1K Followers, A Special Day!!

working horse alone on large grass field

Hard to believe we’ve come this far!

The blog’s got over 1000 followers.  With e-mail and Facebook followers on top of that.  How amazing and fun!

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Thrilled to have you along while I goof off with my horse!  Small horse blogs usually don’t get much attention – this is very encouraging and heartwarming!

Most amazingly, some of you have stayed on from the beginning, which makes it really special.  Thank you for checking in!

Today, opening up for a Questions & Answers Opportunity!

Surely at least two of you must have a question at this point!??

This is your chance – ask away below, then we’ll have a separate post to follow-up with answers!

Celebrating with some shots from over 3 years of writing and loving on the horses.

Happy Memorial Day!

Missed Training Days

small pond at barn

Hard to put a positive spin on them, right?

But it’s the only way to go.  Horses, and their owners, will continue to get sick or injured way too often.  A wonder we get anywhere at all,  and that we get as far as we do, between it all…

It’s a beautiful time of the year  (I say that all the time, except during REAL summer, which starts something like, tomorrow.), some extra rest is just fine, and all will turn out OK!  Just not sure how many days – weeks – we’ll miss this time.

Quick don’t-worry-break, view of the small pond on an overcast morning.

small pond at barn

Monday morning, after two days rest, Valiosa came out with a sudden serious cough under saddle.  Light canter, trotting, walking, didn’t matter.  No temperature, or other signs.

Tuesday, the same, during light lunging to see how she was doing, with some nasal discharge.  No swollen glands, still perky enough.

halter too far down on the nose
Hating on owner for making her wear the halter all droopy

Yep, she’s had her fall and winter shots.

Nope, no allergies before.

No change in hay (not even fed right now as the 24 hr grass is so rich.  Who would have ever thought that in California!), and no dust exposure.

No fever at all for three days in a row.  House vet didn’t find any swollen glands.  Standing by to see how this will pan out, absolutely no training for her for a while…

So – Healthy As A Horse.  Who came up with that?

Closing with this sign from construction site up our hill.

awkward last names

Would you buy a property from Mr. Lie big?

Arena Back Drops

cantering with seatbones out of the saddle

Staying at the “new” farm means not being able to see good friends at the “old.”

So many good days together out there, and I’ll miss Nancy, my friend and partner in crime, a lot.  Have a feeling we still have some adventures together, just need to come up with a plan 🙂

Today, honoring the wonderful, enigmatic backdrop of the covered arena at Twisted Oak.  It is absolutely magical – the colors and vegetation forever changing with the seasons.  A treat and an honor to ride there.

I know the beauty can’t come through in the pictures enough (it wasn’t the focus at all when they were taken.) but it can look like a piece of art sometimes when you’re there.  The twisty trees, the droopy tiny branches, the shadows, the moss, and the different leaves throughout the year…

So here goes, pictures from several different months!  Ignore the riding, just look at how the colors change throughout the year!

September heat.

"Elinor Yee"


Late fall.

"Dressage On A Dime"



young horse trot

loose rein walk



Andalusian cross mare


Late winter.

starting to leg yield at quarter line


Cantering on loose rein


Spring time March.

posting trot

easter egg color breeches

"Elinor Yee"

"Elinor Yee"



warm up canter before jumping

horse cantering with high neck



canter with grey mare


The never-ending summer.   August.  So hot you can taste it.

riding a horse in a mist of dust

cantering with seatbones out of the saddle


Early fall in September.

inspiration for riding dressage when things are not going well


December again.

leg yield from centerline

creating a longer neck

On The News Front – Staying

benefits of living in pasture

I will stay with Miss Gray Mare at this wonderful farm.

No question about it – she is very happy to be there.

horse sleeping in pasture

Early morning, sleeping rock formation.

The only problem – whenever you go someplace new, it always means leaving friends…

Still, how can I ever take her away from living like this?..

andalusian resting in pasture

Woke up Galana.  These horses have some serious sleeping-in schedules.

horse looking like dead whale when sleeping

Galana, her dead whale friend, and my feral looking thing in the top corner.

two resting horses in pasture

It’s going to be very interesting to see where I can take her in her training this year!

benefits of living in pasture

Come Along, Trail Clip!

warming up for first level dressage

Quick clip from the pond loop.

But first, just another shot from the show.  Uphill in the warmup on Sunday – go Gray Mare!

warming up for first level dressage

In case you’re stuck and not riding today – a quick clip, one-handed with the mobile, from the cool down loop.  Probably the last overcast and cool day until end of October.

Nothing exciting happens here.  Which is just the point.

Have a beautiful day!

Mother’s Day Show Report

trot lengthening on the diagonal

Beautiful day, wonderful horse!

This was her second time out at First Level, and she pulled it together really nice.

Solid and focused in the ring, prompt and attentive transitions.  Very happy with her!

I think it’s ridiculously fun to show.  Nerve-racking, but just so awesome to be there. Picture day as promised – starting right before the bell, suspiciously happy rider.

First Level Dressage Schooling show

Well, maybe that streak of 8’s on the halts is over, since she went rouge with her left hind, in both! 🙂

dressage salute with right hand

dressage salute with left hand

Only one test this time, again.  Definitely moving up to two of them next time – it’s the only chance to fix any mistakes in the same show!

trot lengthening on the diagonal

leg yield left

Leg yield.

spooking at the judges booth

Zero spooking at the judges booth.

stretchy circle dressage

Overall, thrilled with how she felt and behaved, it felt like a super test.  The judge felt she needed to be more forward and supple for an even higher score.  Agreed!  Total score at First Level Test 2, 63.13.

Great Show

top horse blogs 2017

Sunday’s show went great!

Tell you more about it, with pictures soon.  Thanks to my husband there’s some wonderful photos again this time!  Thank you!

Another schooling show, at a facility she’s been to many times now…  Planning on a rated show again in June at a new place.  That will be interesting 🙂

There’s something about training at home, and then riding in the show ring…  So here goes:

training at home and riding at shows
At home

– A lot of positioning work went out the window, or at least it felt like it.  The seat a bit perched, too long leg, (because road rash from new boots…) and the hands didn’t consistently come as far forward as they should.

Details, but you know it makes a huge difference of just puttering around, and truly showing!

schooling at home more forward
Going forward with some nice push at home.

The lesson learned from this time – you can’t just focus on wanting to make the test look flowy, smooth, and easy.  There has to really be some engagement to it too!  This horse will never win a judge over just by presence, so I have to work extra hard on trying to make it precise, but actually something to look at in the ring.

It can happen at home, the next step is to figure out how to turn it on at shows.  Without bolting!

top horse blogs 2017

The Short Story:

We took a nap in the free walk, and she didn’t show enough in the canter lengthenings.  Next show, I’ll need to correct with the leg immediately – forget if it gets ugly for a second, we’ve got places to go!  Don’t know about you, but I’ve just toted the whip around in the showring.  Never dared to use it.  Seriously.  Come on.

Coming up next:  Pictures.  Because she truly was really great in this test!