dressage


As a dressage rider, I obsess over every every stride. I care where each hoof is placed, where the shoulder is, how my horse carries his head, the tilt of his jaw. Everything. In trying to position Tonka’s body just so, it’s easy to turn into a nagging rider. As […]

Let Your Horse Think


In my quest to keep Tonka comfortable under saddle, I’ve been taking second looks at my routine and my gear. (Read about why I changed his bit here.) Some things I do as a matter of rote. I’ve used the same style and brand of girth for the last five […]

Girth Too Tight?


Dressage people call riding in the ring, “playing in the sandbox.” That’s just what we did on Sunday. For most of this year I didn’t think that Tonka was going well enough to compete, and the one show that we did go to confirmed that assessment. Recently, though, Tonka has […]

We’re Back in the Sandbox



For fifty years I’ve been trying to improve my riding skills. At this point I certainly know how I should be sitting, where my toes should be pointing, and to keep my elbows at my sides. I know it, but I can’t always do it. Like many women of a certain […]

Shorter Stirrups


When I purchased Tonka (not quite six years ago), he went in a simple double-jointed snaffle with an oblong bean in the middle. This is considered one of the least intrusive bits that one can use. Tonka didn’t come with tack, so I tried to find a similar bit. After […]

A Change Of Bit


We think that the neck injections have had a positive effect! I say “we” because I’ve been asking for outside opinions. The first day back on (after four days off to let the drugs stay put and work), I had Steph, my “jumping instructor” watch Tonka go. She said he […]

Neck Injections Progress?



A horse has a lot of complicated moving parts, and often, when things aren’t right in how they’re moving, it’s because more than one piece has gone awry. Back in 2017, Tonka started twitching his head. Then he said it hurt to move. After a litany of diagnostic tests, we […]

Horse Neck Injections


In my last blog, I wrote about how I felt that something wasn’t quite right with Tonka. He wasn’t lame. He was still letting me on (when he’s really hurting, he doesn’t), and he was game to do what was asked. But something was amiss. Was it how I was […]

Self-doubt Leads To…


We all do it. We question whether we’re doing right by our horses. We question whether we’re riding them in a way that’s fair to them. We worry that their lack of physical perfection is due to something we’ve done, or haven’t done. We agonize over any pain or momentary […]

Self-doubt and Second-guessing