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

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A good ride is like a drug

Had a great short schooling session with Russell in the arena before the farrier arrived this morning. I felt like I was remembering to do all the right stuff (an easy self delusion to have when it's been ages since I've had a lesson) so that Russell could give me his best stuff, like lifting his back and shoulders and stretching over the topline and bending correctly. We got really nice trot and canter departs and downward transitions, lovely lateral work, and eager stretches when he got a free rein. I even had the passing thought that if there was a Third Level scratch at Dressage at DevonWood this weekend, we could probably go in and look presentable! (The rational part of my brain SO knows that's not true; see what I mean about a drug?)

Friend Debbie and I do plan to pop over to DevonWood tomorrow to visit the vendors and take in a bit of the show. This is the second year in a row I'll not be there with a horse; all the showing I used to do is starting to feel like a lifetime ago. You'd think with all the money I haven't been spending on lessons and show fees that I'd see a difference in my bank account!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I was gonna ride but my horse died

Just kidding on the dying part.

Yesterday started out cool and cloudy AND Brian went to work with his dad, so I had every opportunity and intention to ride Russell. But I had this little addiction thing going that I found hard to put down, and when I finally did, I saw Russell lay down flat out for a nap. It's a well-documented fact that horses need sufficient time to sleep like that or they can actually get sleep deprivation, so of course I couldn't disrupt his beauty rest. I started spinning again, and then it got hotter, and there went my riding time.

I have been getting in some conditioning rides every week since getting back from Cowboy Campmeeting. He got shoes all around for that, so we have been riding around the one-lane gravel roads in the area. Schooling in the arena is very unappealing when it is this dry, as it gets so very dusty. But one hardly needs an arena to school dressage! We incorporate good connection over the topline, lateral work, a bit of collection and extension, and lots of flexion wherever we ride, and I think doing these things outside an arena keeps a horse from getting ho-hum about his work.