dressage


Last weekend I audited a dressage clinic. Most of the participants were on mounts that I call the Lamborghinis of the horse world – huge warmbloods with power and flash. I happened to sit next to a woman who was up here from Texas, visiting a friend who rides dressage. […]

Frame-By-Frame


Tonka says that he shouldn’t have to wear his fly mask anymore.   He’s right. But I wish that he didn’t also think that now that the grass is grazed down, that the ground is best for rolling in and getting dirty.   He’s also right that there aren’t a […]

A Change Of Seasons


The weather yesterday did not feel like fall. It was hot and muggy, but Tonka and I had a special lesson to take, so off we went to a farm twenty miles away. Eva Rainsborough, a German Grand Prix rider and trainer, was here for a clinic. She coaches my […]

Sticky Peppermint Mouth



I have a friend who’s been struggling to be in balance with her horse. The word balance can mean so many things. You can define it as the measurable even distribution of weight. Or it can refer to keeping the more metaphysical elements of life in proportion: work and relaxation, […]

Balanced Horse For Riding Longevity


As I wrote about recently, Tonka was going great, and then he wasn’t. All four legs were working fine, but instead of going willingly, he felt tight and recalcitrant. In this video clip you see him putting his nose in the air, sinking his back, and refusing to trot. I […]

One Step Back, Three Ahead


Each day brings incremental improvement to Tonka’s ease of movement. As I mentioned in the last post, Tonka, my usually willing horse, said that he was hesitant to trot, and full-out refused to canter. To the uninitiated, horses look like sturdy beasts. But to those of us who know them […]

Incremental Improvement



Tonka and I have been having a good summer. He’s been happy and sound. We’ve been competing – successfully! – in the dressage arena. Dressage is an incremental sport. You achieve one movement and you work towards the next, each builds on what came before and each is a slight […]

Knowing When To Ease Up


The sport that I choose to compete in is not something that Tonka would have thought up on his own. Exerting oneself while doing precise patterns in a ring while the sun beats down on you, is not an activity that a horse would innately see as a sensible thing […]

Horse Show Happy


Look Tonka! Your ribbon is almost as tall as you are!    Not impressed? You won an apple, too.   Yes, it’d be better if the apple were as big as the ribbon. Maybe at the next show.   *more about this weekend’s shows soon!

Tonka Wins an Apple