Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Archive for the ‘Dressage’ Category

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

Rodney’s Dubious Future as a Dressage Horse

We did not have a dressage lesson in July. Sniffle.

Mr. E. has made it clear that he wants to see Rodney in a better ring. He has a point. Our riding space is small and often slippy.

What is not clear is how we will haul Rodney to another barn. When we took him to Stepping Stone for proof of concept [Recap], he had trouble wedging his enormous self into the standard space in our slantload. We knew it would not work for long rides, say to the AEC, but we thought it would be okay to go around the corner.

Not so much.

Over was fine, once we got him stuffed in. When we got home, he was covered with sweat and had torn the side matting. The theory is that he didn’t have enough space to brace himself.

Second try. We removed the partition to give him more room. Essentially turned the space into a stock trailer. I’ve shipped dozens of horses in stock trailers. They usually prefer it to regular trailers.

Rodney, not so much.

First, he was reluctant to load. A sign of having had a bad ride previously. Once we got him on and secured, something happened. We don’t know what. He freaked, broke loose, and crashed into the butt bar. He blew up his ankle and sprained his ass.

We probably need a Warmblood-sized trailer. I don’t want to buy a trailer for a pasture ornament. He can’t become more than a pasture ornament until we have a trailer to take him places.

Catch-22.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

USDF Interview: Jennifer Mellace, Magazine Editor

“Behind The Scenes: Jennifer Mellace, Magazine Editor”
USDF Connection
June 2017
United States Dressage Federation

A short interview with a magazine editor.

©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

Preferences

Saddle Seat Wednesday

If I had to choose between saddle seat and dressage, I’d take saddle seat. You go faster.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott