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 30, 2015

Riding with others

Most of my riding is done alone, just me and my mustang. I enjoy that; communing with God and nature, slow-dancing with my horse. But it is also fun to ride with others, and I've had three opportunities to do that recently.

Sunday evening Rick finally made good on his promise to take me on a riding date while Brian was visiting his grandparents. Life crowded out time to go to some of the places we talked about; in the end we had just enough time for a short evening ride at the closest state park the last weekend day before Brian flew home.

I also hoped to ride with Kate while Brian was gone. Again, it almost got crowded out, but I called her about riding somewhere on Tuesday, our last possible opportunity. Since she was only available in the morning, she invited me to trailer to her house where we could school together in her arena. Sounded good to me!
(Sorry; no riding photos.) It was nice to have a place to check in on Lance's education, and even better to find that his dancing skills are still solid. At first, though, he felt pretty disconnected and careless. He knocked over the cavalletti numerous times; I think he was too busy looking around to pay attention to his feet. (Dinah was doing her beautiful best to show off for him as well.) At one point I was half-halting his canter in preparation for a walk transition, and he tripped. I expected him to catch himself as he always has, but instead he went DOWN. I landed on the point of my left hip (BIG bruise now) and rolled out of harm's way, jumping up to take hold of the reins. There was no need to hurry; Lance just laid there sternal for long seconds, making me worry that he'd hurt himself. But he seemed fine when he did get up, and walked normally back to the mounting block. We finished our ride without incident and much more connected, because I took responsibility to focus our energies and do our best rather than letting him slop around.

When we were done with our ride, Lance got to enjoy some GREEN(!) grass while Kate and I had tea and chatted. Kate and I have been friends for 25 years, and used to ride together in her arena and around her house a LOT, because I lived just up the road from her then. It was such an amazing feeling to reconnect to that place with her; it is an amazing thing to have a friend with such history.

Brian flew in from TX last night, and on the way home he asked if we could ride together today. I had already been thinking about doing that, but pointed out we'd need to ride in the morning before the temperature soared. I can't say that we got an early start, but had a lovely ride on the hill, around and through cherry trees, around the peach orchard which was being harvested, and through the vineyards.
So I may not be showing, but I'm still in the saddle!

P.S. I've started sharing photos from my iPhone on Instagram; you're welcome to follow along by clicking on the logo at right.


thecrazysheeplady said...

Lucky you :-)

emma said...

I love riding w friends. Solo schooling is fine and all, but the social aspect can always make it more interesting. Glad you had fun - and that Lance was unscathed by his tumble!