I wonder how many closet dressage queens are out there.
Exist together inside every stride; feel freedom and cooperation as equals.
You have to go into his hole with him and lead him out. That’s why they call it leadership.
A few weeks ago it was cold and dark; winter is miserable horse weather. It was impossible to ride some days and the best we could do was plan our summer riding goals. Now it’s almost the middle of summer. How are those plans coming along? Maybe every ride is perfect, and you and your … Read more
Everyone wants a better relationship, but a few things stand in the way. After what he has done, can you trust him? Is her nagging and complaining making you wish you were deaf? Do you wish he would relax and just try to get along? Does she say one thing and mean another?
A client and I went to see a horse this week. He belonged to her in the past, but I have known him through 5 owners, each time given up reluctantly. This horse is 10 years old. Our Boy is a sensitive, athletic horse, smart and honest. In other words, a wonderful horse. In other … Read more
“Seriously, you are no fun at all. I hate to say it, you’re my human, but really, lighten up!” Humor Deficit Disorder: It’s time someone brings this condition out of the closet. Seriousness might be the biggest obstacle in getting a good ride. Ever had that feeling that the harder you try, the worse it … Read more
“Will you come over and ride our horse?” she asked. “We know he’s a dressage horse, we just don’t know how to cue him, but if you rode him… He does that trot in one place thing.” (I already knew they bought this elderly horse from their ‘trainer’, who tranquilized him for them to try … Read more
My ducks are growing up and they need a hobby. Dressage seems the obvious choice. Dressage has an elite, almost aristocratic elegance that ducks appreciate. Duck Dressage has a lot going in its favor: no abusive shoeing practices for their webbies. No nasty rollkur, since a duck bill can’t actually get behind the vertical. Come … Read more
The 2012 Summer Olympics concluded this week. Dressage got a bit more attention than usual, partly because of Great Britain’s wonderful win on home turf, and partly because of political satirist Stephen Colbert’s take on the sport. Sometimes I think dressage is as misunderstood inside the horse world, as it is by the average football … Read more
I can’t remember who came first in my life- dogs or horses. I do know a few of each are required for my mental health. There is a slow and gradual changing of the guard, as years go on. Three dogs and 13 years ago, my cattle dog, Hero and I were pretty depressed after … Read more
Horses have been a key part of our culture ever since they civilized us centuries ago- in everything from transportation to agriculture to art. Why do horses do it? Why do they volunteer to be with us? What is in it for them? This is what I know about horses: They live in the moment, … Read more
It goes without saying that Duke Ellington is right, about most everything. And even horses agree. But I get ahead of myself. This is how it starts: you’re riding, moving in unison with your horse. You’re fluid, and free- it could be a walk or a gallop, but there is no resistance and it feels … Read more
… and what donkeys offer the real life dressage world. We’re just home from Edgar Rice Burro’s debut in the dramatic presentation of “The Laonia Gold Mining Company” at the Travel Port Campground and Mini Storage, in Lake George, Colorado. (I do not make this stuff up.) The Friends of the Lake George Library have … Read more
An article of mine was published in a national dressage magazine in 2006. Spirit had been retired two years and he was still pouting (read) and holding a grudge about it. Once publish the date was set, the magazine asked for a photo. No kidding? Who doesn’t dream of one of their horses on the … Read more
There were lots of great rides in Spirit’s 25 years, but this was the most perfect ride… Spirit was something in the day- he and I agreed. He was fun to show, always a crisp and spontaneous ride. His confidence improved year by year, and still, every day was a brand new day. That day, … Read more
It was the late 1980’s, and a bunch of us from the barn went to see the Lipizzaners when they came to town. It was a chance to dress up, eat an overpriced meal together, and see some fancy European horses. We complimented one another’s personal hygiene and off we went. We were western riders … Read more
I’ve been remembering my first experience in Walk Detention. It was the dark ages and I was a training level rider on a young horse. I was so excited to ride in my first clinic with an Olympian- my enthusiasm sizzled audibly. I handed over a fat check, my horse was spit polished and I … Read more