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

Friday, February 1, 2013

How green was my valley

I just had to share another "lookout" photo (sorry Theresa; I hope this doesn't make you green with envy!). Yesterday I schooled a pent-up Lance for awhile in the arena, then headed down our gravel lane to get the mail. I thought about going to the other end of the gravel lane where Brian and I rode (and I snapped the last post's photo) earlier in the week, but by the time we conquered the paved road it was time to head home.

You see, we live on a dead-end gravel lane intersected by a paved road, and the mailboxes are next to the paved road. When my son and I rode Tuesday, the paved road was wet and Lance was just sure it was a waterway – even though it didn't act like water. He was leery, but the steadying influence of Brian's been-there, done-that pony got him across and back.

Yesterday the pavement was dry so I thought it would be a non-issue. Wrong. Lance crab-walked back and forth along the edge of the pavement for several minutes until I finally got him across. (I had to abort a couple of attempts because of passing cars.) But he didn't cross at the intersection, so we ended up in a muddy field that had been a cherry orchard until recently. There he acted alarmed at the MUD, staring at it with head lowered and ears forward while backing up! I was worried he was going to step in one of the root areas and hurt himself so I jumped off, then lead him back and forth over the pavement several times. Once I remounted, it was easier to get him to cross the road under saddle; we practiced that until he relaxed and stopped reacting.

The green field in the photo is volunteer oats on the other side of the paved road from the mailboxes. After I snapped that photo, Lance seemed to realize he was "all alone in the world" and whinnied loudly – the first time I've heard his voice. He got a little up on his toes, but we made it home without incident.

It's all training!


Laura said...

What a goofball! Love the picture!

Mary Ann said...

YOU HAVE GREEN!!! Thank you!

Michelle said...

And I love my goofball (Goober). :-)

Michelle said...

Yep, green is the color of Willamette Valley winters. I love it so much more than the tan/brown of Midwest winters! The rain is worth it!

Theresa said...

Oh yes, very green with envy. I can only imagine what my two fat curly boys would do upon seeing that field. Would I ever get their heads up? Isn't it amazing sometimes what ninnies the youngsters can be? For us it can be the first sight of the yellow road lines in the spring. They don't refuse at their ages, but a few times we get the hairy eyeballs. Cooper use to hate a particular stream, it was small, hidden in deep grass and cut deep with invisible muddy banks. I can't tell you how many times I just dismounted at that place and lead him over, mostly to avoid the huge neck snapping crow hop. Of course, there are dangerous things out here, so I have to be always sure that what I am asking or where I am pointing them really is safe, be it terrain, rattlesnake areas or predators, because they are all everywhere up here.

Anonymous said...

Oh the harrowing stories of road training young horses! A neighbor of our once bought two horses (around 8 years) that had only been stable/arena horses. Oh how they spooked at everything here at their new home. She slowly got them over all their agoraphobias.