To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Since I don't like to let a horse sit for more than two days at a time unless I'm out of town, yesterday was a "must exercise" day. The dry spells came and went while I worked hard at other obligations until I got down to the wire on time (I had an evening meeting) and daylight. So I put on a waterproof jacket, fitted Horton with lunging surcingle and side reins, and worked him in the drizzle at the far end of the arena. Rick had cleared it of leaves earlier in the day so I had at least a 20m circle in which to work. It got quite windy Wednesday night and a lot of leaves came down, but there are many more to fall before we can do our annual arena "deleafing." Keeping the organic matter to a minimum keeps drainage at a maximum – a necessity for our long, wet winters.
This morning was forecast to be dry, so "riding Horton" was right after "chores" on today's to-do list. But chores took a bit more time than usual. When I opened the barn door, the aisleway was a MESS. My husband apparently neglected to latch Horton's stall door when he did chores last night, and Horton had helped himself to the hay. (By design, that is ALL that is accessible; our grain is kept in barrels on an upper level.) Horton must have eaten his fill, because even though his stall door was wide open, he was standing in his paddock. Oh well, at least he had a nice, full tummy! He was a very good boy during our ride (just like he was yesterday on the lunge line), maintaining consistent contact and taking his canter departs quite nicely from aids alone, no vocal cues.