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

Saturday, June 25, 2022

When It's Cold She's Hot; When It's Hot She's Not

Forget for now the two and a half months I've been absent from this blog; I'm jumping in at the present. Here in NW Oregon, apparently, warm, dry, sunny weather was waiting for an invitation, which it got with the summer equinox. And just like that, summer arrived and my mare mellowed a little. So as much as I dislike hot weather, I'm going to do my best to both enjoy and capitalize on this mellowness to move our partnership forward.

Between my four trips to Texas and the extended rainy season, this year has been a wash so far when it comes to Stella's training – so forget about showing. But now that I can ride regularly again, exciting things are happening. In the 'sandbox,' we've been playing with walk/canter, canter/walk transitions (we're Intro Level going on Second; ha), and out of the sandbox she is doing so well. In spite of her nervous energy, she is more dependable with the things we encounter than solid and stolid Lance, which always amazes me. We've even gotten in a few sunset rides!

Last night we headed down through the woods and onto the logging track. It seems just last week it was too muddy to try; now it is firm and solid. Land has changed hands in recent years and there's been lots of logging, clearing and burning; I may not be welcome to ride on my old stomping grounds anymore. But there was no one to question or challenge us at dusk on a Friday night, and Stella handled the unfamiliar environment with cautious willingness. We even came back home via the vineyards (where I do have permission to ride), Stella's first experience there. It was a beautiful evening to ride my beautiful mare and doing so fed my soul richly.

I am ready to start taking lessons from Suzan again just as soon as I can get on her schedule. I also want to get in some trail rides and at least one beach ride with friends. Lance hates it when I take Stella off-property, hollering from the barn the whole time we're gone. They've become good friends, Lance and Stella, although she doesn't mind leaving him at all.