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 25, 2019

We did it!

Yesterday my mustang man and I rode down the center line for the first time in three years, in our first attempt at Second Level. It was a big effort for Lance (which means a lot of work on my part!), but he didn't stumble and he didn't fall out of trot or canter, so I was very happy with him. We didn't break 60%, but our score of 58.049% wasn't an embarrassment, and the test had some nice moments. I am particularly pleased with our soft connection. He may not be brilliant, but he's happy; I wouldn't trade that for all the brilliance in the world. I had a friend use my iPhone to video our ride, and took the following screenshots from that.
The judge said our entry halt was abrupt, but it couldn't have been any more square!

Here is the video in all its sluggish glory. ;-) You can see how much he's puffing if you watch for his breath!

A funny thing happened on the way to the show arena....
I mounted at the trailer and rode to the warm-up arena. Since we were the last pair of the show, no one else was riding. There was a boarding horse in a pen at the end of the warm-up arena, and horses occasionally in view elsewhere on the grounds, which only served to make Lance wary. He immediately got on his toes and minced around on high alert, attempting a little explosive buck two different times. I think that used up a goodly portion of his available energy, but at least he settled down and went to work by the time we entered at A.

Rick showed up just before we entered the ring and took a lot of photos with his 'big boy' camera. As soon as we can get his camera to talk to my laptop, I will probably have more photos to share.

Those aren't asterisks; they're snowflakes! We awoke to quite the winter wonderland this morning, just as forecast.

After getting bundled up to do chores, I got a wild hair. I fed and watered everyone, then put Lance's bitless bridle on and went for a bareback ride in the snow. I can't remember the last time I did that; it may have been when we lived in Minnesota almost 30 years ago! A good ride and old memories made for a heartwarming interlude.

It was a great weekend!


emma said...

That’s wonderful - congratulations !!

Michelle said...

Thanks, Emma!

Theresa said...

woohoo! I saw a pic or two on facebook I think. So glad you two got to have some fun.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Nice job! :-D

Mary said...

Congratulations! He is extremely steady and your communication is great. I couldn't see-did you ride in a snaffle or bitless? Is bitless legal?

Michelle said...

Yep, Theresa, I took a few screenshots from the video a friend took with my phone and posted them to Instagram/Facebook. I don't know if Lance had FUN, but he didn't seem to mind it. ;-)

Thanks, Sara. Wasn't sure we'd ever get back in the show ring, so it was special!

Thanks, Mary. I use a fat German silver snaffle with the lozenge in the middle. I don't think bitless is legal, but I'm not sure.