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.

Hazy, Smokey Days At The Pond

white horse standing with dog

We’ve had some really good rides.

If she can go like that at a show, she’ll do really well.  You know how that goes, schooling at home vs showing…

As promised, some outdoor pictures, just hanging out.

Really doesn’t matter what season it is – there’s always somewhere, or something that looks nice and alive, right?

 

taking pictures of horses in nature

Planning on hanging on to this great feeling she’ll offer at the end of each ride, and see where it takes us.  Some nice walk-canter transitions would be really cool, but that’s far off.  For now, just hanging out, and enjoying it.

With our little hind end stalker.

white horse standing with dog

September Schooling. Better?

elinor yee

Yes!  Better!

After treading water for some time, things feel looser, easier, less grindy.  Sure, that’s not even a word.  But it is now.

I think she’s getting to where she really likes the work sometimes, feeling happy and content there.  A little less “falling apart” as soon as she gets the chance.

So fun!

Here’s the photobomb for this time.

dressage in smoky air

collecting the trot

Where some horses want to come too low and you have to train hard on short moments of more elevation – Valiosa has the opposite difficulty.  She wants to go short and up in the neck.  All the time.

gray horse dressage

lengthen trot on long side

It will always be the “trick” to training well with her – getting a lower, more relaxed neck, and coming over the back.  We didn’t quite get there in these pictures (surprise), but the connection is so much better.  See?

amateur dressage

taking better pictures of dressage canter

As long as I get a few moments like these out of each ride, I’m thrilled.  Gray Mare is growing up and she can be SO much fun!

Elinor Yee

10 M Volte without hissy fits or a clamping inside calf.  It’s happening!

10 meter trot circle

A Few More Show Shots

elinor yee dressage on a dime

Just because I don’t head out and compete super often.

Best to make the most of it! 🙂

And because my husband was so nice and a super star to stick around in the heat for both tests, taking so many pictures.  Very sweet!

first level test 2 2017 dressage

 

The counter canter loop – she did it well (go Gray Mare!) but I piloted just a bit too shallow, not quite hitting X.  Easy to do, you just want to get back to the corner 🙂

counter canter loop in dressage first level test 3

 

Next up will be a post on some training issues – yes, with pictures of all the “uglies!’  Figured many of you will recognize a lot of it, and I think it’s so cool when you want to stand on the sidelines and yell out helpful hints.  I’ll promise to try whatever you have to say!

elinor yee dressage on a dime

Arena Back Drops

cantering with seatbones out of the saddle

Staying at the “new” farm means not being able to see good friends at the “old.”

So many good days together out there, and I’ll miss Nancy, my friend and partner in crime, a lot.  Have a feeling we still have some adventures together, just need to come up with a plan 🙂

Today, honoring the wonderful, enigmatic backdrop of the covered arena at Twisted Oak.  It is absolutely magical – the colors and vegetation forever changing with the seasons.  A treat and an honor to ride there.

I know the beauty can’t come through in the pictures enough (it wasn’t the focus at all when they were taken.) but it can look like a piece of art sometimes when you’re there.  The twisty trees, the droopy tiny branches, the shadows, the moss, and the different leaves throughout the year…

So here goes, pictures from several different months!  Ignore the riding, just look at how the colors change throughout the year!

September heat.

"Elinor Yee"

 

Late fall.

"Dressage On A Dime"

 

December.

young horse trot

loose rein walk

 

January.

Andalusian cross mare

 

Late winter.

starting to leg yield at quarter line

 

Cantering on loose rein

 

Spring time March.

posting trot

easter egg color breeches

"Elinor Yee"

"Elinor Yee"

 

June.

warm up canter before jumping

horse cantering with high neck

 

July.

canter with grey mare

 

The never-ending summer.   August.  So hot you can taste it.

riding a horse in a mist of dust

cantering with seatbones out of the saddle

 

Early fall in September.

inspiration for riding dressage when things are not going well

 

December again.

leg yield from centerline

creating a longer neck

Boys Filming At The Farm

boy with horse

Springbreak.  Boys came out to visit the farm.

The baby rabbits had grown up a lot in just a couple of months.  Bunny snuggling is always good.

holland lop bunnies and boys

Meeting the sheep and lambs that took over the stall for a few weeks, after the piglets moved out.

white lamb

Maybe not as snuggly.

boys feeding sheep

Gray mare likes this guy!

boy with horse

We had a good morning.  They promised to be good, not break anything, and take a lot of pictures.  Which they did – more or less focused.  Sometimes even of the horse.  Between macho selfies.

making a selfie

difficult taking pictures of horses

hard to take pictures in indoor arena

Plus pictures of grass and rocks.  And other pictures like this.

previewing pictures on camera

I really, really love my boys.They make me laugh every day!  Sure, they’re not all that great for video making yet.  Mostly because horses aren’t all that interesting to them.  Here’s their compilation – must view with sound ON.

Next up – some much better pictures from this schooling session!