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

Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy accidents

Rick took a bunch of photos at the horse show with his fancy-schmancy camera and lens, but had his settings off. Most of the photos are too dark, and a few are too light. I went through all of them, trying various ways to edit them into usefulness. I was really pleased with the funky, dreamy results I got by darkening the overexposed ones!

Sunday, February 28, 2016


To see how my weekend started, read the end of this post. To see how my weekend ended, see the start of this post. To hear how things went in between, stay tuned. (I don't have much time to be on the computer when company is here!)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Getting ready to shine

Tonight I conditioned my show bridle and put on our fancy new browband with the green bling. This will be the first time we've gotten to use either bridle or browband, and I'm excited! Tomorrow after one last schooling session, I'll clean and polish the bit before completing the show bridle set-up, wipe down my Wintec saddle, and clean the girth. Lance himself will probably get by with just getting his legs and tail washed; I've already trimmed his bridle path, fetlocks, and shaggy chin.

Back to making sure I have both tests memorized!

Monday, February 22, 2016

A fine week to focus

Yesterday's forecast was wet, but the clouds had given up production by late morning and the rest of the day was beautiful. Lance and I both worked up sweats at our lesson with Julie in the afternoon, and I left with some excellent tools with which to hone our skills (particularly our transitions to and from the trot and canter lengthenings). With a dry week ahead, I hope to have multiple opportunities to hone before our show next Sunday!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Mustering my mustang

After being unseasonably warm – and wet, it is now unseasonably cold – and wet. Between that and, well, my life, riding has been scarce this week. I knew if I didn't squeeze in a ride today, the next possibility would be my lesson with Julie on Sunday . . . after four days off. Two days off is my limit, so in spite of a rather biting and blustery wind spitting cold rain off and on, I hurried down to the barn during one of the "offs" before noon. Lance and I had a good schooling session in spite of the puddles, staying mostly dry till the end. Then I waited out a heavy shower in the barn, working on Lance's mane while he enjoyed a lunch flake of that yummy second-cutting timothy.

Now I'm back in the house working through my to-do list and feeling rather smug while it pours outside!  ;-)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Show prep

I didn't ride yesterday because of the all-day drizzle and sloppy arena, which was consternating considering our show is just two short weeks away. But really, I shouldn't be doing more and asking more than I usually do just because of an upcoming show. The adage "dance like nobody is watching" is so apropos here; I need to focus on the quality and connection I strive for every ride rather than on specific movements and the presence of a judge.

However, I did do a little show prep yesterday:

I hate pulling mane, so I'm going to work on it over time. Made some progress on that thick upper part last night, though!

Today is dry, so I'm heading out shortly to ride. Here's to dancing like no judge is watching! :-D

Monday, February 8, 2016

As befits Super Bowl Sunday

Yesterday I presented Lance with new challenges. Cavalleti, rise up!

He clumped all over them during the walk-over. He knocked them lightly during the first trot-over. By the end, he had mastered the high-stepping required. Atta boy! I also worked hard on pushing my hands forward while riding, the opposite of most riders' natural impulses – mine included. It certainly made a positive difference.

I have sent off our entry to the Bears Above the Ground ODS League Show on February 28. Guess I'd better dig out my test booklet to review First Level Tests 2 and 3 . . . and try to find one more opportunity to schedule a lesson with Julie!