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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dodging raindrops

Still here; still riding - although it's gotten tougher to find dry-weather windows to ride in. (That mushroom above is growing in our sand arena!) Saturday afternoon I took Russell down the gravel road for a short, stretch-your-legs jaunt and we were wet and windblown by the time we got home (fortunately, the downpour waited until we were back in the barn). Yesterday was dry, so I prioritized my day to fit in a schooling session in the arena while we had the chance. Today, the hoofprints Russell made look like this:
But tomorrow is supposed to be dry again, so you can be sure I'll take advantage of that!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We're BACK!

Okay, so Russell and I simply participated in a dressage clinic today after a lo-o-o-ong dry spell of no lessons, no clinics, no shows. But it was fun, we didn't embarrass ourselves, and I plan to do it again, so it really does feel like . . . WE'RE BACK!

Some notes to remember when we school:
• Slow his front legs down at the walk; he tends to pop his knees. Remember to relax my thighs and make my legs long to encourage this.
• Keep the trot "innocent," and "fade" into transitions within the gate. His response will tell me if he's got enough impulsion or too much tension.
• Ask for more hindquarter activity at the canter, so he lifts his back behind the saddle.
• At all gaits, shorten my reins and encourage him to go to the bit, engaging his nuchal ligament.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thought for the day

Taken from Jane Savoie's e-zine: "Action always generates inspiration. Don't wait any longer. Just do SOMETHING. You may have to force yourself. You may have to push through your inner resistance. But DO SOMETHING." ~Kris Garrett

There are days I stay off my horse because he doesn't deserve my frame of mind. But a lot of other times I need to read today's thought, pull on my breeches, and saddle up. How 'bout you?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Still on track

We got a lot of rain this weekend. It was still raining this morning when I snapped this shot from the deck; the arena is saturated. But the rain stopped this afternoon, so Russell and I went up and down the gravel road to condition and school. Gotta keep at it; our clinic is a week from today!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Wednesdays and Thursdays are busy days. Brian and I have homeschooling co-op Wednesday afternoons, and a biology class for homeschoolers at George Fox University and violin lesson on Thursday afternoons, so those mornings are full of getting through our regular homeschooling and violin practice. The meteorologist warned that rain - not just showers - would be here by Friday's commute, so I was going to ride tonight in the dark, just to get some time in the saddle before the rain came. Unfortunately, it came early. :-(

Addendum: By the time we finished chores it was no longer raining, so I got to ride after all. Hurray!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I need scheduled events like shows, clinics, and horse-camping trips to give me the motivation to work my horse regularly. Don't get me wrong; I love to ride for the sheer joy of being horseback, but it has gotten really hard to eke out the time (and energy) to ride with everything else on my plate. So I signed up for a dressage clinic on Oct. 17! Pretty audacious, given Russell's and my woeful lack of time together this summer, but it's free to our Oregon Dressage Society chapter members so I won't feel bad if all we can manage is a lot of work at the walk. I rode Russell through the woods this weekend for a half-hour at a walk, and could tell I've really lost riding-muscle tone. When I rode again today (in the arena), my pelvic bones felt bruised. I've always said I want to ride until I die, so I better get myself back in riding shape so I can! Russell will be healthier and happier in riding trim, too. So. Back in the saddle again. What motivates YOU to ride?