To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Doing what we can

I've looked over Second Level Test 2 and like I said, everything is within our current skill set. Whether or not we can do it all, one thing after another, without taking breaks to stretch or cough or catch our breath, remains to be seen, but we'll give it our best shot.
I KNOW you can do it, Lance!

In the meantime, I'm working towards making Lance look the part. I shaved his bridle path and the tufts of hair that stuck out of his ears, then I spent some time on his mane. The rubbed off lower section has finally grown back but is thin and unruly, probably from being under his high-necked turnout sheet. The upper section was long and thick and I've left it that way to give his neck more coverage against mosquitoes. Time to make him look more like a dressage mount than a neglected nag!
I'm not done yet, but it's definitely looking better. I also need to wash and trim his tail and legs/fetlocks. But that can wait for one of the rainy days forecast this week; today is for riding!

Friday, February 15, 2019

"You did what?"

Yes, Lance; I entered us in a show! But don't worry; we're just doing ONE class. It'll take longer to clean you up to show than it will to warm you up and ride the test.

Our chapter's Bears Above the Ground ODS League show is light on entries, so I decided at our meeting last night to "Just Do It." If we don't fall down or break gait, I'll be happy. If we break 60 in our first Second Level attempt (and our first outing in three years!), I'll be thrilled. Now to print off and memorize a new test – while continuing to just work on short stretches of 'quality' during our rides.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Monthly check-in

In case anyone else still checks in here!

Lance and I are still a couple, comfortable with each other and our routine, like old married people – ha! His weight is good; he's coughing a bit more probably because of the smoke from our wood-burner and others. We're still exercising, schooling, taking in sunsets (above); although this weekend the weather has us mothballed. We've had some snow and rain and snow and freezing, so although I have cold-weather riding gear, the ground is now too slick and hard. I just went down to saddle up, and found it isn't even safe to try and lead Lance out of the barn.

But we have had some nice weather for riding, although it is too dry for winter here.

I haven't yet entered our ODS chapter's League show. It's coming up on the last weekend of this month; I have until the 15th to decide. I did look up the new dressage tests, and think that the Second Level tests are well within our skill set, if I can manage Lance's energy effectively. Still waffling....

Late last month I was thinking about my client with the handsome dapple gray OTTB, so I emailed her. I was stunned when she emailed me back that she had to have him euthanized on Christmas Eve due to surgery complications. Since then, she has purchased another OTTB; I look forward to meeting him someday.

My New Year's Day riding buddy is still recovering from her accident. Her clavicle isn't healing so she'll need surgery for that, but she also has pneumothorax that must resolve itself first.

You just never know what life is going to throw at you; all we can do is make the most of each day!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

New Year's tradition attrition

Hey there; it's been awhile. Christmas has come and gone; we've had good weather and not-so-good weather, but no BAD weather. I've been taking photos to share and exercising Lance regularly, but his lack of energy affects my motivation to post. And then New Year's Day happened....

If you've followed my blogs over the years, you know I have one cherished New Year's Day tradition. If I'm not out of town, I've got to spend some time on horseback. You know: "Begin as you mean to go on." Well, on New Year's Eve I got a text from a my best riding buddy asking if I was going to ride as is my custom, and before you could recite "Paul Revere's Ride," I had agreed to haul over to her place the next day so we could ride in the New Year together.

She has an arena with some obstacles, a long sloping gravel access drive up to the neighbor's, and some paths mowed into an adjacent empty lot. We tootled around utilizing all of the above, enjoying the beautiful day, good conversation, and our equine partners.

We came off the empty lot (shown in the last photo) and turned to head up the access drive one last time. Lance and I were in the lead – and then Kate's riderless horse passed us. I whipped my head around to see Kate lying on the gravel. By the time I jumped off Lance and hurried to her, she was sitting up but obviously in discomfort, slowly rubbing her left leg. I asked her if that was what hurt, and she whispered, "No, I think I broke my clavicle and a rib. I'm going to need the electric cart." So I ran down the driveway with Lance in tow to retrieve Kate's husband and the cart, threw Lance in my trailer, and Tim and I gingerly transported Kate down to the house and their car. Off they went to the local hospital, while I caught and cooled off Kate's mare, untacked both horses, and headed home. As the evening unfolded I learned, from a series of texts from Tim, that Kate had broken her clavicle and all 12 ribs on her right side, had two compression fractures in her spine, and punctured a lung. She was transferred to OHSU, the regional teaching hospital, because of pulmonary risk . . . and was finally released on January 9.

To add insult injury to injury, on the 11th I learned that my long-time clinician/instructor and superb horsewoman Suzan Davis Atkinson had been bucked off the Monday before and has a broken humerus! 😳

It's a good thing I'm not superstitious. Maybe more careful than ever now, but not superstitious. Off to ride my big red goober on this beautiful, sunny day; more later.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Whether the weather...

I'm doing my best to give Lance his prescription of 30 minutes of exercise daily regardless of weather or circumstances.


Weather, the busy-ness of the holiday season, and a week of unexpected medical appointments for my husband have interfered at times, but never more than two days in a row.

After a period of really great schooling sessions implementing what I learned auditing those two clinics, Lance seems to have lost energy. I wonder if it has to do with air quality/allergens, even though his respiration rate hasn't increased; regardless, I give him grace. It makes entering my dressage chapter's ODS League show at the end of February less appealing, but makes Lance a more dependable road/trail partner. Life is all about trade-offs.

Last Sunday was my dressage chapter's annual Christmas party. The gift I brought home included a cool pair of "Horse Nebula" knee socks and this antique salt shaker:

If I don't post again before Christmas, have a merry one!