dressage


The stuff that a horse wears is called tack. Most tack is used either to control the horse, or to keep the rider on. What style of riding you do, what breed of horse you ride, your skill, the horse’s level of training, and your budget, determines what you put […]

Bit or Bitless?


Each sport has it’s look. With just a glance, you know if someone is golfer, a fencer or a rugby player. Within the horse world, the same holds true. The tack that the horse wears, the rider’s clothes, and how the horse is “turned out” all reflect your choice of activity. I ride dressage, which, […]

Braiding a Paint Horse Mane


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