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

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I really wanted to ride today. I am leaving very early tomorrow morning and won't have a chance to ride again until a week from tomorrow, unless I manage to wedge in a ride a week from today somehow. When our homeschool co-op is in session, it's usually all I can do on Wednesdays to get my son through his chores, schoolwork and practice before dashing into town for co-op, followed by his piano lesson from Grandma and any errands awaiting the next in-town opportunity.

I am tempted to go out in the dark and hop on Lance for just a little ride (we have a couple spotlights trained on our little arena, but their glare is worse than the darkness), but if I do that I will put off bedtime far later than is advisable before tomorrow's early morning flight. Sigh. Sometimes you just have to accept reality.

My friend Kate (Dinah's owner) is going to try to come over on Friday and Monday to get Lance out for some exercise. It will be interesting to hear how that goes. I've always been very protective of my horse partners, so suggesting that she ride Lance while I'm gone is a huge act of trust for me.

My ride yesterday was short but sweet. On Monday Lance was quite cranky about being groomed and tacked up, although he was fine under saddle. That night at chore time he didn't want to "visit" (he's usually quite social if I enter his stall or stand at his door, coming over to share breaths and nuzzle), but he was chummy with Brian during chores the next morning. So when I went down to ride yesterday, I slo-o-owed down instead of getting him ready in my usual businesslike fashion. And you know what? He was my friendly fellow again! I tried to keep that more relaxed mindset in the saddle, and like I said, it was a short but sweet schooling session.

There are a lot of demands upon my time and fitting in regular rides is a challenge. But once I manage to get out the door, I need to slow down and "smell the roses" – that would be Lance's nose, and breath, and neck. I need to look in his eyes, and stroke his face, scratch between his front legs, smooth his mane. Our rides – and more importantly, our relationship – will be the better for it!

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