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

Monday, January 13, 2020

Gutted and going on

We just came through a very difficult weekend. It was clear that Jackson's decline was becoming incapacitating, and that the hardest decision was at hand. While I finished exercising both horses yesterday afternoon, my husband and son dug a grave; when I came up from the barn, I sat down on the floor with my dear dog, ever the "hand-holder," and said a heartbreaking good-bye.

Before and since, Stella has helped distract me. On Sunday, I saddled her and led her around for awhile, then turned her loose in the arena to play as she chose (except for rolling; I didn't give her the option of choosing that). On our warm-up walk, we stopped by Rick's vet truck and he dewormed her with ivermectin; now, with the addition of daily dewormer to her rations, she can get the benefit of all her feed.

Love her straight legs but that right hip almost always looks dropped. 🤔
In the arena she let loose, running and bucking. The last time I shared photos of her frolicking a reader wished for videos, so this time I have that, too:

When Stella finally consented to being caught, she was winded, hot and sweaty, so we walked around again to cool her out. In spite of basically being turned out her whole life, it's clear she's not really fit. That's why I ordered this book:

Almost three years ago I attended the author's classroom presentation and riding clinic (Lance and I were a demo pair) and was extremely impressed with her knowledge and methods. I think this book will help me develop Stella into a sound, strong, engaged partner.

This morning I worked at the office job and then ran errands. While at the farm store, I checked the clearance rack and found a dressage bridle for just under $20(!). Since it was returnable, I bought it home to try. Not only does it fit (I tried it on in 'pieces' – first just the cavesson, and then the headstall), it is very attractive on Stella's small head with its narrow pieces and sparkly silver-accented browband.

So this evening I occupied my hands and mind by treating the whole thing with some super-duper Leather Seal I bought at the FEI World Cup we attended right after the Jec Ballou workshop. Now I need to find a bit; the one I used for fitting is Kate's. She brought over a bridle and two bits of Dinah's for me to try on Stella; the bridle was too big and I don't think either bit is the best choice.


edie said...

Stella looks great. I'm sorry to hear about Jackson. Sending comforting thoughts.

Retired Knitter said...

I ABSOLUTELY love watching her. She is so young and proud of herself - and holds herself with such grace. She is just one beautiful animal. How lucky she is!!

Jeanne said...

Thanks for sharing Stella! The videos are fun to watch. I'm so glad you have her to distract you.

Michelle said...

Thank you, Edie, for both the compliment and the comfort.

I'm rather smitten with her, too, Elaine. ;-)

You're welcome, Jeanne. She is a good distraction.