dressage


While my saddle is being adjusted for Tonka’s more athletic physique, I have been riding bareback (with a pad, which, honestly, doesn’t do much!) Riding bareback has kept Tonka and I at a walk. There’s a lot that can be accomplished at this gait. Dressage is all about fine-tuning communication and developing […]

Schooling Dressage Bareback


I bought my first horse back in 1976. I needed a saddle, and while on vacation in Scotland, purchased one from a local saddler. I used that saddle for a decade, and it seemed to fit every horse that I put it on. But it probably didn’t. Back then, we […]

Saddle Fit


I met Tonka three and a half years ago. He had a kind eye and was adorable. But he didn’t have much of a canter. After a few strides he’d get strung out, too long in front and short behind, and he’d fall back into the trot. This is what […]

Improving the Canter



Tonka is going so well that I’ve entered him in his first dressage show of 2017. It’ll be his First Level debut which asks more of the horse and rider than Training Level, which we competed at last year. The show is in five weeks, which is barely enough time […]

Our Fill Of Happy


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