Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Archive for the ‘Dressage’ Category

Milton’s Dressage in December

Driving Thursday

Milton is ready for his lesson.

I am the World’s Greatest Groom.

Saturday
I sit for 20, even 30, whole minutes in the passenger seat of the truck while we drive the carriage over to the lesson barn.

I stand at the foot of the ramp, nobly steering the carriage, while Greg simply lowers 400 pounds of carriage with his hands and a tow strap.

I drag the carriage the amazing distance of several feet to a parking spot.

I endure more minutes in our comfy truck.

Sunday
I trudge around making sure Rodney has hay in the stall and on the patio and laboriously fill the cookie ball, while Greg faffs about hitching the truck, loading the tack, catching Milton, and so on.

More truck sit.

We arrive.

I remain with Milton, attempting to convince him that being left with me does not constitute abandonment, while Greg amuses himself clearing the ring and moving the carriage.

Tack up. Lunge.

I play immovable object in front of Milton, while Greg runs from side to side attaching and adjusting straps.

Lesson.

I stand, peppermints at the ready, poised to leap into the ring if Milton needs to be headed.

Lesson over.

More immovable object, while all the previously adjusted straps are unbuckled.

I lead Milton all. the. way. back to the trailer. Start undoing the rest of the straps.

Milton is untacked and taken away to be washed. I check my mail.

More watching of Milton, while ring is put to rights.

Bored with Milton-watching, I load up.

We leave.

Milton returns home. I lug brushbox and assorted items from trailer, while Greg unloads tack, rinses trailer, unhitches, and loads winches & co into bed of trailer.

Yet more time in passenger seat, while we reverse the process to pick up the carriage.

I’m a freaking saint.

Rodney continues to be imperturbable when Milton leaves.

My horse is the World’s Greatest Lawn Ornament.

Previous
Show Report Driving & Lessons

A sign that one might need to work on straightness.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

USDF Interview: Amy Struzzieri, Horse-Show Night Watch Service

“Behind The Scenes: Amy Struzzieri, Horse-Show Night Watch Service”
USDF Connection
November 2017
United States Dressage Federation

A short interview with the folks who check our horses while we sleep.

©2017 United States Dressage Federation. Used by permission. Reproduction prohibited without prior written permission of the publisher.

 

Previous Post [USDF Interview: Jo-Anne Young, Collegiate Equestrian-Program Director]
Previous Posts [Behind The Scenes]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

USDF Interview: Jo-Anne Young, Collegiate Equestrian-Program Director

“Behind The Scenes: Jo-Anne Young, Collegiate Equestrian-Program Director”
USDF Connection
October 2017
United States Dressage Federation

A short interview with the director emerita of the Houghton College program.

©2017 United States Dressage Federation. Used by permission. Reproduction prohibited without prior written permission of the publisher.

Previous Posts [Behind The Scenes]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Show Report Driving & Lessons

Driving Thursday

Lots of driving lately.

Katherine
Alabama Charity Championship Horse Show, [Show Report, Riding]
96 Academy Driving with HB Whizbang – 2rd of 3
Thanks to the Alvis family for Mr. Snippy

Snippy deeply objected to the big, soft, rubber, straight bar bit that went with a set of borrowed harness. Go figure [Bits From Hell]. In the lemonade-from-lemons category, I was able to channel his outrage into the best extended trot we’ve gotten to date. We even got a little bit of drift going in one corner. Not Alvin-level drifting [Show Report I, II], but I could feel a slight sideways slide.

Sorry Snippy, we’ll do better by you next time.

Greg
The day after the show, Greg had a driven dressage lesson with Mr. E. Yes, the same instructor Rodney and I can’t manage to take lessons from [Leg Yield, Dubious]. At this point, I am so far down the rabbit hole that, come the day, I wasn’t all that upset [Laugh or Cry]. Although, that night I did have a dressage stress dream wherein Milton was tacked up, I still needed to get dressed, but couldn’t find out if my test was right away or delayed until tomorrow because of the large number of barrel racing trips in front of us. Clearly, it’s still on my mind. But I digress.

Mr. E liked a lot of the things Greg was doing, and thought Milton had good conformation for driving. Some of the comments were things Greg has heard before, e.g. Use your voice. The main focus of the lesson was transitions, which is more of a dressage thing than a ASB thing. As I’ve said before, dressage horses wait to hear what comes next; saddlebreds get on with their jobs [Obedience Epiphany].

By the end of 45 minutes, Milton was walking better, trotting off more promptly, and downshifting without giving his ewe-necked cow impression. All with a horse who has been hitched less than three months [Maiden Voyage]. Go Milton!

Greg & Katherine

 

Milton’s first drive with the carriage [New Equipment]. Miss Courtney’s picture is over on Instagram, and for the moment on the sidebar. Milton was a star about pulling the heavier load and about entertaining multiple drivers.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

USDF Interview: Charles Tota, Dressage Specialty Retailer and Designer

“Behind The Scenes: Charles Tota, Dressage Specialty Retailer and Designer”
USDF Connection
September 2017
United States Dressage Federation

A short interview with the owner of The Dressage Connection.

©2017 United States Dressage Federation. Used by permission. Reproduction prohibited without prior written permission of the publisher.

Previous Posts [Behind The Scenes]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Fate Speaks

Call it Fate.
Call it God.
Call it the Universe.
Call it the human ability to find patterns in random noise.
Call it whatever you want, I can’t help but feel that I’m being sent a message.

Saddle seat? Absolutely. How much ya want? There are enough lesson horses at Stepping Stone Farm that I could ride a different one every day this week and still ride a new horse in the group lesson on Saturday. Suit? If I gave the word, Coach Courtney would have horses for me to try within days. Shows? I could be showing my heart out this year, if it wasn’t for …

Driving? No problem. How about two different styles in three states? Four, if you count vicarious driving in Kentucky.

Riding my horse? Riding in my discipline(s) of choice? Well …

Progress has been stalled by the horse, e.g. Rodney’s fear of his leather halter [Here We Stand]; by external circumstance, e.g. when my stirrup leather broke during Milton’s rodeo demo [Did I Piss Off the Universe and Not Notice?]; and by internal demons, e.g. my inability to cope with a second set-back [Milton Deconstructed].

The latest in the litany of obstacles.

Milton. We finally (finally, finally) get him to a contained space, only to have the driving going so well (Yay!) that we don’t want to introduce riding just yet. Greg has put in a huge amount of work with Milton. It’s only fair that he gets to reap the benefits for a while.

Rodney. Jump? No? Okay, how about DQ? So, we find a dressage instructor who works well with Rodney and who Rodney likes, only to have Rodney get problematic about shipping to lessons.

Lessons. At the few h/j barns that give school-horse lessons, there is heavy pressure to upgrade to having a horse in training. I don’t know of any event barns that have lesson horses. Even if they did, I don’t want to trot around in circles, hopping school horses over crossrails. To paraphrase Larson’s vulture, Patience my ass, I want to jump something.

BTW, That’s why the ASBs work. I don’t know from saddle seat. Therefore, the equivalent of trotting over crossrails is still amusing.

Bottom Line. I want to ride and show my own horse, one who I have worked and trained (with help) and built a relationship with. That seems to be the one thing Fate/God/the Universe is resisting.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

USDF Interview: Laura Romfh, Apparel Designer

“Behind The Scenes: Laura Romfh, Apparel Designer”
USDF Connection
July/ August 2017
United States Dressage Federation

A short interview with a woman who creates equestrian clothing.

©2017 United States Dressage Federation. Used by permission. Reproduction prohibited without prior written permission of the publisher.

Previous Posts [Behind The Scenes]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott