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 26, 2021

Out of the sandbox

I was hoping to get a lesson with Suzan in this month, but between the stress load, the work load, and the weather, that's not going to happen. But regular time in the saddle has been happening, both in the arena and out!

With the start of rainy season, pasture time has ended to preserve what we have and reduce the risk of injury. Instead, I was turning the horses out in the arena to stretch their legs. Lance is always most interested in FOOD; Stella wants to PLAY.

Both of them like to roll.

In addition to working on our basics (the canter work is getting easier and easier for her!), we've added new experiences. One evening I decided to introduce Stella to my quarter sheet. She didn't react to it much at all, which surprised me; she never did completely accept the pink jacket I used during groundwork.

I bought her a hybrid halter, which I really like:

We also started venturing out of the sandbox. Up and down the driveway some more:

Then down the road to the mailbox and back:

Our next-door neighbor was handy and wiling to take our picture. :-D

Then past the mailbox, over the paved crossroad and all the way down to the other end of our gravel road and back, and finally...

...we ventured into the woods!

Once again my mare was awesome in the face of alarming things. Everything was new and scary to her, yet she held herself together and listened to me. It felt so good to ride her where I've ridden countless times on other horses; it's the last place I can get to riding out from home that actually feels like a trail ride. I only got to ride Lance there once this year, looking for wild iris, and couldn't go very far because of all the downed trees and branches from last winter's ice storm. By the time Stella and rode there this month, it was apparent that someone had cut and cleared the old logging road. We could have gone much further than we did, but I wanted to end on a strong, successful note. Stella worked up a sweat as it was!

Unfortunately, the weather turned very wet right after that ride, so our access to the woods through our southern neighbor's property has turned slick and I don't want to tear up his grass. But it's nice to know we can venture there again when the weather allows.

In fact, it has turned SO wet this week that turn-out and riding time in the arena is much curtailed. The water has to have a chance to drain; using it when there is lots of standing water can damage the footing. On top of that I'm working every day this week, so no daylight home-time for me. I'm going to have a very pent-up pony to deal with by the weekend! C'est la vie....


A :-) said...

That halter is really pretty and it looks like it fits her perfectly. And you look great up on her back! :-)

Michelle said...

Thanks, A!