30 Second Summer Recap

union valley reservoir creek

Lots of camping.

Sums it up without getting too much off topic.  Quick peek at a fraction of a luscious summer, then back to horses.

Started with the tell-tale Boot-Tan Foot.  Here, at our lake close by.

pale feet and tanned legs

It was beautiful this year, finally full of water, after years on end of drought.  The lake, not the foot.  Is there a written rule you have to post pics like this on social media?  Exhausting…


In Crystal Basin, Union Valley Reservoir, above Silver Creek Falls.  An unmarked trail, you can sort of hoof it through the brush, leads to the creek that feeds into the Reservoir.

union valley reservoir creek
Family dogs may or may not throw themselves into deep water on the side, almost drowning.  Depends on your breed and how exciting the day is.


Summit Lake, high above Donner Lake.

summit lake above donner lake
Easy hike. (Depends; your 8-year-old will want to die. Return 4 years later:  The 5 mile climb is nothing, and only a 20 mile mountain bike ride the next day will ensure regular bedtime hours.) Lake will be all yours to swim in, only Loon Birds.


Best smelling secret meadow at around 7,700 feet.

meadow above donner lake


No one around.


But wait!  There’s something moving!


dalmatian jumping in flowers


Black Bear by our cabin.  Brown, because that makes sense with the name.  Blurry pic, because even if just last year’s baby it felt sort of.  Close.

black bear at donner lake

Hope you’ve had a beautiful summer!

Next week, back with some special posts, inspired by Avery at AHA Moments.  She writes about simple things, with her horses.  And stays positive about it. That’s what we’ll do too, for a week.

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

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


azteca mare


With so many activities, who’s got time to write…

Yes, there’s a life beyond horses, although I don’t write about it at all here.  Summing it up with the latest:  70 lovely and painful long distance miles on my shoes, and a beautiful 3 day scout camping trip to top it off.

Small wonder I’m still standing up.  Which I’m not – only non-ergonomically slouched on the couch.  Crunchy chocolate granola stuffed face.  Says on the bag you have to eat it until your mouth is scraped raw inside.  Or something like that.

riding with dogs in the arena

Valiosa finally stopped coughing and we rode Friday morning.  Pics sprinkled throughout from the happy ride in this post.  Today she was great too.  Phew!

turning on to centerline

Answers to earlier questions!

  • “Would you tell us how you became interested in blogging? Also, when did you start blogging?”

I rode other people’s horses for years.  Wonderful, but who doesn’t want their very own?  Bringing home La Prima, an American Warmblood mare was the trigger to start writing.  Horse ownership has been a dream ever since the first pony ride, decades later it was definitely exciting enough to create a little site around it.

First post went up in January 2014…  Half the posts from the first year are gone, but going forward everything is sticking around.

Never a huge blog reader myself, it has been really fulfilling, fairly easy, and I never imagined readers would reach out and be as encouraging as they have.  You are amazing!

azteca mare

  • ” What is the next step for you and Valiosa?”

Keeping expectations low, and ambitions modest, with most of everything, makes for almost no disappointment at all, and mostly small awe for how well and wonderful things are turning out 🙂

That said, now that I have just a bit more help with Valiosa’s training (We lesson 3-4 times/month instead of only once or possibly twice.  Makes a real difference!), I’m setting a long-term goal to make it through Third Level with her.  (AAAAH!) Huge, since I don’t really know how to teach it all to her…

Truly big things may not be in the stars for us – don’t have the resources for it, but we’re going to rock it in this little corner for all it’s worth!   Motivating any other adult amateur who considers themselves just “mediocre” along the way to shoot for something better!

I want to get there methodically, never just “winging” it, and want to always put her first – if it’s too much of a physical reach for her she’s not going to have to do it.  To be honest, the coolest thing would simply be to see her develop that little, tight, starting trot to something where she feels lush, supple, and powerful – knowing I brought her along to that on my own.

I ride for a wonderful trainer, planning to stay just as excited about riding as always, and to jump on any opportunity whenever it comes along!

gray half andalusian mare

  • What is V’s story? What is or was it about her that made you say I have to have this one?

Shamefully hanging head.  Not a conventional horse-shopping route.  (I just didn’t want to wait any more.  My gelding needed to retire to lighter work.)  There really wasn’t any big  -“This One!”  I hadn’t come across any other young horse that was A. Close enough, and B. Affordable.  With her, it was a pure gamble and leap of faith.

I wanted a young horse, without major conformation issues, with little to no strange-handling-history at all, at least 15.2 (which she wasn’t yet when I got her.) and a temperament where I could sort-of-safely back and train her on my own, and do fun things together with.

She’d been raised out, in a larger herd (major plus for long-term soundness.), and once they shuttled them all together, singled her out and got a halter on her, she stood still while I touched her neck.  (Everyone knows that’s all that’s required of a successful dressage horse.  Right.)

She seemed trusting from the start.  Looked very sound in a round pen.  She was not quite 3 1/2.  With her full siblings, 1 year older and 1 year younger, looking really good too, I took her home a couple of weeks later at Thanksgiving.  Christmas day she was ready for trail walks under saddle, sort of.

Maybe she just picked me?  (Ah, look at that fool, I’m going to leach off of her!)  Glad she did!

best horse blogs 2017My horse.

It’s absolutely wonderful.  Still.  Just to have one!

top dressage blogs

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!