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 8, 2016

As befits Super Bowl Sunday

Yesterday I presented Lance with new challenges. Cavalleti, rise up!

He clumped all over them during the walk-over. He knocked them lightly during the first trot-over. By the end, he had mastered the high-stepping required. Atta boy! I also worked hard on pushing my hands forward while riding, the opposite of most riders' natural impulses – mine included. It certainly made a positive difference.

I have sent off our entry to the Bears Above the Ground ODS League Show on February 28. Guess I'd better dig out my test booklet to review First Level Tests 2 and 3 . . . and try to find one more opportunity to schedule a lesson with Julie!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Enjoying the NOW

I had a great lesson with Julie tonight. When she wasn't available the last two Sundays, we aimed for a rare weeknight lesson, and I got everything juggled and arranged to git 'er done.

I shared with Julie that Lance is struggling with his right lead canter. After I warmed him up and worked him a bit, she suggested she get on. I always enjoy watching a professional I admire show me just how beautifully my partner can dance, so yay! It took some time to figure out, but she eventually got some excellent work from him and was able to explain to me what she was felt and what she did to fix the issues. I was then able to get on, follow her instructions, and get more of the same high quality work from my handsome horse.

We discussed the upcoming League show I plan to enter and what classes seemed best. I also shared an unpleasant revelation I had today. One of my graphics clients, my biggest one by far, will be doing their own work in-house starting in March. My very part-time graphics business is the source of my discretionary income, allowing me to get things that don't fit into our lean budget . . . things like lessons and show fees. So the upcoming show, and hopefully one more lesson from Julie leading up to it, will probably be the last in the foreseeable future. That makes me a little sad, but it's definitely a First World problem – and who really knows what the future holds?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Trying out the new lens

Here, from walk to canter, are my favorite shots of Lance (not necessarily of me!) that Rick took on Sunday. It was mid-afternoon on a cloudy winter's day, proving that the new lens can deliver on its promise of detailed low-light action shots.

Free to play

Saturday afternoon late I decided to give Lance some time to exercise himself. I haven't turned him loose to romp since his latest suspensory injury, but figured he's healed and fit enough once again to handle it.

I took a snapshot of the new view from the arena with all the neighboring trees cut. (The remaining firs on in our lower pasture.) There wasn't enough light left for action shots, but there was plenty of action! Lance ran and bucked a lot, proving that his sluggishness under saddle is situational, not systemic. ;-)  Brian was playing with some friends up by the house, which gave me a chance to get some stills, though.

I had left Lance's turnout on to keep the sand off; brushing only gets so much out and it can't feel good between the saddle and his skin. By the time he was done playing he was hot and sweaty, so I uncovered him and we walked to the mailbox to pick up the day's mail and back home to cool out.

Rick got a new camera lens that is supposed to be good for low-light action shots. He tried it out when I rode Lance Sunday afternoon, and it really does work well! I've only begun editing the photos; I'll share some once I'm done.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Silly us

I had too much fun with my iPhone and Lance yesterday. You can check out the silly pictures on Instagram (click on the blue logo bar at right).