That Wasn’t Really Fair To Her

dressage on a dime 2018

Those bucking pictures earlier, last week…

She deserves a better reputation than that.  (But Hey, it would help if you’d behave under saddle most days too!)

We’ve had some lovely moments during rides.  Always toward the end.  She never comes out ready to give anything for free.  First, we negotiate, then, she’ll consider doing something more productive.

dressage with gray horse

She’ll tolerate absolutely no bullying.  Riding her like that will make her shut down immediately.  Instead, she has to want to do it.  Which she sometimes does.  Look how cute and straight she can be!

a horse for elinor 2018

Walking pirouettes happen too now, but you better just think it, not come with some ugly aid.  She feels staying round throughout all those steps is overkill though, so she’s not ready to show it off just yet.

Gray mare, going.

dressage on a dime 2018

Showing At Home Turf – Much More Difficult Than Going To A Venue

portable stalls at shows

The outdoor arenas are still closed.

Looks like horses will only school in the indoor, and once there’s a show, the outdoors’ will be prepped, courts put up, and they’ll be used mostly for showing.

There are four large, very well maintained, outdoor arenas at the barn – three used as show rings, and one even larger as an extra outdoor warmup, for days with too many horses in the indoor warming up.  Super spacious, and super nice.

outdoor arenas closed in winter
One of the outdoor arenas. Ready to go. But we don’t go 🙂

There’s also a fenced in, more grassy looking arena, looks like for in-hand and stallion premiering etc, and a tiny, unfenced little thing for warmup out of the view of the show commotion.  But they’re also closed…

It’s sinking in that Gray Mare will have a heart attack once we’re finally able to go in the outdoors for a test.  Not just because it’s a new arena, but because it will be her home venue, completely transformed to something super scary.

portable stalls at shows
All of the deserted portables in the background will have scary roofs on them. And horses inside!

There’ll be major hustle around all the arenas:  tents, trailers, flags, merchandise vendors, tables, all sorts of crazy show action and new equipment.  Which is fine when driving to a new venue.  But I bet it’ll be very triggering when it’s happening on her home turf…

riding in off limit areas
Tree ally down to another empty guest barn. No riding here either. Maybe someone you know did it just once.

EVERYTHING will seem different and scary…

2018 will have weekends with show jumping here, which we don’t go to, and then about 4 dressage show weekends.  First one in May.

Yep – planning on going!  Same saddle, same everything, but with a very different, tweaky-rocket ship horse.

Who’s idea was this!!?


three horses waiting their turn in the arena
That day we all watched a test. But someone was way too excited just to have friends to be watching.

Monday Morning

gray horse in cavesson with flash

Just two days off.

Can’t wait to get out there to see her again!   That’s what just a couple of days off will do.  Good stuff!

On Mondays she’ll sometimes pop her head up, all the way out there in pasture, when I come in with the quiet hybrid.  She knows what’s up.

– “Yay, my servant is here!”

gray horse in cavesson with flash

Happy to have her.  Growing respect for this mare, with her peculiar ways.  Do it just right, sitting square, and she’ll sometimes let me access her back and she’ll get very sensitive, almost hot, accepting only small aids.  It’s a taste of what I think she really could be.  I just need to catch up!

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Lots of stuff to say this week.  Kind of unusual.  Buckle down!

Guest Post – Pick Up Your Rabbits


Their flattened, dried out bodies, small bundles along the roads.  Or the bumpier, more moist, fresher crop.  They’re always there.  I swerve around them, breaking.  Who’d want turkey, deer, racoon, opossum, fox, squirrel, coyote or skunk ground up in their tires..?

You wonder if it happened fast.  If they felt it coming.

Dark morning commute.  Blackish winter morning.  Another Jack Rabbit hit.  This one probably the biggest one I’ve ever seen.  The bright highlights of the car in front light up the scene.  Only differently this time.

Coming to a full stop, I watch the driver ahead of me, his car now pulled over next to the fake-fancy golf course, its water fountain spraying day and night.  Fountains and spot lights promise instant sophistication, never mind the rest.

The man walks across the dark road, lit water droplets glittering behind, to help take responsibility for his roadkill.

A sad heap almost in the middle of the road, the rabbit, still conscious, breathing, heaving.  My front lights shine at the two of them, a white half-circle in the dark blue, as he removes his shirt, wrapping its body into it, lifting it off the stage.

I thank him silently as he carries it off.  That’s all it takes.  Such a small act.

Pick up your rabbits.


Want to contribute a Guest Post or Ghost Writing of your own?  Feel free to share a link in comments below!  A one-time open weekend opportunity, yes without rules, on the blog.

Some Visitors For You To Check Out

guest posts on horse blog

Hi everyone!

Up for some guest posts?!!  Or just discover something new?  Then take a peek at these below!

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

In no particular order;

A few readers & writers from your Horse Blog community –

Find her post on the latest lesson here:  January 30th Recap

Find her post on grateful Australian living here:  Happy Australia Day 2018

See some well-timed on flying changes in her post here:  Flying Horse!

She has a wonderful post on the importance of riding in life here:  NaBloPoMo Day 22

Read Cecilia’s post on pellets here:  Top 3 Alfalfa pellet feed for horses.

Give her some advice on Half Chaps here:  Let’s talk half chaps 

Here’s her latest take on Navy Blue:  Daisy Blue

Read her emotional closure on losing the gelding of her dreams here:  Backward or forward.

Discover something new and go take a peek at these writers!

It’s a Guest Post Weekend, so feel free to comment with a link to a post you’d want include if you like.

guest posts on horse blog

That’s all from us today!

Kicking Off February With Something Different!

guest posts and ghost writing on horse blog

For the first time –

Opening up for some guest, or ghost, posts!

Completely different format and content, just for fun.  Then back to horses of course, no worries.  Look, here’s a horse right now, to tide you over.

guest posts and ghost writing on horse blog

Peek in on Friday to see the guest post.

Want to take part with a guest post of your own!? 

Chime in below in the comments!  You can link up to your own content to share your own, or work from somebody else.  No rules this weekend!

Riding Mares In Heat

hacking out when in heat

Sometimes tricky.

You don’t always know what you’ll get.

This time, her heat cycle was much more intense than compared to a year ago.  Last month, in December, it was barely noticeable.  She was mostly spooky and intense.  Silly to the leg etc.  Oh, and spooky.  Maybe I said that.

Then, just a few weeks later, we got this.

riding mare in heat

Canter transitions were.  Exciting.

bucking mare in heat

The 3rd day, I’d had enough and we hacked on the property instead.  There are some gravel and asphalt areas – great for cooling off.  Next time I’ll do the same if she’s just as bothered.  While working more on stuff at, well, at the walk.  🙂

Below, a short road-stretch out to what I call the “poop field”.  It’s an uneven field, all green on the horizon there, where manure, shavings, and straw is spread out from the stalls each day.  A “sacrifice” field, far away from the barn and pastures.

hacking out when in heat

The footing is pretty iffy.  A swamp after rains.  And in summer heat there’s no way we’ll go out there and bake.

Right now, it’s the ideal thing for us.  Valiosa thinks it’s an interesting place; we head out there when we can to preserve a four beat walk.  On some days, she’ll walk very forward, using her back more, especially on a short uphill slant, – a treasure!

The poop field even has a pond at the bottom.

You already know what it’s filled with…