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

Showing This Weekend?

dressage blog

If you are, wishing you a great time!

Valiosa will get in the showring this Sunday.  Just as fun every time!

I think we’re ready.  Probably not a good sign.  You’re supposed to feel like things are kind of shaky, but then pull off a great test anyway.  No?

We’ll have to see how it goes.  It’ll be a blast either way!

dressage blog
At the barn.

Last weekend at Mar Val Stables, Lodi – Alexis and Cariñosa in the warm up ring for Prix St. George. ⇓

warm up for prix st. george

They did great!!

With Gray Mare, I’ll be playing it safe in the lower levels for a while 🙂

The canter, easy(-ish) at home, trickier on the showgrounds…  Report on how it goes next week!downstride in canter

cantering more round

preparing for first level dressage

Before the show, we squeezed in a visit to veterinarian Dr. Linda in Clements.

A new mare at the barn needed some help, and in addition to injections I got to see body work, aqua acupuncture, and shock wave therapy.  Valiosa went too!

preparing for vet visit
At Dr. Linda’s

Great to see awesome quality joint images right then and there, and watch the ultrasound and a shock wave therapy session.  The aqua acupuncture effect, with muscle twitching was definitely interesting!

aqua acupuncture and shock wave therapy
Shock wave on a stifle.

Valiosa, bored and much less impressed with it all.

bored horse
– “Boooring.”

When your friends are really far away. And you can’t see them. And you just have to scream.


New pasture, with several new friends.

Gray mare’s been in the front pasture for over a week.  More friends.  She mixed right in and thinks living in a larger group is great.

horses greeting in pasture

A little less hilly than the other two pastures she was in for three months.  This one is larger, and involves a bit of a hike to get around in.  (Big enough to get lost and lonely if you ask her.)


About as lush as it gets in the California foothills.  By the end of the month, most of the grass will burn off.  If she wasn’t in full work, I’d be worried about way too much grass, but so far she’s staying in great shape.

introducing mares to each other in pasture

Don’t want to jinx it, but a few days after she moved out with this group, we’ve only had forward, productive rides.  Not sure how long it will last, but now, she’s going well, happy, putting in a real effort at every ride, feeling really great.

Yes, yes, we go fast, all the time, try leg yield in canter yep yep, no-way-I’ve-never-been-lazy, she says, and works hard so it will be over with and she can go back out to her new exciting group.

OK, well, thanks!  Let’s make it stick.

mares making friends in pasture


Going back out was never this exciting.  You can hear screaming until the very end.


What Makes Your Site Different?

bare foot dressage training

Today – an open invitation for anyone to share just that!

A Horse For Elinor has been the same from the very start – I write, and take way too many pictures, of and about the horses I ride.  Training, some competing, and like all other dressage riders strive to find that “just that right” connection with my horse.

Warning – this looks like a personal post coming up below.

Every blog is different – and this is where you come in at the end of the post!

Part of what makes this site have its own “feel” is that it’s written by an adult rider who wants to have lots of fun but still has several goals.

Tons of Horse Blogs out there.  Lots of energetic young riders writing endless product plugs.  Or how about the massive amounts of Scandinavian horse blogs where it’s all about matching the polo wraps and saddle pad?..  This site has mostly impolite posts about training on my own with a young horse.

bare hoof riding ggt footing

Still, we’re moving forward, getting out to compete, and have a blast doing it.  I have more physical ailments and side-kick diseases than I can keep track of at this point (Hey, who’s counting?!).

It’s inspirational to read about others who push through that, and have fun and do well anyway.  Maybe you think so too?

barefoot dressage

It’s challenging sometimes, when you look just fine on the outside, healthy, and in shape.  I show up, get the once-over glance; – “Oh, she’s one of those…”  Truth is I have to sometimes literally scrape myself up and scoop me out the door.  My body can be a super hero one day, and leave me half-broken and unable to do much the next.

I get a sense of constantly letting people around me down, because of making tons of energetic commitments while getting sick, or injured, so often.

It’s not the focus of this site at all, but some of the – “Hey let’s enjoy the heck out of this for as long as it lasts!”, probably comes through 🙂

bare foot dressage training

So.  Now it’s your turn! 

Today’s blog post is an opportunity to say “Hello” to other readers.

Comment below with what makes your site “just a bit different.”  Or Comment with just a link to your blog, as an opportunity to have more readers connect.

It’s just as easy as that!  Or stick a link in there to one of your posts you especially liked creating!

Up to you!