Happy Thanksgiving To All!

free trot with no rider and ideal neck

Much to be grateful for!

Day off for Gray Mare of course.

Next up, Special Anniversary post.  Hey it’s tradition by now!


That moment you realize the horse looks better showing off freely on her own vs. under saddle…

free trot with no rider and ideal neck

Humbling, no?
Other humbling facts –

horse moving freely in trot in pasture

– Realizing the sweet retired Chestnut she’s showing off for isn’t a mare. Oh.

Live-in-Gelding-friends, very liberal. Better behave.

Corner Huddle

horses sniffing and meeting through fence

Quick life-tempo over here!

That’s all good, as it should be.  Sometimes barely keeping up.  Staying on top of this page is difficult, sure you’ve noticed.

Mostly, it’s because of a new job and because of an uptick again (finally!) in long distance running.  Take the discipline and dedication anyone has to apply to ride consistently.

Then add another sport on top…  Yep, even more time-consuming.  But beautiful when it works out!  Race coming up this weekend!

Hoping you’re getting to squeeze every good minute out of the day, and hopefully enjoying it as much as I do.

I’ve met an ever-growing amount of awesome, fantastic people over the years, – some of you keep tabs on the craziness here on the page.  Some even though you’re not really fans of horses at all.  How great is that!?

Hugs to you all, and especially to friends and family in Sweden – Ni finns alltid i mitt hjärta!

Yesterday’s corner huddle – all new friends and pasture.

No matter how much space the horses have to run in, they always have to squeeze into a corner when a new horse is introduced.  That’s them, down there.

horses in corner of pasture
Corner Huddle

Gray mare, doing her best to stretch-out/rip-off her leg straps and look cool doing it.

safely introducing horse to new herd
Nobody all that impressed of her race car moves

That kite-high dragon nostril-blowing noise, just as exciting every time.  So much better when you’re not on top.

horses sniffing and meeting through fence
New fence neighbor

You Guys Are Fantastic!

getting used to new barn and busy environment

Talk about a supportive reader crowd, how awesome!

Thank you so much for cheering us on with making this move.  Wonderful to hear, and of course everything you’ve said is true.

Valiosa is adjusting just fine, the facility is lovely, and every one has been very welcoming!

california style outdoor barn
Small part of the front barns.

Despite us most likely being in the way a lot, and probably breaking rules I didn’t even know existed 😉

So fun!  And of course inspiring.  Keeping things in perspective with this “low-engine” horsey among all the big movers.

Also very happy with her – so easy to go places with Miss Gray.  She trusts her human to keep her safe and since I’ve taken her almost everywhere by now she takes most things in stride.

moving in at new barn
Just arrived.  In only a few days, the rain has already made grass pop up in all the pastures by now.

Maybe she bolted really gnarly far down in a field when a huge group of turkeys dared to exist while cooling her out way out there alone.  Nobody saw it, so basically didn’t happen.

Hanging out on her own in an acre sized pasture for now.  Meeting her pasture mates in the larger one in a few days.  She’s lucky to live a pampered life, but mostly she cares about having company.

We should test out a lesson with this barn.  Soon.  Still missing my trainer.

getting used to new barn and busy environment

And, Off To Something New Again

It’s been a great month to get to revisit with friends at Twisted Oak!


Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

The plan was to have a month of hanging out together, time’s up, winter is here.

To keep things over the top frenzy and busy, I’ve packed up all stuff and traveled with Valiosa to a facility all new to us.

Major plus:  a little closer to my house!

At the new barn, she’ll have pasture board together with two friends (which she adores!), with better drainage so winter mud won’t be too much of a problem.  Unless things completely flood like they did last winter but that’s unlikely. 

And, this is huge, the commute will be just 30 minutes, combined with full care!

horse portrait by pond
End of Summer, at Dorado Andaluz

For the first time, I’ll be “just a boarder.”  No extra work at the facility.  No extra nothing.  At all.  Strange… 

The challenge, a much busier environment…  It’s a very special place to train.  And, more as an afterthought, we’re not going to “blend in.”  At all.

Bet most riders wouldn’t dare a silly move like this unless they knew they’d fit in just a little…  Would you brave it?

This is the type of place where gorgeous warmblood babies are bred & born, and where top names in dressage come to clinic.

Little fountain in the middle sprays out water whispering – “This is really just only for people who actually know what they’re doing.  Or who can pay for it, which is not mutually exclusive.”


how to fit in at a nice barn
This, honestly is the best we can do, isn’t going to swoon anyone 🙂


The Mexican Beach Horse With Resting Bitch Face (yes, it’s a thing.) will be the  -“Geez, what’s she doin’ riding THAT thing…!?”

Clearly a bit of a stretch, which is good and healthy thank you-very-much-just-please-don’t-mind-us.


Think we’ll be accepted?

Only one way to find out 🙂

And hey, only way to grow is to actually go someplace where your roots will be watered.  Even if you end up drenched in the process.

When The Yearly Dental Float Is Not Enough

horse dental floats three times per year

Standard equine dentistry recommendation – a once yearly dental float performed by a veterinarian dental specialist.

Usually enough, easy peasy.  Until it’s not.

My mare has thrown all vets for a loop with having an awesome looking bite, ending with the standard comment that once per year should be enough next time…  But it has never been enough.

Today’s post is for those of you who may be in the same boat – maybe without knowing.

Her first dental was when she was a little shy of 3 1/2 years old, a few months after bringing her home.  Simple, routine, and with a couple of wolf teeth extracted.

horse dental floats three times per year
Don’t have any pics from Twisted Oak Ranch, so let’s do these, never posted from D.A.

Next float 11 months later, still before turning 4 1/2 years old – she’d started pocketing some hay in her mouth.  The dental showed she’d developed some soreness from transverse ridges deep up inside.

All routine, got a green light to wait another year to float.

Next float 10 1/2 months later, well before 5 1/2 years old, she’d been telling me for a full month that something was “uncomfortable.”  There was a “scent” to her breath, and she’d started stopping under saddle during work sometimes.

Sure enough, deeper, and more painful looking sores showed up high up in her mouth where the sharp edges of the teeth had cut deep in her cheeks.  Vet still recommended  waiting the standard 1 year – still considering her routine and she’d be all mature next time.

floating teeth more often


Just 5 1/2 months later, before turning 6, I still had her in a dental clinic – the vet told me he was sure he wouldn’t find anything – but nope, this time she’d developed the beginnings of a small wave, tiny hooks in the front, and yes, some more sores from transverse ridges!

This vet recommended waiting 9 months until next time.  Of course, within 4 months I was already wondering if the tiny, cuts were starting to develop in there, bothering her.  Wouldn’t you?


Horse in outdoor shelter with window
Valiosa peeking out of her outdoor shelter we built her at Twisted Oak Ranch

Because spending half a day, giving up training time, and wasting money is a horse owner’s specialty, we spent time trailering to the equine dental specialist a couple of weeks ago!

Sure enough, exactly 5 months after last float, there was a tiny wave, and the beginnings of sore spots up on the cheeks.

Being your own advocate, so worth it sometimes.

Sticking to that 6 month schedule for some time…

Lesson – Steering The Withers

steering the withers in dressage

One week ago, finally an opportunity to work with my trainer.

When there’s not going to be a lot of instruction opportunities, you know you better hang on to every word!  (And thank you Alexis for driving all the way out to us!)

The October show was great.  Still don’ feel I have “unlocked” the possibilities with this horse.  She moves tight, and takes every opportunity to lock up, resist, slow down, wiggle the shoulders, tilt her head.  Or all of the above.

Goal for this month:  work, every ride, on riding her in a new way.  Getting the basics down, all over again, with her moving more free, preferably without much influence of the hand at all.  Starting almost from scratch all over again 🙂

Forget about fiddling with a better leg yield or small voltes for now.  Writing it here will help make me accountable.  Fingers crossed I can do this!!  So far so good…

trying to ride more forward
Today’s pics from back in July at the breeding and training farm. Better than this now..?

We spent a full hour on simply being more in tune of the leg, balancing the bit quietly in front of her, offering opportunity to lengthen the neck with the hand softening forward more often.  (Now, a week later after the session, it’s getting more difficult…)

And steering the withers.

The last one ended up being the key.

steering the withers in dressage
Check out tall Banana Man there behind, he’s catching up to big brother.

It’s tempting to want to soften her body, and bend her around the inside leg.  You do that too?  With her, just overdoing it an inch makes her outside shoulder pop out on the circle and she’ll instantly lose all forward.

So, she has to be really on the outside aids, leg and rein.  Steering just for them.  Like a bus.  Because the sort of horse she is, and because that’s where she’s at in the training again right now…

Positioning the poll to the inside more an afterthought, later, when she stays reliably in the tempo.  This is hard, because through the ride, she gets more excited, and wants to curl just one inch, letting go of the bit.  And then we wiggle, feeling lost, and it starts to feel like I can’t even ride her straight.

New mantra, steer like a bus.

Sure, this has come up before.  Of course.

But that’s how it works with dressage –  riders can’t take in the instruction until they’re actually ready.  Or, until they’re convinced  there’s absolutely no way they can continue what they’re doing now.  And that lightbulb went on for me at the last show Ω

Fingers crossed we hold on to this type of riding all on our own until next month!

dressage lesson
If you’ve got a tweak you’re working on – feel free to share it! We can’t be the only ones…?

Fall Training Wrap Up

Elinor Yee dressage

Someone asked a question on how the canter lengthening went at the show.

Only fair to wrap it up with pictures.


lenghtening the canter

She was a good girl, stayed straight, and yes, forward.  More would be better.  Well, more is always better.  Gray Mare don’t really care…

canter lenghtening in dressage


She looked like a real beef cake occasionally though, absolutely trying hard.

Elinor Yee dressage

This show was eye-opening in many ways. New training mantra even.  More on that soon!

Main site “About” page has some small updates – find it here  https://ahorseforelinor.com/about-dressage-on-a-dime/  to take a quick look!  Need to change something?