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

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Consolation ride

This weekend was my local dressage chapter's annual show. I've been a competitor in it, on various horses, for most of its existence, so it makes me melancholy to go volunteer without any hope or expectation of getting to compete again. It was nice to connect with some of my horse friends and acquaintances today.

It was drizzly most of the day, but slowed down and stopped late in the afternoon. As I headed out to give my boy some exercise, some blue sky appeared. We warmed up in the arena, and then went down the gravel lane a little ways. I didn't notice any lameness until I asked for a little lateral work at the trot, so we didn't go very far or do very much. But we got some fresh air, Lance got some exercise, and I took some pretty pictures....

Friday, February 16, 2018

Deja vu

Twice this week when I led Lance out of his stall, he was slightly (but noticeably) lame in the right front – preceded and followed by days when he looked completely sound. I asked Rick to check him out which he was able to do this morning, so of course this was one of Lance's sound days.  :-/

Unfortunately, intermittent lameness fits with suspensory injury, and Lance has had his share. When Rick did the pre-purchase exam in 2012 he found a small tear in Lance's right front suspensory, and Lance has had suspensory injuries in other legs since. But how could he have injured something lately? He hasn't done anything strenuous enough to hurt himself!

I'm not sure when Rick will do more diagnostics; all he had time for this morning was a basic lameness exam. Until I know more there will be no saddle time; I don't want to make anything worse. :-(

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

First time ever I saw your face...

Today I rode along with Rick on a call at the coast, which turned out to be at the barn where I first met Lance. Aw; what a perfect place to visit on Valentine's Day!
The corner of the barn closest to the camera is where Lance's stall was.

It was there I first laid eyes on a tall, handsome colt. He stayed there after we "bought" him, and I drove over as often as I could to hand-walk him in the arena and around the property while he was treated with shockwave therapy for a suspensory injury found in the pre-purchase exam. So today I took a little walk around the place, "down memory lane" so to speak, serenaded by a couple ravens.

This 100+ acre property has been for sale on and off since my first visit, and I must admit it would be my dream place if money to maintain it as well as to buy it were no object. The home sits apart from the barn, the owners no longer involved with the boarding operation.

And it's all a short drive to the beach!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Not much news

We're still out moseying every day or so.

Maybe I should just let Lance get his own exercise.
Playing with Oliver is the only time I see him expend this much energy! (It did leave him puffing, though.)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Moving forward while letting go

Lance continues to feel lackluster: breathing harder than is optimal, coughing occasionally, no get-up-and-go. He also seems to have some knots on the top of his left haunch. I'm still riding often, with no more than two days off, but I must admit the motivation is gone. He is bright and responsive in his stall, eats well, and isn't unhappy about getting tacked up, but his lack of energy makes riding him seem like a chore at best and borderline abusive at worst. So why do it at all? Because I am convinced that moving is better for him that standing around doing nothing. 
For now, that is going to have to be motivation enough for this goal-oriented, work-up-through-the-levels dressage rider.