dressage


I grew up in a family that treated any achievement as a step to the next, more important, thing. This has its benefits. The world is a more interesting place when you take on challenges. The downside is that you never feel as if what you do is enough. My entire […]

Setting Goals


This post goes on and on about small details that we dressage riders obsess over, like angles of the hock and suspension of a stride. But I hope that those of you not into such geeky horse things will stay with it, because this blogpost is actually about noticing the moment […]

Canter Jump


Riding in sync and in balance with one’s horse is not easy. Every riding instructor teaches the independent seat, meaning that your bottom stays in the saddle, irregardless of what the horse or the rest of you is doing. But we also need to talk about independence of all of the other parts of […]

We’re All Asymmetrical



What drives some of us to ride dressage is the fine-tuned communication that you develop with your horse. A slight press with a leg, a subtle shift of a sitting bone, a closed finger on a rein, and the horse responds. All of us who ride dressage are after something called feel. It’s when […]

Feel


Take your dog to a trainer and one of the behaviors that they’ll teach you is how to get your pet to come when called. A good trainer will teach you the reliable recall, one that your dog listens to despite distractions, like bicycles zipping by, or a piece of hamburger on the […]

The Reliable Recall, with a Horse


Three years ago, when I purchased Tonka, I did so thinking that he and I would be trail partners, and for the first year, walking through the woods was what we did. His previous owner told me that Tonka was good alone or with company and that proved true. The trails […]

The Inadvertent GO!



I’m auditing the United State Dressage Federation’s L Judges Program. It’s an exacting course that leads to certification for those who want to be the arbiters of dressage tests in this country. A couple of weekends ago a few dozen of us watched and critiqued eight hours of video clips […]

The Perfect Horse


It was not quite three years ago that I brought Tonka home. He’d had a wonderful owner who taught him the basics, but she hadn’t had the time to do much with him. Mostly, they explored the woods and fields in Maine. That was okay with me. I’d told everyone I’m never […]

End Of The Show Year


After yesterday’s long post, I thought I’d do something fun and quick. But be forewarned – there’s a link that has the potential to take up a lot of your time! Dover Saddlery is having their yearly photo contest and Steve entered three images. Being an engineer, the site itself […]

Horse Photos