Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Riding up in Heaven

"Riding up in heaven" is a term I heard Walter Zettl say while giving a dressage lesson. He explained it to mean "look up, carry yourself like you are there, and with luck your horse is perfectly round and forward." I didn't know what that felt like, but hoped someday to experience it. I am a novice dressage arena rider. I had about two years of lessons, 6 months of which were on Maddy. When I changed barns last summer, sadly left behind my amazing teacher. I practice things I pick up at various expos, dressage books and dvds, and I try to remember things that Michelle taught me.

Maddy and I have been working on a Walter Zettl suggestion of warming up with walk trot transiitions and alternating with a fast/slow trot. It is really helping her get on the bit, round up, and stay forward. I have been loving the progress, but I had no idea what I was about to get.

I started today with some liberty work in the round pen. Maddy was having fun doing her figure 8 patterns and rolling barrels with her knees. Her favorite thing. I would love to see a barrel racer take this horse into competition. She would make a beeline for the first barrel, promptly knock it over and proceed to roll it across the arena with her ears flopped out to the side. It is so funny to watch.

Anyway, I still had some time to tack up and do some arena work. We started out with Walter's coaching in my head. All of a sudden I had this amazing horse underneath me. She was so forward and round, I felt like I was floating in my posts. I yelled "I have a dressage horse!" "Maddy...this is dressage!" Today I rode up in heaven....and it was amazing. Thank you Walter...thank you Maddy. I am a very proud horse owner today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dirtiest Horse Award

I think this time of year we can all relate. Go to the barn, muddy horse, clean muddy horse, turnout, go to the barn, muddy horse, clean muddy horse, turnout and so on and so on and so on. This was Maddy's pile of grime on Sunday. I set my size 9 foot next to it just so you get a sense for how dirty my mare loves to get. I am issuing a "Muddy Horse Challenge"....anyone out there have a horse dirtier than mine? I would love to see a picture.