Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Friday, April 29, 2011

In the Arena #72 - No horses were harmed in the making of this post...

When I got down to the barn this afternoon, Val came over to say hi, then immediately ambled off to lie down for a big ol' nap. Hel-lo - it's time to work. You get twenty three hours free per day, I'm just asking for one... dude - wake up!

Can't. work. must. snoozzzzzzzzz....

This would be why I have gotten the occasional worried call....

"Um, something might be wrong with Val!"

"You mean he's playing dead horse again?
Just offer him a cookie - he should come back to life."

I may have to rethink this advice, as today I waved cookies - smelling salt style - under his nose, and got only nostril twitches and a half-hearted lip reach for a reaction. I messed around in the tack room for a bit, and when the heat and flies got to be too much for him, he joined me in his stall. We groomed and tacked up with the lead rope just laying over his back, in case he needed to reach his water, which he did. What a good boy :)

We had a very, very nice ride. Worked more on contact and forwardness, with focus on being balanced through the turns and transitions. (inside leg / outside rein). We weren't 100% consistent, but had some really good moments. There were a few sticky turns which resolved as long as we kept moving forward.

After our sweaty trot fest, it was time for a cool refreshing bath, with a liniment rinse and drinks from the hose, followed by grazing. The grass has exploded in the last few days, and must be so tempting when you're stuck in a mostly dry lot all day looking at it.

I deserve this

As Val munched on the grass, I got to thinking about how contrary riding can be. You want to address issues, but not to get hung up on them. Don't obsess about your location in the arena, but your school figures must be accurate. You need to get answers to your aids, but also must know exactly when to stop asking. I guess it really is all about balance. (More balance please!)

Love my horse!!


  1. I love the dead horse pictures - so cute! You're so right about the 'contrary' thing. There are so many contradictions. Forward but not rushed, relaxed but energetic, marching but stretching into contact, firm in our position but flexible - the list is never ending :)

  2. Exactly Carol! It requires great faith to pursue dressage - sometimes it doesn't seem to make sense lol :)

  3. What a cutie. He certainly looks like he works hard all day and deserves his naps! Those pictures are adorable.

    I agree with your thoughts on contrary riding completely. It's hard to address issues but at the same time not get hung up on them. You and Val did great work in the heat today. Love the pictures of both of you together.

  4. I think you might have an undiscovered star! Send that pony to Hollywood. ;D

  5. Love the dead horse pix, too. And where do you live that it's so nice and toasty warm? We're still waiting! Bah.

    Balance is my newest goal--well, my newest recurring goal.

    Great post, great voice you have!

  6. I'm sorry, but this boy of yours is too lethally cute, too fatally darling. I love your posts about your rides, etc., but, shamefully, this one might be my favorite. That second picture - didn't you just want to throw yourself down and kiss his face? Olly's right: the kid's a star!

  7. At least he come over the say hi before his nap! Hilarious! I agree with Muddy K re that second picture - I just want to kiss that soft muzzle! You are absolutely correct about obsessing. One piece at a time and eventually everything just falls into least that's what I hope! :-)

  8. He's so cute - I love the image of you waving cookies in front of his nose. :)

  9. Oh my goodness!!!! Those photos are hysterical! I adore Val! He is so calm to let you take those pictures. I would worry too, but I guess he is just a sleepy boy.

    I am glad you had a great ride and he had some nice post ride grazing.

    I wrestle with balance too. Not so much about dressage because I don't really do anything with my boys, but just about riding in general. I guess I wrestle with balance in all parts of my life!

    Happy grass days of spring!

  10. GHM-
    When it gets warm my boy is laid back!

    Then he could earn his hay money! ;)

    We're on the southeast coast. Along with the heat came the bugs!

    Muddy K and Wolfie-
    To be sure - I kiss that soft velvety muzzle as often as possible! :)

    A good strategy but ultimately unsuccessful lol :)

    My boy loves his beauty sleep. Sometimes he even moves his legs like he's dreaming about running :)

  11. I got a big kick out of the dead pony photos.

  12. Oh my gravy... I adore the sleepy "smile" on his face!

  13. Aww those pictures are so precious! I loved this whole post. All so true.

  14. Oh my..he was not partially dead..but all the way dead, with lips relaxed-showing teeth! Crack me up! Bet that sand felt cool ~
    loved how you let him sleep for a time.

    Yes it's all about balancing opposing actions, it seems!

  15. He's totally faking it!!! Didja see that little smirk dancing around the corners of his mouth?! Ok, I'm going to admit it, I'm developing a little crush on Val. He's such a doll!


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