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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Schizo weather

Some years, weather is "typical," with average temperatures and rainfall. Other years, the weather wobbles all over the place . . . like THIS year.

Last week we had record high lows; now it's unseasonably cold. I couldn't ride Friday because of driving rain and wind; today I could only ride a short time, slowly and carefully, because the arena footing is frozen hard. Between the weather and a new part-time job, I may have to get creative (midnight rides like Paul Revere?) to fit in time with my mental-health mustang!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A happy Thanksgiving

Lance and I braved the wind, rain, and a fire exhaust-breathing dragon to get in a short Thanksgiving ride today.

Rick was busy sweeping up the leaves from the drive and lawn, so I asked him to sweep the arena, too (he doesn't like me to pound the leaves into the sand footing). Since rain was imminent, I didn't wait for him to finish; I saddled up and asked Lance to share space with the roaring, horse-eating monster. He only lost his nerve once; I was really proud of him. We all ended up wet, but I was thankful for my husband's hard work, a good ride on my fine steed – and my synthetic Wintec saddle!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Abuse – when do you speak up?

Anna Blake's horse blog gets my vote for MVB. Today's post is another prime example of why.


Yesterday Lance and I sloshed our way through a good schooling session in the wet sand. Today it's blowing and raining; neither of us would enjoy riding in this weather. The last of the leaves are coming down, too; we'll have to do another sweep of the arena when it dries out so we don't grind them into the sand. But I'll take this over feet of snow any day!

How's the weather in your neck of the woods?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Walking on concrete – and living on the edge

After the icy precipitation ended, it cleared off – and got colder. When ice was on things, it wasn't in the ground; now that the ice is (mostly) gone, the ground has frozen solid. I'm still riding Lance, but our work is short and very limited due to the concrete-like footing. In spite of that, I was still hoping to take a lesson today, but work interfered. Given our circumstances, I have to take whatever work I can get – and look for more. Thankful for the birthday gift that will allow me to take a lesson or two, because after that it will be a long, dry spell when it comes to any extra expenditures!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Walking on broken glass

(I SO want to design and ride a musical freestyle to that Annie Lennox song someday!)

Today the sun came out and the ice started thawing. Water dripping, leaves dropping, ice shattering, branches shuddering; with all that commotion along with two days off, you can believe Lance got turned out before our ride! Leading him to the arena was definitely like walking on broken glass (top photo), and he was understandably nervous. But he didn't want to buck and play much, coming back to me quickly and insistently, so I tacked him up and got on. Lance was so good under saddle, no more than flinching when ice clattered onto metal, or a branch was suddenly released from its weight. What a boy!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Scratch that

Yeah. Not interested in hauling down our hill today, even if the valley is just wet. Lesson rescheduled.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Beware the wild winds!

The Polar Vortex has extended its reach into the NW corner of Oregon. After a warmer than average fall, today's chilly temperatures and stiff wind have been a bit of a shock to the system. Playing it prudent, I turned Lance loose in the arena before our schooling session. After being a horse kite on the line to the arena, I had to laugh when his first order of business in the arena was a mouthful of maple leaves.
Ha; it looks like he's eating Brian's treehouse!

But then. Oh, then! The wind-witches came screaming through the trees and sent Lance scrambling.
Yikes; look at the torque on those front legs!

I enjoyed the show while holding my breath against injuries. Afterwards, we had a nice, short ride. Thank goodness for Polarfleece breeches!

I have a lesson scheduled with Julie on Thursday; I'm really looking forward to that.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mental health mustang

I'm back after a quick and stressful trip to see my dad. At first I thought the trip might have marked the end of our season of consistent rides, but after missing one day due to family commitments here at home, Lance and I were back to dancing together yesterday and today. While we're dancing, that's all my mind and body are focused on – not my duties, my concerns, the future, our finances. Just fine-tuning our connection to achieve those moments of perfect harmony.

Winston Churchill said, "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man."