Not Our Day

gray horse in sunshine and grass

Show Recap –

No fantastic results.  Valiosa was tense in the indoor warmup.  Never released over her back.  Very worried in the main large indoor during the first test.

Two judges in the first ride, one which gave us a qualified score, but the other didn’t see any harmony.

horse schooling well at home
Blurry little video-capture from home. She can be awesome then.

In the second test, possibly even more tense warmup in another new indoor, with some background thunder rolling by.  A steam train in the actual test, which was in an additional different indoor.  A qualified score in that test too, but truly, it was low and our worst performances to date.

Summary:  tight, worried, harried.  Pretty good canter lengthenings – she’s really improved there!

Overall, it’s clear she can’t roll in for just one day.  Some more rides there would have made for a more even playing field.

trot lenthening using the hocks
Trot lengthenings CAN happen, but only at home. 🙂

My mare, who has started to feel more soft and willing at home never once let her guard down.  With this, I’m rethinking everything – she’s going to have only relaxing work for some time.  (And actually nothing for a whole week as she seemed off on a hind today – vet check in a few days.)

Showing should be fun, for both, it’s not negotiable.  Didn’t like the look in her eye.  To keep doing it now, would mean only doing it for the rider.  And that’s not why we ever got started.

gray horse in sunshine and grass

Pictures from one of the tests coming up!

Show Day Today

gray horse on top of grass hill

It’s been raining and windy for days.

Gearing up to get Valiosa presentable for later today.  This is our first show out this year, and the first show since October.  At a venue brand new to her.  We’ll see how it goes 🙂

preparing for first level

This particular one is really large, with 5 covered indoors, 13 outdoor arenas, 379 Permanent Stalls and 500+ Portable Stalls. 

Many riders trailer in Wednesday and stay through Sunday. Yes, that’s a really great idea…

We’re scooting in this afternoon, with some possible hysterical traipsing in the parking lot (both) and snorting at all the stuff (her only.)

horse and rider walking close up
Ready to have some fun!

It’s supposed to rain all day, but right now it’s beautiful.  Fingers crossed if you’re out there too this weekend!
gray horse on top of grass hill

Refreshing The Riding. Without Riding

riding in small lunging circle

Sometimes it’s just too much with all the riding and training.

Overwhelming.  Never hopeless, really.

There’s always plain wonderful awesomeness with being able to continue riding and training!  But, simply too much sometimes.

tense horse out doors
All of today’s shots: Valiosa down at the end of the property. This is exactly how tense she’ll be at the next show. 🙂

That’s where it’s so great to get to have a completely different activity to focus on!

For me, it’s the running. Something black and white, showing clear results.  Such a great polar opposite to riding!

posting trot on tense horse

riding worried horses
Just a quick test ride outside a sandy lunging area. She thought it was creepy.

Last race – age group win, 3rd in Masters, 7.14 pace average for the Half Marathon, with lots of room to pick things up next time.  Sure, you’ll get slower with age of course, but it’s still so much fun!

gray horse trotting outdoors
easter colors and gray horse

Feeling refreshed, and ready to get back and fumble with dressage.

Hope you’ve found an alternate thing to focus on too!
riding in small lunging circle
mature horse muscling

Friday Night Exhaustion

black and white silver horse

One of those weeks where, when you get to the end, it feels like one very long race.

Valiosa is getting a rare stretch of 4 days off in a row.  Good for her – it’s hard work, all that grass chewing 😉  Next weekend will be a lot more demanding for her, more on that later.

distance running and riding
For now, just some canter pictures.

ride and run

While she rests, I’ll work, and head out to that Half Marathon.  It’ll be a fun event with great company of a few thousand runners.  Really looking forward to seeing tons of old friends from almost two decades of running in this area.

Feels mostly like a dressage test to be honest – just showing up, winging it, hoping for the best.  If you’re at all competitive, you know that’s not all that great.

An age-group placement will be very hard to come by.  Loads of fun – a given!

black and white silver horse

Secretly miss her already. It’s been 1 day.

Valiosa, Being Awesome

trotting with tail relaxed

Hi friends,

Looks like these blog posts aren’t going to write themselves…  This morning’s lesson went well.  Latest fun evasion is running through – and out the outside shoulder in canter.  Silly rider, maybe thinking I could just sit there?

We had more good moments than usual – thrilled with Gray Mare!


Here’s the latest photo bomb.

softer hind end steps

Favorite shot below!

Reaching under with inside hind, soft open neck, relaxed mouth, good eye, no inside rein (small miracle!), relaxed tail, back is up.

trotting with tail relaxed

Who knew she could ever get to that, so happy!

azteca mare trotting

trotting without tilting nose to the side

Picture overload, I know. Just didn’t have the heart to erase them all.
posting trot longer stirrups

tracking under in trot

Today is Favorite Tuesday, track day, if you’re lucky enough to have tendons that still let you fling around at the track at slower-and-slower paces each year.  I still do, some weeks, so will be there – after inhaling a second cup of coffee.  Wonder what’ll get injured this time 🙂

Spring Inspiration!

spring with cherry tree and horse

Hi all!

We’re in the middle of a 4-day rain and wind period.  It’s been a bit intense but everything’s still standing – no problems.  Just really stormy.

For any one stuck inside early spring inspiration today!

riding in tall grass

This was just the other week.  Love all the green to the max before it all burns out in summer!  climbing hill with tall grass at the walk

Climbing back up, Gray Silverine had lots of opinions about the scary tall grass.

 – “Snake grass!  I’m sure!  It’s too deep, I’m bolting out of here, NOW!”  Arguing about the pace.

riding in tall grass

Guess who won?  But maybe just this time…  Unless I want to hike back up in the snake grass alone 😉

not bolting up hills

spring with cherry tree and horse
Have a wonderful weekend!