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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Covering and cantering

It's been chilly here, the dampness making it feel even colder than it is. Lance has been wearing Russell's old stable blanket; maybe he won't get quite so woolly that way. I know he can keep himself warm, protected from the rain as he is by his covered quarters, but I'd rather he spend his calories rebuilding his physique than generating heat. He hasn't been messing with the blanket at all, so I think he must appreciate it for now.

The number of blanket and sheet repairs I've paid for, Alanna's positive review, and an internet special prompted me to purchase a turnout sheet from SmartPak that has a 10-year guarantee against damage. It arrived yesterday, and I tried it on Lance today. I got an 84" because I have an 81" that is a bit too small for Lance, but I'm thinking an 81" in this brand would fit him better. What do you think?
It seems to be very well made, with excellent features. I'm hoping the high neck will keep Lance from rubbing out his mane!

As for me, Polarfleece breeches and wool socks keep me warm during our rides; that, and something to cover my ears. We tootled around in the arena this afternoon; I asked for a couple canter departs each direction just as a reminder to us both, and was pleased with Lance's response. But mostly we walk, and it is enough for now.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Meeting neighbors

This afternoon I rode Lance awhile in the arena (even trotted a bit with the vet's okay!) and then headed out for a little road ride. I could hear a chainsaw to the south and wanted to see what was happening, and figured a little hill work and a change of scenery would do Lance good.

Off in the distance we saw a couple walking toward us around a bend in the gravel road. When they stopped and looked back like they were calling something, I expected to see a dog, but instead two fluffy pygora goats ran up to them! Lance snorted explosively, then marched towards them – until the blond goat started walking toward US. Ha! Eventually we gathered in a loose group to introduce ourselves. I didn't think to take pictures until after saying good-bye, so I doubled back to rectify that –just for you. ;-)
Lance has one ear toward the wife on our right.


It's always nice to meet fellow animal lovers! They will be bringing their granddaughter up for a "pony ride" over the Christmas holidays....

Dance like no one's watching

We got almost 6 inches of rain last week, but there were still opportunities to walk my fine steed around on our hill. I've been staying out of the arena because of the leaves, but Friday Brian wanted a job so I set him to it:
He did a GREAT job, too, raking most of them by hand when they proved too wet and heavy for the sweeper to collect. Now Lance and I have a good place to dance even in the dark. And now I have just the outfit for dancing in the dark....

I am blessed with an extremely generous blogpal, who always seems to think of me when she's clearing out her tackroom. Recently she asked me if I would be interested in a Cashel bareback pad. I replied, "Yes!" (I've been wanting a bareback pad for awhile, but not badly enough to go shopping.) It arrived on Thursday, so Thursday night I had to try it out. Very comfortable! Brian wanted to try it, too, which gave me a chance to snap a poor photo (LOOK at those long legs!):

But this wonderful pad was accompanied by other goodies, too. I was totally blown away by this gorgeous pair of breeches with full deerskin seat,

– and this crazy pair of fringed riding tights!
Oh my goodness; they are hilarious! I'm NOT a flamboyant person, so my guys may be the only people to see me in these, but who knows? Maybe someday I'll design a musical freestyle or costume class ride around them. Maybe to this song?


I think I need to find a black Sleezy for Lance, and stitch a big blue "S" on the chest!!!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Back on back

As I posted on Instagram and Facebook yesterday, it's wonderful to be back on Lance's back! Even if it is just for a short walk. He is being marvelous, BTW; totally a solid citizen, even when walking by the neighboring lot with felled trees, strange vehicles, and buzzing chainsaws. Love him!

I'm thinking I'd better get out there if I want to get another ride in before the big weather hits....

Monday, November 9, 2015

Looking forward and back

Rick treated Lance with shockwave for the third and final time tonight. He said I can start walking him under saddle now; woohoo! Now I can work on my own core strength while continuing his easy exercise.

I recently updated my Facebook profile with this photo of Lance from the State Fair:

I like that photo so much I've ordered a print. :-)  Below are some other good shots from the State Fair photographer's website. Looking forward to showing in our "new" bridle – with fancy browband – next year!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Good medicine

I've been walking Lance, which is oh, so hard for him. He constantly wants to grab something – grass, leaves, my arm(!) – and when I scold him, he sometimes uses it as an excuse to try cavorting. But I'm glad to see him feelin' fine, and can't wait to ride him through the woods again. Now I can (almost) say I have doctor's orders to do it!

My SI joints have been cranky ever since Lance tripped and fell with me last summer. I tried the chiropractor next door to where I work, who didn't help, so I finally went to see the physical therapist who did so much for my frozen shoulder and bad knee. That gave me 36 pain-free hours; then I got sick, Lance got hurt, a few weeks passed and I was uncomfortable again. I went in for another session on Tuesday, and the PT decided to try traction. BAD idea; traction hurt, and left me barely able to function. Back I went this morning; based on the bad outcome from Tuesday, the PT said he suspects arthritis rather than a disk problem. After treatment, he gave me some stretches to do and instructed me to keep riding, since dressage, properly ridden, is core-strengthening. Now that's a prescription I can appreciate!