Hating On The Short Stirrups But Still A Great Ride

schooling dressage on young horse

Here we go! – A whole slew of pictures.

Back from vacation.  Hers:  in pasture.  Mine:  in the cool mountains.  Now back for more long weeks of hot summer.

Definitely didn’t expect her to go as well as where we left off (in the shots below.)  But she was even better!

Go Gray Mare!  Usually, rides after some time off are awkward and sort of “rusty.”  This time – happiest horse to date.

schooling dressage

young horse schooling dressage

schooling dressage on young horse

Still working on riding, and straightening her, from the right outside rein when tracking left.  It’s getting a bit better.

canter through corner


The less overbent to the inside, the better!  It’s been hard to decide just the right amount, but we’re getting there.  Her specialty is to immediately shut down if she feels “clamped down on” in any way – I’m working hard on resetting my own riding to be more open, or however you’d describe it.

trotting with young horse


Something as easy as a canter diagonal has been a struggle.  Although not a hot horse at all, she can get rushy and flailing there, and like many young horses just flop on her forehand.

So happy with her here, staying balanced and with me!

schooling canter diagonal

staying balanced in canter on diagonal

That’s all from this crew today!

dressage with young horse
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More Schooling Pictures. Wanna See Them?

horse cantering with poll up

Got a lot of pictures from a ride.

It feels, well, almost fake to post them.  The site is all about showing things as they are – for real.  Honestly – most parts of the riding session is not all this smooth and happy.  (Surprise!  Yeah, no surprise.)

happy riding


Mostly, she’s fuzzy and tweaky like this.

horse unsteady in contact


Posting more good shots next time anyway!    It’s all about small improvements, and she’s trying so much harder than a year ago!horse cantering with poll up

One of those days where you really don’t have to say much

horse with halter too low

‘Nuff said, type of day.

So thrilled to have this horse.

tacking up before a ride

Well, honestly, it’s just a regular day.  But with just the right combination of exhaustion, caffeine refueling, cold water and sugary treat – it’s just extra great.

young boy and horse


Can’t wait to get back on soon.  Maybe vacations are over rated.

horse with halter too low

Another Warmup, After The Warmup?.. Getting To The Good Part Of The Ride

summer riding

It’s taking too long!

After the walk warmup, and trot in both directions, we’re still not ready to work.  Of course super common with a young, average horse, but about now, we should be where we can get to the “good part” of the ride much sooner.

goode rider iconic fit breeches

dressage on a dime 2017

(You haven’t seen all the strange fussing around the first 25 minutes or more, so I’ll point out that this is from the good part of the ride.  Humbling.  Still, she looks great when she gets there!)

The best reward for her would be to do something really good, and just ending it there!  With a short ride.

dressage blog 2017

bad mane cut on horse
#GirlProblems When your mane looks like a mullet…

But we take long to get to the 10 minutes of Good Work, so, the 25 minute ride never happens.

Tell you when it does!  (You know, when there’s nothing else to look at and she just comes in really focused.  One day!)

breeches from goode rider


Her favorite – hanging out, standing around, petting.  Would make the best therapy horse ever!

gray dressage horse

Go Gray Mare!

summer riding

Staying Motivated To Ride

horse smiling

Someone asked how I stay motivated.

That’s a good question.  Not sure.  I show up, do things, and when it’s over everything’s usually better than at the start.  Don’t know – this is rewarding somehow, even when the riding doesn’t go all that well.  Which is often…

Very bad answer.  Can someone fill in?

Maybe it’s easy when the horse thing is so expensive so you can’t just “sit around?”  Hard to justify it all then.  Really – someone else needs to chime in with how you stay motivated! 🙂

Riding the Curious Miss Blue.

blue horse dressage


Who wouldn’t want to show up to a sophisticated face like this?

horse smiling


Hope you get some time in the saddle this weekend!

Prestige Anatomic Girth

dressage blog prestige girth

The Prestige – a nice, extremely well made and plush anatomical girth.

Loving it, and it’s everything it’s made out to be in product descriptions and other reviews!

Just as soft and pliable as the Total Saddle Fit Shoulder Relief Girth, and actually plusher.

Prestige Anatomic Girth Review

Slightly shallower than the County Logic, which was good since it avoids that open “gap” at the front that can occur on some horses depending on their girth grove.

My horse doesn’t need the “super deep” curve and the Prestige (from Prestige Italy) fits great!Prestige anatomical girth review

This girth replaced my Delfina Anatomical girth.  Sadly.  While the Delfina started out great, the underside (touching the skin about 1/3 in from the ends of both sides of the girth) cracked in much shorter time than expected.

With just regular use and good conditioning and cleaning it should have held up longer.  Just a heads up, since I published a review on it when it was new and liked it so much then…

Side-Tip for the Prestige:  Some buyers mentioned a too long distance from the billet buckles to the single billet keeper.  The billet keeper sits a full inch lower on the Prestige than on some other girths I’ve seen.  A problem if you ride on the 3rd or 4th hole on the billets, like me, as the billets won’t reach down to be tucked in to the keeper.

It’s really not an issue at all, since the keepers can be tucked into the space right below the buckles instead.  Tidy and no flapping around.  Just thought it was worth mentioning, if you’ve got your eyes on the luscious Prestige girth!

dressage blog prestige girth


Ending today with a shot of the newest arrival in the barn – Cabella.  She likes to wear her food.

horse with hay on the head

6 Years Old!

6 year old horse

Gray Mare turning 6.

No big party, don’t think she expected one either, but we will have a full week of riding.

horse birthday

Early August she’ll probably have some straight 8-9 days off.  Until then, we’ll continue to work on improving on – well, all the stuff that needs improvement 🙂

She’s grown up to be a much stronger, developed, and “almost mature” young horse.  Well, although at a trail ride last week she flared her little temper;  stomping and pawing impatiently with her front leg when she had to stand again to open a gate.  Not very mature…

Happy Birthday, strong-willed mare friend!

6 year old horse

celebrating birthdays for pets