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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Take two

I didn't have a chance to get Lance out yesterday, so this morning I headed out bright and early to do chores and then ride before starting our homeschooling day. I hadn't made it 50 feet from the house when a searing pain hit the front of my right ankle. I never saw or heard anything but it was unmistakably a yellow jacket sting – right through my sock in the cool of the morning, the insolent thing! (I was wearing my chore shoes and carrying my jod boots.) That postponed my plan a bit, but after the extreme discomfort subsided I headed back towards the barn a second time. Sure was jumpy at the sight of every wasp, though, because the breeches I was wearing were thinner than my socks!

Lance ate while I fed and watered everyone, then I tacked him up and rode out to the stubble field again. We moved on into the adjoining field and were zig-zagging down the hillside when a distant horse whinnied. That put Lance on the muscle, which progressed to head-shaking followed by bucking. I turned him toward home, resigned to walking around the arena if that was the only way I could safely walk him for 30 minutes. When he quickly mellowed out, it occurred to me that Lance's naughty behavior was less about pent-up energy and more about expressing his unwillingness to be away from his buddies at home. I tested and confirmed my theory by riding him in medium circles towards and away from home. Bingo!
Our "one big thing" today was NOT this straw monolith

1 comment:

Laura said...

Tang has made major progress on leaving her buddies behind - last time I rode her, she only turned around once (normally it's 2-3 times), and that was very half-hearted. We had a great ride, found a deer trail and followed it for quite a while through the junipers. She even had a foamy mouth when we got home (and she was in the hackamore!). I'm planning to ride this weekend because it will be in the high 60's instead of the high 80's.