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

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Minding his Ps and Qs

In the comments to my last post, Marie wondered if Horton would mind his Ps and Qs the next time I rode him after coming off. I am happy to announce that 1) the weatherman was wrong and today hasn't been a soaker, so that 2) I could ride this morning and 3) report that yes, indeed, Horton did mind his Ps and Qs!

Considering that the horses have gone from all-day-every-day turn-out to no turn-out at all since Friday*, I thought about turning Horton loose in the arena for awhile or at least lunging him a bit to shake out any silliness that might have built up. I had my lunge line, side reins and lunge whip ready to grab on my way out to the arena, but ended up leaving them there. Why? Well, Horton got worked pretty hard Friday followed by just one day off; I won't always have the luxury of time to do more than short schools between rain showers; and many shows do not allow lunging on the grounds. Our first show is two weeks from today; there's no time like the present to have high expectations. As advertising guru David Ogilvy said, "Don't bunt. Aim out of the ball park."

Horton may not have hit any home runs today, but he stayed in the game and played well. :-)

*We live on a hillside and with the addition of rain the footing gets slick fast. To avoid injury (as well as fungal problems of hide and hoof) and preserve forage roots, we keep our horses off our limited pasture during the rainy season.


Marie said...

Woo Hoo!! That is great! And two weeks till your show. Wow!!

Theresa said...

Sounds like Horton will be ready at least knowledge wise. The hub-bub of the show will certainly be a learning experience. Glad to read you do still bounce. I envy you that arena. The trails get slippery as heck too after such a long time with no rain.

sylkan said...

So glad your hand is functional. I know what you mean about hanging onto the reins too long. Been there, done that. Same result. Time to learn to piaffe between pillars? I read that the piaffe was "invented" to keep horses fit for war while hunkered down in camp or hiding in caves with no place to otherwise exercise. Nah, maybe he can wait for that until he moves up a few levels!

Michelle said...

Theresa, I'm hoping that Horton's stays in much busier boarding facilities and his one trip to a show environment (as a jumper, but he came up lame and didn't show) have given him some prior experience to draw upon.

I am very thankful for our little arena, open to the elements though it is!

Michelle said...

Oh yes, there's barely any soreness left, so nothing serious happened to my hand. If I had time and money to connect with Suzan, I'd take more lessons on long-lining. I haven't done enough to feel comfortable with it (Russell wasn't a willing long-line student), but it is an excellent way to do all of the work from the ground, even though we'd still need to be outside.

Michelle said...

Yep, it's coming up FAST!