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

Thursday, December 25, 2014

My Christmas wish come true

I managed to squeeze in a little saddle time today.

Merry Christmas from Lance and me to you and yours!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Another card in the Rolodex

Last Sunday, Stacey featured a training tip from Shannon Peters on her blog. The concept was not new to me, but it's been awhile since I've thought about keeping my elbows connected to my hips. I put it into practice during my next ride, and it worked marvelously to help Lance lift his back and connect with me – or rather me with him!

I think of these various training tips as cards in a mental Rolodex. The trick is to keep flipping through those cards and utilizing all the tips while riding so that you and your horse can be the best partners you can be, moving together in beautiful harmony.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Walk

The headless horseman:

The half-head horseman:

The headless horse:
The half-head horse with happy rider:

In celebration of the most important gait – the walk!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

When food bites you back

 Rick took time over lunch on Friday to check out Lance's mouth. Lance has been been gaping his mouth occasionally, acting like something inside is bothering him. Perhaps he had injured himself trying to unlatch his door? Or maybe he had a sticker/grass seed head stuck somewhere; I've been getting them in my chore gloves from the coarse local hay we got last summer. That became a greater concern after I learned of an acquaintance's horse that was put down last Saturday because of an abscess under its tongue.

Sure enough, when Rick got Lance sedated and trussed up so he could take a good look inside his mouth, Rick found a bunch of those sharp, nasty grass seed heads packed between Lance's tongue and gums. Lance's mucous membranes were irritated and raw, with some small ulcers forming. Rick cleaned them all out and gave Lance some steroid to calm the inflammation, then went ahead and floated Lance's teeth while he was prepped, taking care of some points that had developed.

Lance should be much more comfortable now; I'll need to teach him how to gargle to KEEP him that way!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fuzzily we roll along

All the canter photos Brian took were either blurry or taken from afar (and thus got highly pixelated when cropped and enlarged). Call me biased, but I still found things to like in these three:

After interruptions of work, weather, and running Mom's Taxi service, I am hoping to ride today. But my Mr. Mouthy has a mouth problem, and I'm waiting for my husband to check him out before I subject him to a bit and cavesson.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Trot photos

I don't know if it is luck or talent, but Brian did a much better job at capturing good leg placement at the trot than I usually manage!

I've always liked how well Lance steps under himself with his hind legs at the trot.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Earning his keep

Not Lance (even though he did pick up my whip for me) – my son!  ;-)

I asked Brian if he'd come down and take some photos while I rode today. He agreed somewhat reluctantly, and it took some encouragement to get him to take more than a handful. I told him even the best photographers have to take a lot of photos to get a few really good ones.

Well, he took my advice and did me proud. The one above is probably his best, but I kept a total of 18 for various reasons. I like these leg shots showing all three gaits,
and I love this touch of whimsy.  :-)

I'll be sharing more of Brian's work, spread out over several posts. It's so nice to have photos!