dressage


Humans find symmetry beautiful. (Google this. Fascinating research!) We also equate symmetry with athleticism. Oh, to be an ambidextrous baseball batter! But most of us are either left or right-handed. Beyond that, wear and tear alters our posture. Perhaps a shoulder droops a little, or we’re stronger on one leg […]

Counting to Position Success


In this era of “tidying up,” storing horse show ribbons in boxes and tucking them into a back closet won’t do. Neither will hanging them on a wall to fade and collect dust. It’s a nice problem to have – what to do with those show ribbons. Having them in […]

Horse Show Ribbon Display


Recap: Tonka has had recurrent sacroiliac joint issues which cause back pain, which I know because he tells me in a myriad of ways. When the SI joint flares up, Tonka moves away from the mounting block. He doesn’t willing do upward transitions. It gets so bad that he refuses […]

Tonka’s Sacroiliac Joint Progress



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