Friday, July 13, 2007

End of the Week

Practice and Hay

I had an all morning rehearsal for the duet on Sunday this morning. We are creating a really nice blend and taking a professional approach to the music, so it is a lot of work. Florence has been helping me with some voice exercises and suggestions as to how to approach the music. She is a professional voice teacher and really knows her stuff, so I am learning some interesting vocal skills.

After the rehearsal we went to lunch at the town restaurant, and there our waitress turned out to be a fellow horsewoman who had known me years ago when I was riding Russell R. She was very flattering about how beautiful Russell was--and he was gorgeous--and how much she always admired the way I rode him. She said it had been her dream to one day ride like that.


It is ironic as I have become so much better a rider now, but back then, I was a jumper rider and eventer and I certainly won more than my share of ribbons and championships. Russell was a wonderful, reliable, clever, and beautiful jumper who would have tried to clear anything I asked him to jump, so much of the credit goes to him. He and I had an amazing bond and a deep and abiding love/respect for each other. Ellen, the waitress still has horses and wants me to come see her farm. I hope to do that some day soon.

When I got back home, I called the hay guy next door and took the horse trailer over to pick up 42 bales of hay. It is still in the trailer, so I will have to unload it within the next few days. I intend to take my time as some of the bales are pretty heavy. Fortunately the weather has broken the nasty heat wave and it is quite pleasant again. Warm, but pleasant.

I relaxed for a while, then went out to drag the ring. Of course, I got distracted. First by my Aunt next door who was talking to the Boys in the pasture. I hung out with her for a while and, wonder of wonders, Tucker hung out at my side the whole time. He was very affectionate and polite so, it was a decided pleasure to have him there. He may not yet be as close to me as Russell was, but we too are developing a strong connection. I hope it becomes a true partnership, as that will make everything we do much more special.

Back on the tractor, II dragged the ring and then carted two tractor buckets of fill to the ring to level one of the mud puddles. I have one more big spot to fill in and then I will just have to wait for the rain to see how my leveling worked. My arena was built by the Local 825 heavy equipment training school just down the road, and we did not do any scientific leveling to make sure there were no low spots. As a result, I have two particular places water collects. I've been working on fixing things over time put that too is kind of a catch is as catch can approach since I am just doing it by eye and not with any real engineering skill. My fill is in a really packed pile too, so I need to use the shovel and pick to loosen it enough to scoop it up with the tractor. It is hard work and I have to be careful not to do too much in one work session.

That done, I cleaned out the run-in shed with the tractor and then gave up for the night.

I may go out later to lunge Toby as I need to try to keep him at least fit enough to do a lesson. Tucker can have the day off after the clinic, and Chance is still on maybe rest.

Here's hoping tomorrow is another nice day so I can use the newly groomed arena to do some proper schooling.


  1. How's it feel to be a Role Model in Horsemanship? I really must see you ride...

  2. You are becoming my HERO too ^-^

    I really like your explaination of Hyperflexing on Caroline's blog. B/c she is away, I am replying here.
    I have never been shocked by Rolkhur as such, b/c I watched Western riders at my yard doing worse overbending ... :::sight:::: It is NOT a pretty sight.

    However, I could not understand WHY somebody would overbent a DRESSAGE horse, as it is a very difficult fault to correct. My trainer Gigi told me that during a stage with Philippe Karl, he saw him correcting a horse who was overbending/being behind the bit. PK used reins made of ... wood in order to push the horse into contact and forward. After two days, the horse could extend into the contact low and forward.

    so thanks for explaining, that it lifts the horse's back.

    I have watched Western riders, and it is true that b/c overbending, their horses lift their back, but they are still on the shoulders, b/c of the weight of the neck.

    I wonder if over-bending is not a technique taken from the reining practise ....

    IMO, it has NO place in the Dressage Training ...

    Then you are an ex-jumper/eventer? No more jumps with your new boy?

    Would you train Chance to jump before doing Dressage?