Rated Shows With Your Self Trained Ammie Horse

Like fitting in with a group who encourages facial hair.

You have to try very hard, and you’re still not sure it looks right.

It’ll be just like this:

rider with a lot of grooms and help at a showWait!  No, that’s not me?  Right.  I don’t have staff.

7 shows with Valiosa this year, this will be the second rated one.  She knows her job now, and next year will be a lot more about home training (And hopefully clinics, please make it happen!!)

Sunday will be fun!

preparing for rated dressage show

Today’s PRE Peep 8 – Castiza, Zingara, Hermosa

Wow, 8 weeks of PRE Peeps!

It’s been fun sharing quick shots of them, and I can tell you’ve liked it too.  Next week should be the last post on this.  (Unless someone throws a little withdrawal fit about it.)

Today, a look at some special ladies.

Castiza, shown through Intermediare 1, currently on a little break from the showring.  An incredibly substantial and tall PRE mare, she rules the large pasture.

CastizaI don’t have any flattering new pictures of her – this one below will have to do, from some time back when we both had ended up at a lunging clinic.

Elinor Yee

Hermosa, Young 1st Level Mare.
One of the few available for sale now.

black andalusian mare
Sweet Zingara, now retired broodmare, living the happy life in the large pasture.

black retired andalusian broodmare

Taking pictures out there is, complicated…

andalusian mares in pasture
Just give one of us a cookie or something and get on with it.

When The Canter Doesn’t Improve As Planned

Last week, several of those rides where I seriously considered the sanity in doing this.

Backing and training a young horse, spending endless time effort and resources on getting her to be a decent citizen.  All the while having so many things go wrong.  Some days she still feels barely greenbroke.

Then a ride here and there will be a giant step forward, and it all seems worth it.

Lately, the canter has been a major sticking point.  Getting worse.  Irregular, fourbeat, sticky, hesitant, tight, low, crabby, small, you name it.  Definitely not improving.

low to the ground canter
This is not it
tight canter
Not this either

Just like you, I’ve tried all sorts of ways to help create a more free-flowing, ground winning, basic canter.  How hard can it be, right?!  She doesn’t care.  We Crab-Canter on…

improving the canter
With spurs…
four beat canter
No spurs…
no stirrups in canter
No stirrups, it’s all the same…

No wait, I actually really like her right there above, but it doesn’t last for long.  Then she dives down again, looses rhythm, or canters like a Weiner dog.

very uphill canter
Of course it’s completely fair to compare her to Spanish Super Star, Top International, Cardenas bred, Fuego… Here in Kentucky.

On her own, it’s a bit better sometimes.  If you don’t love to be greeted like this (And all for a cookie, really!?…) then something is wrong.

horse cantering uphill in pasture
Uphill, in pasture

End of post.  No major reveal at the end.  But this should all make you feel a lot better about whatever sticky situation you’re dealing with.  At least you got this down!

Continuing the slow death of Short Stabby Strides.  I’ll let you know when we get through this.  :)  Have an awesome Monday!

transitions to improve the canter

Hidden Falls

No, nobody fell off.

There were water falls, not someone hiding getting bucked off.

dressage horses at hidden falls
We came down the smaller, tighter path, furthest away.

Have no idea how this could be my first trip to Hidden Falls in Auburn.  Well, right.  Because Dressaaghe.

crossing bridges with horses
Both young horses crossed this bridge high up above the water like superstars.
trail rides with young horses
Then onto Blue Oak Loop to the left.

Wonderful area, with plenty of hikers and bikers even on a weekday morning.  Thrilled I got the opportunity to come here with Valiosa!staying safe on trail with horses These pictures, all borrowed – we took no time to take any of our own.  And 5 year olds don’t want to wait around.

riding steep trails with horses

After the winter rains set in, it greens up like this.  Going back, on horse or not!winter grass at Hidden falls

Today’s PRE Peep 7 – Jertes


long forelock braid on Andalusian stallion
Couple of years ago he, too, had to endure my braid jobs every once in a while.

Trained through Grand Prix and shown through Intermediare 1 in the U.S., he’s got a bit more relaxed life now.  At 20, he still looks very handsome.

silver white stallion

silver white grey andalusian stallion
Somehow, this, is how he wanted to pose.

grey andalusian stallion headshot

Click To Vote Today

HorseHack’s Equestrian Blogger Contest –

Just discovered I’m in it today!  How fun, and thank you for including this site!  Stop by and vote for A Horse For Elinor 🙂 right here:  http://horsehack.com/2016/10/11/day-seven-horsehack-equestrian-blogger-contest/#comment-356

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Readers vote for “Day Seven” candidates for one day only.  Here are the other two:  Poor Woman Showing, and Journey With A Dancing Horse.

HorseHack is written by an eventer, focusing on the everyday struggling horse owner. The site gives “Tips, tools, and ideas to save money in every day horse care,” all mixed up with fun regular day-to-day horse posts.

HorseHack's Equestrian Blogger Contest

Her blogger contest is a great way to network and find some new, really interesting, blogs to visit too!  Stop by HorseHack.com and check it out.

Tomorrow, at A Horse For Elinor, a peek at another Andalusian Tinsel Man.

close up of cantering horse legs

Too Much Warmup? Been There Done That?

Sunday – the 2016 PEC Schooling Show Championships.

PEC 2016 October shooling show

Really well-organized, and super relaxed atmosphere!  Well, everything seems relaxing when you’re not the one trying to make everything look easy on top of a tight and distracted horse.

No magic pumpkin ride showed up to take Valiosa to the ball so she stayed home this time.  I drove down real quick to watch half of the Training Level Test 2 class and half of the Training Level Test 3 class, lovely horses.

Came away with something unexpected:

I’m killing my horse in the warmup!  Compared to other riders, I’m spending longer in there, wanting to set her up just right, and before the second class we head back in there again.  It could be too much…

walking in dressage arena
Any more warmup and she’ll fall asleep…

She’s not a horse with a lot of dynamic energy or a huge amount of tense insecurity to work off before being able to settle in the showring (OK, just ignore the 2 shows with bolting.).  And getting to a new level of thoroughness is obviously not going to happen during show warmup schooling…

how long should a dressage warm up be
At-home shots, because I have to kill you with Grey Mare overload.

training level dressage warm upNext time out, we’re ditching half the warmup work!  This will be interesting.  (Come on, experiment!  It’s legal.)  Now watch us completely blow up and jump out over the rails instead.

Closing with, the Breech Poll Results!

Answer Percent
Pikeur 33%  
Other: 24%  
Romfh 19%  
Good Rider 10%  
Equiline 10%  
Cavallo 5%  
Kastel 0%  
HKM 0%  
Other Answer
Animo! So comfy. And Kentuckys.
Smartpak Piper

So once again, Pikeur comes out on top for “best overall”.  I have a pair of Romfhs on backorder for December now.  Hope I don’t regret it!

And USG… Really?  Sure, they’re unbreakable.  My two pairs keep going, and going.  But the material, neh, a little starchy…

Elinor Yee dressage

Breech Poll

Today, something entirely different.

Click a quick vote for your best breeches!

Consider durability, best material, and overall quality.  Ignore the ones you’ve thought have the best fit, or style, since that’s so different for everyone.

Which brand has been the best for you?  Have a true workhorse breech that won’t pill, snag, stain, rip, or sag?  Add it at the bottom of the Poll alternatives!

I’m stuck on the couch, starting to suspect Salmonella.  A limp houseplant, definitely not seeing any horses, and yes, possibly shopping too.  Help make a decision!

Poll results available here starting Monday afternoon but the poll is open for a full week after posting.

You’re Just Jealous Because –

–  You don’t get to wear a neck-diaper in your sport…

simple stocktie for dressage

Yeah.  So there.

Got an even bigger, diaper, to don next time..  With bling on it.  It’ll come out in the next rated show.  Just in case this isn’t poufy enough.

Yesterday’s show at Camelot was the most stress free and enjoyable event with Valiosa to date.  We took three horses and everyone did great!

camelot dressage show
Positively grin-silly right as the whistle blows. How awesome to get to do this and feel like a kid in a candy store again!

Valiosa got 67.5 at Training Level Test 2.  Would have been 69 and change but breaking to canter at the end of a trot diagonal got the original 7.5 marked out and brought down to a 4.  So you know, don’t ride like that🙂

At Training Level Test 3 she pulled off a 65.5, even with a naughty disobedience at the first canter with a buck and a wrong lead.  Payback for a completely unsophisticated canter aid (she felt done-for-the day to me, thought she’d offer a late transition.).  So, trust your mare and don’t monkey around.

ugly canter at dressage show
Sporting a bit of a Cranky-Arabian Look here.

Very happy with Miss Grey Mare.  The halts on centerline are really coming along, got an 8 on two of them – again, it’s the canter work that needs…. work.

Further Remarks from the judge at the last test:  Very nice pair!  Great potential for moving up soon!

Glad she has faith in us and proud of getting this young horse here.  I know better though.  To play at first level, riders have to add a few more tokens.

schooling show riders
Nancy and I, the very last riders of the day. Vivian, you’re awesome for getting some pictures for us!