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

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


We are back from Texas to more moderate (for now) weather. Lance and I had a nice ride on Monday; Tuesday I worked all day (perfect; it was rainy); today I planned to ride again. But a friend and her daughter came over to visit and that took precedence. The gallant Sir Lancelot was going to give the little princess a ride, but when we went to the barn, Oliver was colicky. I conferred with Rick by phone; Ollie recovered with walking and Banamine, but by then my friend had left and it was dark.

Even though I hope to ride tomorrow, I decided to lunge Lance tonight just to give him some exercise. He started out his normal playful self; we warmed up at walk and trot before starting canter-trot-canter transitions. Before very long he would no longer pick up the canter for love nor money, and really didn't want to keep trotting. His nostrils were flaring much more than was warranted by the short time he had been moving, and his breathing, when I walked up to remove the side reins, was loud and labored.

I have no idea why he has this problem sometimes; it has happened a time or two in the past. It's foggy out there; does the cold, humid air bother his lungs? Or did not being able to put down his head to cough occasionally (like he does under saddle) once I put the side reins on cause phlegm to accumulate? I will be interested to see how he does tomorrow; I suppose we may end up going for a walk instead of schooling.


thecrazysheeplady said...

Interesting. Hickory does a what I call "old man cough" even though he wasn't old when I got him. He does it every ride, just as I start trotting. I know he's going to do it so I just ask for trot, go about 10 yards, let him stop to cough a couple times and then it's over and no more coughing. Wondering if you let Lance warm up without side reins if that would help?

Michelle said...

Yes, that is exactly what Lance does, although it seems more common when we start cantering. I ALWAYS let him have his head to cough; Julie thinks he might be "acting" just to get his head but I'm sure he is not. Can't fake that phlegmy sound! Last night I let him warm up in walk and trot without side reins, but he was wearing them when he was cantering.