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

Friday, January 1, 2021

Starting off right

My only tradition for New Year's Day – really, my only firm holiday tradition, period – is starting the new year on the back of a horse. Preferably not just sitting on a horse but going for a ride on my horse, but there have been years that all I could do was sit on my horse in the barn due to weather, or ride someone else's horse. Still, that's better than those few times in the last 40+ years when circumstances preventing me from being astride at all.

Today's weather forecast indicated a dry window in the morning, followed by a sustained soggy spell – as in days of rain. How fortuitous! I saddled up the reliably rideable one first. While Lance and I warmed up in the arena, I shot a little video to share on Instagram/FB,
then we walked down the lane and back.

Next I turned Stella out to stretch her legs, followed by some in-hand work. Since I am ever working on her reactivity, I did half-circles and circles with her while holding the flag, touching her with the flag, and then adding in a new and alarming piece. slipping the flag up under her tail. Down clamped the tail and forward scooted the mare – at first. But slowly and cautiously she accepted this invasion to the point that she kept walking, for which she was praised and rewarded. Then I climbed the arena fence to do half-circles, pet her, and sit on her. It would have been nice to actually ride her around the arena a bit, but she was quite lively when doing the half-circles so that would have been asking for a confidence-ruining wreck.
 So I had a ride and a sit. Carry on, 2021; I've started you out right!


Retired Knitter said...

Love the view - something I would never have seen on my own - never having had the opportunity to ride a horse. Great start of a new year.

Michelle said...

Yes, the world looks wonderful from the back of a horse, Elaine; I'm sorry you've never gotten to experience it!