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

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Weekend excitement, part II

Before the weekend my friend Kate and I made tentative plans to ride at Willamette Mission State Park today. The weather and our families cooperated, so this afternoon off we went, leaving the Super Bowl to those who cared.
(What do you mean, "we're on a boat"???)

This time we took the ferry, because the park is only 7 1/2 miles from my home that way. I'm too chicken to attempt the steep on and off ramps with a truck and trailer, but Kate was game and she was driving. It did save a lot of travel time – which meant more time for riding!

We had the park almost entirely to ourselves, just as we hoped. One other rig pulled in after we arrived, and left before we did. Pedestrians and bicyclists were scarce and distant.
The only other riders there on this beautiful day

Many of the trails were muddy, but our youngsters picked their way through the muck admirably. When we came to puddles, Lance willingly walked right through them – although he did pause and paw once. He did it again when we got to a nice, dry, soft and sandy spot on the trail; a good roll was obviously on his mind. Yeah, right; walk on, big boy!

At one point the trail was completely submerged under a long trough of water. I started to ride off through the grassy meadow to the side when I saw Kate asking a reluctant Dinah to walk through the water. Wanting to be supportive, I directed Lance back to the water to lead the way for Dinah. No problem; he was happy to help. Or was he just happy to have another chance at the water? He stopped; I tapped him with my dressage whip. He started pawing; I whacked him with my dressage whip. His knees started buckling; I thrashed him with the dressage whip! It was no use; he was determined. Onto his side he rolled; off and out of the way I stepped. Fortunately he popped right back up rather than trying to roll completely over on my saddle; as it was one side got completely soaked. There was really nothing to do at that point but laugh – and get back on for the rest of the ride, mud and all!

There's our waiting taxi, straight ahead between Lance's ears

He was pretty full of himself for awhile after his stunt, looking for any excuse to cut loose. But like yesterday, he finally leveled out and relaxed, once again becoming the horse I'm used to.

Back at the trailer, the late-day sun burnished his clean side with a fiery glow before we loaded up,

and drove off into a beautiful sunset toward home.

I'll face the monstrous tack-cleaning job tomorrow.


Laura said...

My old gray mare was like that. If I didn't keep after her and pay attention around water, it was like Wile-ey coyote - one minute on her back talking to friends, the next minute suspended in mid-air with her in the water having a grand time... Tang would like to do the same, I think, but hasn't had the chance! Looks like you had a wonderful time.

Alanna M said...

What a mess! :) At least he didn't go all the way over on your saddle. I want to go ride there sometime. It's beautiful!

Deairdre said...

What a poop! I had a horse pull that in sand once, but never water.

C-ingspots said...

:) Boys just wanna have fun!!! Beautiful sunset shots...

thecrazysheeplady said...

I have been there. You really only can laugh when it gets to that point. Beautiful place!

Dragon said...

That looks like an awesome place to ride!