Monday, August 7, 2017


I think one of the things that I have discovered about Dressage is that when it is done consistently, there is improvement. I got really lucky in my choice of trainers, since she is willing to apply what we learn in the dressage court to the practical application of the Ease of Handling obstacles. And Ashke and I have flourished under her tutelage. One of the big things for me, is remaining relaxed when I go into the arena for our dressage test, so Ashke will remain relaxed as well. In the EOH class, Ashke has had to learn to listen and slow down, as well as work through the obstacles correctly. We are still a work in progress, but I am so pleased with our improvement, I just can't begin to tell you.

I am going to reshare the EOH ride from Expo first and then the ride from Saturday. Then I made a compliation of specific obstacles to compare then to now.

Expo Show where I was actually riding a fire breathing dragon

Ease of Handling on Saturday

So much better. He tried so hard for me. 

Comparison video

First thing of note, he picked up every lead correctly for me. Second, with the exception of the rounding several obstacles obstacle, he didn't throw his head up and brace. He had several moments of spookiness, involving a mule (just before the bridge) and cows (three barrel), but those are things that we can work on as we continue growing together. Overall, he was so much better.

And we kicked ass over the jump. Both times.

I also need to develop a better strategy for our speed round. Amanda and I are starting to work on extending the canter then contracting it again in our lessons. Going forward, I want to extend the canter between obstacles, but then ride the obstacle in speed the same way I would in EOH. It is great reinforcement for Ashke and myself. I think this will also help me find my courage and eliminate the need I seem to feel to hang on to the "oh shit" strap while we do speed. That oh shit strap caused me to DQ this weekend at Speed. Going forward, that needs to end. It will also help with consistency on Ashke's part, since he will be working the obstacles the same way every time.

As we were getting ready to leave, a storm blew in. I was pulling the hay net, water bucket and grain bucket from the trailer while T was fixing up stuff in the back of the truck. I guess T unlocked the trailer door (trying to help) and the wind caught it and blew it open. It swung toward me and Ashke. I put my arm out to try and stop it. Just as my palm hit the door, with my elbow locked to take the weight and keep it from hitting Ashke, Ashke reared and pulled back. The lead rope caught just above my elbow, locked my hand on the trailer, and hyperextended my arm. Almost broke my finger. On the same arm that has the rotator cuff injury from the PVF Show six weeks ago. 

Good thing I have two months to rest and recuperate.

The other thing we will focus on for the next two months is getting out on trail on the weekends. Riding for 25 to 55 minutes in the arena with lots of walk breaks has eroded Ashke's strength, depth of wind and endurance. He was bottomed out at the end of the show, and although I love the submission and obedience, I also want fit and strong. It will be a great mental break for the two of us and hopefully will give me back a horse with limitless bottom. 

I will still be doing weekly lessons with Amanda and practicing our things on the trail. Plus, at least one solo arena ride a week doing our dressagey things.


  1. Isn't it great to have a sport that you love? I'm super competitive and it's hard for me not to be competing for years. I don't have to win, I just have to beat my last best.: ) When people say "Oh, I don't compete, I just have fun." I say, "You haven't found the right sport yet."


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