Here’s The Cool Down Loop

climbing downhill with horse

Summer had a last Hurray last week.

With temperatures in the mid 90’s again.  Now, we’re buckling down for fall.

The biggest payoff for putting up with summer heat – the awesome autumn and winter months!  This is the most beautiful time of the year!

cooling down outside arena

Easy living now!  Loving the cooler weather.

Trying to make the most of it and getting in a bit of up n down with Valiosa at the end of the rides.  Now that we don’t have to turn into bacon as soon as we leave the arena.

She’s not over-the-top impressed…

climbing downhill with horse

climbing for hind end strength

Image result for fall leaf

Come Along, Trail Clip!

warming up for first level dressage

Quick clip from the pond loop.

But first, just another shot from the show.  Uphill in the warmup on Sunday – go Gray Mare!

warming up for first level dressage


In case you’re stuck and not riding today – a quick clip, one-handed with the mobile, from the cool down loop.  Probably the last overcast and cool day until end of October.

Nothing exciting happens here.  Which is just the point.

Have a beautiful day!

In The Forest

trail riding with young horse

Last week we got lost.

I didn’t mind.  Usually you can just find the way, and if not, just turn around and search for the same trail, right?

She did mind.  Miss gray mare, walking fast and hard up the hills.  They were steep, very boggy in places.  Had to work it to keep up with her.

horse in pasture under tree

Pasture Pics – the only ones today.

Going downhill she’d chew the bit and froth, grunting the “bolt-coming-up-soon-because-I-hate-bending-and-sitting-and-walking-down-and-besides-I’m-all-alone-out-here” grunt.

Took a while to figure out we were following a deer trail, not the main trail.  Getting the cantle of the saddle scraped up by low branches should have been a hint.

relaxed horse in pasture

Seriously, it was really fun!  And she had a blast.  Didn’t have a death wish enough to stop and take pictures, but she was cute hoofing it over logs and sliding down a mossy hillside.

trail riding

Clearly, you’ve figured out I did a little more walking than riding on that trail outing.

Next time, when it has dried out, we’ll keep it more grown up.  Staying on on the main trail.  Keeping dressage boots mud free and fleece leg boots clean.

trail riding with young horse

Hidden Falls

winter grass at Hidden falls

No, nobody fell off.

There were water falls, not someone hiding getting bucked off.

dressage horses at hidden falls
We came down the smaller, tighter path, furthest away.

Have no idea how this could be my first trip to Hidden Falls in Auburn.  Well, right.  Because Dressaaghe.

crossing bridges with horses
Both young horses crossed this bridge high up above the water like superstars.
trail rides with young horses
Then onto Blue Oak Loop to the left.

Wonderful area, with plenty of hikers and bikers even on a weekday morning.  Thrilled I got the opportunity to come here with Valiosa!staying safe on trail with horses These pictures, all borrowed – we took no time to take any of our own.  And 5 year olds don’t want to wait around.

riding steep trails with horses

After the winter rains set in, it greens up like this.  Going back, on horse or not!winter grass at Hidden falls

Two Awesomest Little Trail Horses

5 year old horses on trail

Somewhere in the middle, it was just too much for Valiosa.

Like a suburb-mom OD’d on pompoms and paisley – she was done with it all.  Bolted down the hill almost killing us both among the rocks.

That was about as exciting as it got on our last trail ride with our friends Vivian and Orion.  The rest, a piece of cake, and she even went into a shallow part of Folsom lake without having a fit.

sterling point trail ride

Last week we trailered to PEC just to school, so that Orion, who is also only 5 could get a chance to see it before next month’s show.  No exciting fun pictures from that trip.  Really, how many shots of a horse tied to a trailer can you stand?

schooling rides with young horse
Valiosa, before schooling in Wilton

This trail ride was SO much better!  Thank you Vivian for a great day!!

trail riding at Folsom Lake

Sterling Point Staging area at Folsom Lake is great!

5 year old horses on trail
Awesome Orion. Because Mustang-Power!

The Canter Transition

Valiosa after a 2 + hr trail ride with ditches, water crossings and cows. She wasn't ready to go home.

Hey, you know that small little “shove” with the seatbones to get into canter?

Yes, the one that comes when riding and the canter doesn’t just naturally sort of “happen”, immediately on the aid.  Yeah, that shove.  Don’t do it!

It’s a pest to train it out.  It was never a thing I did, but now I’m doing it!

To erase it, I’m trying to focus on sitting evenly on the seatbones, asking for the canter while thinking “Come UP into canter”, with a light feel.  No grinding of seatbones either.  (At least in theory.)

OK with oak trees in horse pasturesRiding Valiosa and training her in all her “greenishness” made me sort of doubt the transition.  Expecting her to make a mistake, I’d want to “help her along”.  With, um, a shove, even if sometimes ever so light.

Now, I DON’T want it, don’t need it, and it’s still often there.

horse in pasture with oak trees

With all the extra chances to get her out for a ride in a different arena, cross training, and on the trail – it’s time to buckle down and do some focused schooling at home.  Ready to test out a show again…

blue horse looking to the side
Valiosa after a 2 + hr trail ride with ditches, water crossings and cows. She wasn’t ready to go home.