day? Pistol has given us all the incredible gift of his wisdom, his trainability, his kindness. My top Grand Prix horse, Elvis, knows how to piaffe because Pistol showed me what was possible. Every horse that both Abe and I will ever have will be better for having known Pistol.

Thank you, Alice, for making that amazing horse, and for letting all of us go all the places we’ve gone together. Thank you, Pistol, for showing us all what is possible on the back of a great horse. A MASSIVE thank you to Ali Brock for pinch hitting for me on Freestyle day – I had to fly home after the first two days of the Championships to coach one of my international level eventer students AND then show myself, along with some clients, at a local show here – as well as to everyone at Virginia Equine Imaging for all they’ve done for all of us to keep that tremendous beast performing his best.

Lastly, to Abe, my friend, my big brother, thank you for letting me help you. It’s been a remarkable ride! (Now get back to work on those elbows.)

Comments Off on Bravo, Boys

Ride Times for Suzanne Galdun Clinic

By |2022-08-18T05:22:02-04:00August 18th, 2022|News & Events|

Below are ride times for this weekend’s clinic with biomechanics expert Suzanne Galdun. Auditing is still available at $40/day at the door, but lunch is only for those who prepaid, so please plan accordingly. Thanks!

SATURDAY
8 Lauren Sprieser & Madiene, 5 yr KWPN Mare, 1st Level
8:45 Patricia Vos & Corino, 14 yr Holsteiner Gelding, 1st Level
9:30 Jodie Harney & Sullivan, 9 yr Oldenburg Gelding, 2nd Level
10:15 Sara Clendenin & Ellington, 8 yr Oldenburg Gelding, 2nd Level
11 Marja Lauren & Fiero, 14 yr Oldenburg Gelding, 3rd Level
11:45 Jodie Harney & Fermani, 12 yr KWPN Gelding, 3rd Level
12:30 LUNCH
1:15 Skylar Skalicky & Jasper, 8 yr KWPN Gelding, Training Level
1:45 Claire Decker & Wizard, 8 yr Friesian Cross Gelding, 2nd Level
2:15 Abby Westman & ?
3 Nancy Sulek & Range Rover, 15 yr Oldenburg Gelding, Intermediate II
3:45 Heather Richards & Halcyon, 10 yr KWPN Mare, 3rd Level
4:30 Marlene McGrath & Prince of Hearts, 9 yr Appaloosa Cross Gelding, 1st Level
5:15 Beth Zielinski & Ducati, 8 yr Swedish Gelding, 2nd Level

SUNDAY
8 Nancy Sulek & Range Rover, 15 yr Oldenburg Gelding, Intermediate II
8:45 Heather Richards & Halcyon, 10 yr KWPN Mare, 3rd Level
9:30 Marlene McGrath & Prince of Hearts, 9 yr Appaloosa Cross Gelding, 1st Level
10:15 Lauren Sprieser & Madiene, 5 yr KWPN Mare, 1st Level
11 Patricia Vos & Corino, 14 yr Holsteiner Gelding, 1st Level
11:45 Jodie Harney & Sullivan, 9 yr Oldenburg Gelding, 2nd Level
12:30 LUNCH
1:15 Sara Clendenin & Ellington, 8 yr Oldenburg Gelding, 2nd Level
2 Beth Zielinski & Ducati, 8 yr Swedish Gelding, 2nd Level
2:45 Jodie Harney & Fermani, 12 yr KWPN Gelding, 3rd Level
3:30 Marja Lauren & Fiero, 14 yr Oldenburg Gelding, 3rd Level
4:15 Skylar Skalicky & Jasper, 8 yr KWPN Gelding, Training Level
4:45 Claire Decker & Wizard, 8 yr Friesian Cross Gelding, 2nd Level

Comments Off on Ride Times for Suzanne Galdun Clinic
Go to Top