Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Archive for the ‘Dressage’ Category

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

The Cone Theory of Interdisciplinary Riding

Saddle Seat Wednesday

I think of dressage and saddle seat as a Venn diagram.

For a low value of x, both are English-style horseback activities that do not involve jumping. The ultimate dispensation of x will require those more knowledgeable that I. The distance between the two is so small relative to how far away I am from both …

… that they merge into one big dot.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Dressage June 2017: We Leg Yield, Who Knew?

Rodney and I had our third dressage lesson with Mr. E. [March, May].

We went for the full 45 minutes. No quitting early for us.

We trotted. A lot. Probably as much as we have trotted for the rest of phase II combined.

We did leg yields. I would not have said that I knew how to do leg yields. I tried for years with Previous Horse and all I got was attitude. With step-by-step guidance, I got Rodney organized. Then Mr. E. said leg-yield. I told Rodney, ‘Go that-a-way.’ He did. He floating from rail to quarterline like a leaf on the wind.

The next step is to shift the lessons to a place with more space and better footing. Mr. E. has been wanting us to canter for the last two sessions, but it has been too slick.

That’s enough to put anyone in a good mood!

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott