Friday, January 25, 2013


It was so cold . . .

Ahem.  It was so cold . . .

How cold was it?

It was so cold --

We had to hire ducks to keep the horses' ears warm.

Okay, maybe it was just Fiona and maybe it had more to do with her being the most tolerant (and adorable) horse in the barn than it had to do with the cold, but it still happened.

I probably would have posted sooner except it took me this long to regain feeling in my fingers again.  My family is from Minnesota, I'm no wimp, but damn it's been cold out.  There's nothing like showing up for a lesson and seeing that the wind chill is -6* Fahrenheit to make you long for summer.  Single digit temperatures are not my friend, especially when it goes on for multiple nights in a row.

Understandably work has been light and handled very carefully.  Coolers, quarter sheets, tacking underneath blankets, all sorts of shenanigans to keep the horses warm and comfortable.  Thank you, every deity known, for the indoor arena.  I was tempted to give the princess the time off but she got the weekend off due to me getting a stomach virus and I guess she was starting to be a handful around the barn.  My trainer's head girl nicknamed her the Red Stallion after seeing her rearing in turn out a couple times.  Sharp drop in temperature, increase in wind, lack of work, and a TB mare.  Yeah, I was hauling my butt out in the sub zero temps to make sure that her brain and body were occupied for awhile each day.  She's much happier when she's in work, even if she does look very indignant when the blankets come off.

Or the duck hat goes on.

Progress has been limited but it's there.  Long walking warm ups have us working hard on moving her off of my leg without resistance and me learning to relax and let her lift her back.  She can't lift her back if I'm bracing against her.  My desperate attempts to sit deep have actually gotten in the way and I'm now being coached on how to soften my seat without losing the ability to sit.  The new visual is that Fiona is a basketball and that I need to dribble her.

Yeah.  I'm dribbling my horse with my butt.

Dressage is just weird, guys.  I don't know if anyone else got the memo, but I'm really starting to realize just how weird it is.  I am now mumbling 'dribble dribble dribble' each time I ask Fi to collect and rebalance.  I thought eventers were crazy, but no.  Dressage riders are way, way worse.  You have been warned.


  1. The last lesson I took, my trainer told me to ask for a half-halt by acting like I had to poop. Now I have a giggle every time I do it, but for some absurd reason it works for me. Classiest dressage rider around? Probably.