Here’s The Cool Down Loop

climbing downhill with horse

Summer had a last Hurray last week.

With temperatures in the mid 90’s again.  Now, we’re buckling down for fall.

The biggest payoff for putting up with summer heat – the awesome autumn and winter months!  This is the most beautiful time of the year!

cooling down outside arena

Easy living now!  Loving the cooler weather.

Trying to make the most of it and getting in a bit of up n down with Valiosa at the end of the rides.  Now that we don’t have to turn into bacon as soon as we leave the arena.

She’s not over-the-top impressed…

climbing downhill with horse

climbing for hind end strength

Image result for fall leaf

Switching Pace

hiking with dalmatian dogs

That was a lot of “Short Read” Posts.

Because time has been.  Short.

Barn commute, still 2 hours out and back.

I’ve upped the long distance running a bit.  Still putting in hours at this beautiful breeding and training farm.  And riding Miss Dissatisfaction.

riding happy horse

And, taken on a second job.

That last one is the clincher.

Things have been happy, just much too busy.  Tiny amount of time left for writing.  But with you readers being so fantastic and checking in on us so often, of course you’ll get more updates on what we’re doing his fall!!

Just don’t hold your breath 🙂  .

Breathing.  Who’s got time for that?


Oh, and Dice says – “Hi!”  He still gets his outings.  I think we’re both a little addicted to Redwood trees.

hiking with dalmatian dogs

Who Decides What You Should Think Of Equestrian Sport?

horse by green pond

Your flow.

Social media.

What does it look like?  Maybe an endless stream of negativity about horse sport, in just about any discipline.

Ever thought about how that shapes what you think, making your sport feel hopeless, a lost case where every one takes short cuts, or worse?

horse blogs elinor yee

After some of the larger international dressage competitions, half of  the Facebook feed seems to be about contorted necks and horses working in pain.

Heated discussions about shady training techniques.

In other disciplines – spur marks, bloody froth, draw reins, horses dying from over exertion, riding with all sorts of training gadgets, and even some temper tantrum millennial mishandling her horse in the show ring after falling off at a jump.

Should that decide what you think of modern horse sport?  Would it change if we would mostly see good training, good riding, good showing, good horsemanship?


upper body leaning in on canter circle


Just a small change of focus can really make a difference.  We do what we see others do.  We become what we do.

Trying really hard to not focus on bad riding over here, looking up to good riding.

Far from perfect, I’m trying.  It really matters what we look at.

This site is mostly safe – not much behind the vertical stuff here.  Because it shapes what we think.


horse by green pond

Maybe it’s important to you?

Focus on the good.

Hard Work Should Pay Off

collecting the canter with young horse

Doesn’t necessarily mean it will ALWAYS get better.

But most of the time, when enough energy, concentration, and enthusiasm is applied, things do get a little, well, improved.  In everything.  Right?

downstride of the canter

She can be absolutely embarrassingly difficult, then fantastic at the end.


This summer has felt like I’ve applied more than a fair share of sweat equity.  But really, if the pay off is a few seconds of absolute loveliness, who cares?!

riding in bad air quality

Inside shoulder in canter, a little less weighted now.  Yay!

Going left, she still wants to be empty in the outside rein and we struggle there since my outside aids can’t seem to be doing what I know they should be doing.

But Hey, I love this right here!

collecting the canter with young horse

When Mares Become Dominant In Pasture

two horses kissing

Miss Gray decided she wanted to lead the entire herd in the pasture.

She’s not really cut out for leader material, and was becoming unpleasantly bossy.  Three of them are pregnant, while also in full work, and can’t really afford to risk an injury.  Everybody lives out at this ranch, Grand Prix horses or not, and it’s important that the dynamics are right.


Easy enough – she had to move in with another group in a new pasture.

Here’s the first day.

Introductions went very well, as they always do with Valiosa.

Mistie, a retired gray mare checked her out briefly, and decided that, nope, I’m too old for any type of wild stuff.

The three of them, Valiosa, Mistie and Harper, a young compact size Warmblood mare, have been getting along for a week now.

horse meeting new friends

But Mistie seems like she’d rather not have any new extra energetic pasture mates.  She keeps coming up for scratches and to have her picture taken.

Fair enough, pretty girl.

retired horse


These two, already cute together sometimes.