Into Each Life A Little Dressage Must Fall

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Milton and I hope to make our dressage debut soon. I have entered two walk-trot tests at a local schooling show. As with the Saddlebred shows [1,2], the goal is to get in & get around, to finish with a number rather than a letter. Don’t care about the size of the number. As long as we have happy kid on happy pony, I will celebrate.

I see several ways this could go and still be considered a success.

Milton could discover his inner warmblood and blossom into a flawless Intro level dressage horse. I could discover my inner diva and blossom into a flawless Intro level dressage rider. It could happen. Theoretically.

Milton could discover his inner giraffe and stare at everything. As long as he does so reasonably calmly and goes where he is supposed to, no complaints.

Milton could discover his inner Quarter Horse and treat the test as a western pleasure display. Milton does not like to move and poop. I could see him stopping mid-test. As above, no complaints.

Concurrent with any of these scenarios is the rider completely forgetting herself. Voice commands are used in both saddle seat and driving. I deliberately use my voice when I ride Milton, to ease the transition between riding and driving. Voice commands are penalized in dressage [Why Wup?]. If Milton stops to poop I will be hard pressed not to yell, ‘Milton, Walk!’

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

2 thoughts on “Into Each Life A Little Dressage Must Fall

  1. I can relate to the pooping and not walking thing. Current (young) gelding thinks stopping is mandatory. We’re working on it. Worse still, we’ve had yet to do a ride where he hasn’t stopped to pee. Doesn’t matter where or when, this boy is not shy about letting go. That bodes well on a long trail ride, but I’m pretty sure it’s frowned upon in the show pen.

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