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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Proof of life

Lance and I are still here, still getting saddle time. In fact, I try to ride nearly every day. Nothing too long or strenuous; while he's breathing easy in his stall now, he's quickly winded by exertion thanks to the changes in his lungs. I've received some good information via Kentucky Equine Research's e-newsletters; this article helped me understand Lance's current limitations (and yes, we're going to try to reverse some of the damage using that therapy).

We use our arena,

and we ride down the gravel lanes, enjoying the changing scenery.

We even competed in a show recently! The American Mustang and Burro Association's new Marketing and Event Director organized an "Internet Horse Show." Competitors submitted free entries, photos (for halter classes and the "Ride the Brand" class) and/or videos (for the pleasure riding and trail classes), which were judged and placed. I thought, "Why not try?", and solicited Brian's and my neighbor's (at the mailboxes) help in shooting video. Here are the videos of us negotiating all the requirements of the trail class:

I figured Lance could manage the 30 seconds of trot and 30 seconds of canter required for the pleasure riding class, but even that caused a coughing fit in the middle, poor guy. I fumbled my way through iMovie enough to edit that out, though; here is the video I submitted:

(Thankfully the arena is dust-free now, and Lance no longer coughs.)

Out of ten participants, Lance WON the Halter Gelding class, and came in second in both the riding classes! Since he doesn't have a BLM brand, being domestically bred, we couldn't compete in Ride the Brand class or have a chance at winning Grand Champion, but it was fun and I'm looking forward to the promised Spring internet show.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

End of an era

I've had a new post started for weeks, and have added and edited often in my mind. There is much to say and nothing to say when your partner has a chronic condition, but that's all I have to say about that tonight.

Rick got paged earlier, and left to pay one final visit to Russell, my old partner, the horse in my header, the big guy who took such wonderful care of Brian when he was a little guy, along with being my dancing partner. He has been having increasing instability due to neck issues, and tonight he can't get up. It breaks my heart, yet I am so thankful to have had him in my life and then to have found a retirement home where he could live out his days happily, and be treated compassionately at the end.

Good-night and good-bye, Special Majesty. You were, indeed,