Pictures From Winter Schooling

That perfect horse –


Maybe it was waiting for you in the paddock all along.

dressage horse trotting

the perfect horse

What do I know.

riding through corners

turning up centerline with horse


Keeping it short today.  Since you’re being drowned in pictures.

gray horse cantering

grey horse in canter downstride


Couldn’t pick just three or so.

Yawn.  I know.

silver horse

collecting the canter


Love the Gray Machine for trying so hard.  For both of us!

working from behind in trot

a softer more engaged dressage trot


Kind of feels like you need at least some sort of payoff for putting up with all this and scrolling down through so many pics.

So here goes – a stirrup tip:  Try putting only light downward pressure in the stirrups.  It will keep the lower leg more still.

Genius.  That would have come in really handy.  Some 7 years ago or so 🙂

23 thoughts on “Pictures From Winter Schooling

    1. If find if I “anchor” my self from the knees in rising trot it helps. Not in a squeezing way at all, just more of thinking of it as a squatting position, while also having length in the leg if that makes sense. Well, it helps for as long as I focus on it 🙂
      Thank you Mel!!

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          1. Half hole up went a bit lop sided. Turns out now the leathers are not even! Argh! Or maybe they were uneven, but felt even, and now once changed they feel different. (Pulling my hair!)
            In any event, lazy mare transformed over the weekend to a fire blowing dragon. She was such a nilly, we mostly bucked, shied, and squirmed around. Entirely different from Friday’s ride. Love mares 😉 Obviously in heat!

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          2. Yeah. We did just about as much “negotiation” today. She’s now in standing heat, so I can’t really get cross with her. Tomorrow, warmup walk outside for 10 minutes – short indoor work, then back out for a walk, that’s it! Hopefully Thursday we can focus on something else 🙂


    1. I’ve also discovered if I focus more of the weight towards the outside of the stirrup, it helps with allowing the toes to come in more, vs. pointing out.
      Well, this might not be a problem for other riders, but for me, the hips, and therefore the thighs, are perpetually turned out, and the toes like to creep out there. Hate it! 😉

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    1. I’m so relieved that she’s finally going better. For a while there, we were actually going backwards in the training… Now, softer, moving more relaxed but definitely forward. Love it.
      Next up – sharing some of our MAJOR training troubles. With ugly pictures. All fun and games? Nah, that’s a joke to anyone riding dressage 😉


  1. Excellent set of practice shots. Both you and Miss Valiosa ride beautifully. This is sort of your homework:
    Watch some of the dressage festival livestream via FEI. No note-taking, no keeping an eye on hand placement, stirrups, posture, eye focus, etc. Do a visualization exercise a day, or two, later. The visualization is the same event you watched on the livestream. Instead, it is you, Elinor Yee (riding USA or SWE) in the show ring with Valiosa. Ride the ride, from start to end. You know what to do, Valiosa knows what to do. You’ve done this hundreds of time. This is no different from a practice session, no different from any other show experience. The exercise is about trusting yourself, trusting your horse. Give it try. If it feels a little hokey, okay it feels hokey. Don’t worry about your boys doing the eyeroll … they know mom needs to do this as part of her work. 🙂

    We’re looking forward to the event in Mexico. You can say it’s a straight business trip. There’s about 6-7 events with FEI in the event name, all GP type courses. So, that’s what we’re riding. It’ll be interesting experience.

    Ride well,

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    1. I DID watch some beautiful riding – not on livestream, just recorded, and I love the way the Freestyles have gotten so fun and engaging to watch. The music perfectly matched to the horses gaits, and with each rider having their own style, it’s really interesting to watch.
      Trying hard not to look to much at individual riding styles (I do anyway). Valiosa was incredibly hokey today… I had a wonderful plan of riding her out first, where she gets a little light, springy, and, especially if we do a few walk/trot transitions in the “scary” grass field at the far bottom of the property – she can feel really sublime. Instead, she became a springload, with snorts, a wriggly middle and a way too light front. In the indoors we had interesting bucks and stops. She’s definitely in heat 😉 Got nothing very productive done, but at the end, she finally came over her back and did some wonderful canter and leg yield so I was happy with her. Tomorrow, finally a lesson, and we’ll try again!!


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