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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Still a big, red goober

Friday I rode Lance while Brian did some yard work for the neighbors to our east. When Brian returned, he was carrying a box of garlic bulbs the neighbors sent home for our garden. Lance just had to see what Brian was carrying, and followed him all the way across the arena. What a goober!

Monday, May 16, 2016

A perfect "storm"

Don't worry – it's a good thing!

We have out-of-town company AND it's been raining (yay!), so Lance and I hadn't gotten together in a few days. Yesterday evening after I'd fed the humans, I excused myself and slipped to the barn for a ride. Because of the rain, the footing was safely watered, so we schooled in the ballroom arena. What a lovely dance we enjoyed! Lance knew all the moves AND had biddable energy (thanks to not getting out on pasture for a couple days and much cooler weather); it felt like we could have entered at A and scored in the 70s!

These are the moments that keep drawing us back, the connection we strive for because we've experienced that it's possible. This is the dance that feeds our soul and our relationship with our partner.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Accident anniversary

It's been exactly a month since our train wreck. The bruises have faded and the sore spots are much improved. Me and my new pink helmet have been back in the saddle for the last three weeks, maintaining the riding muscles of both gelding and girl. As the weather warms and our sand arena dries out, we do less schooling there and more out and about to safeguard the soft tissues. Brian consented to ride with me on Mothers Day, which was lovely; we warmed up in the arena and then rode down the lane through the woods and back uphill along the road. You would have thought Lance was the one who had been sitting around with no regular exercise the way he plodded; Oliver motored along in fine fashion without breaking a sweat!

A blogpal sent me an email this week asking how my confidence is after the fall. My first reaction was, "Fine!" But almost immediately I had to acknowledge that I've been avoiding the ill-fated route. So yesterday I remedied that. Lance and I had an uneventful ride through the woods, past the peach orchard, back up the road, and home past the vineyard's deer alarms. It was just what the doctor (psychiatrist?) ordered!

Oh, our ride wasn't totally uneventful. To my surprise there were still wild iris blooming! They were  the decorative icing on the cake.  ;-)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Adventures, good and bad

Sunday afternoon Kate and her daughter picked Lance and me up for a lovely trail ride at Willamette Mission State Park. Lance was good as gold, my usual solid trail buddy. (I did dismount once when he stopped and tensed over an approaching pair of riders; led him past, remounted, and we carried on.) Afterwards we hosed off the horses, then let them graze awhile in the shade (it was quite warm) and I, of course, snapped pictures.

Finally Kate said, "Give me your camera."

I dislike being the subject, but it is nice to have photos of me and my mustang. :-)

That was our good adventure. The next day brought adventure of another kind!

We turned the horses out in the upper pasture for their hour or two of grazing Monday afternoon. Just before we needed to leave for town, I sent Brian out to catch them and put them back in the barn. "Ha ha!" the horses laughed, moving further uphill. The upper pasture is L-shaped, and so far this season they've grazed so greedily that they had never moved out of the lower end. When I went out to catch them, they started loping away from me towards the north end of the pasture (the top of the "L"). Their ears perked up; the open vista in front of them was new! There used to be a wall of evergreens there; whee! They sped up – and my heart clenched. The grass is taller than our perimeter fence, so they couldn't see it. I waited for them to slam on the brakes or swerve. There was a momentary hesitation – then they were galloping across the logged lot, a mine field of uneven ground and leg traps from where stumps were grubbed out by the trackhoe! I ran after them, praying all the way. A T-post was bent over, the woven wire fencing loose from the post but still intact. How had they gotten through/over it? Were either of them cut? By this time the horses were thundering downhill, and I wondered if they would go through the fence at the bottom of the logged lot. They emerged from a cloud of dust, galloping back towards me, then swerving away. I hollered at Brian to open our driveway gate, hoping they would run towards home and not toward the winery and paved road. Thankfully they stopped at a patch of grass, and eventually allowed me to catch them. Whew! And by the grace of God, both horses were FINE, if a bit winded. I couldn't even find a scratch from the fence on either of them. So thankful that the only bad part of that adventure was the stress and gray hairs on my part!

Yesterday I put the horses in the middle pasture (also L-shaped). Still plenty of grass, but it's shorter near our perimeter fence. You can see the logged lot beyond Lance and our fence line, if not their naughty hoofprints. ;-)