"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, February 20, 2011


On Tuesday, in avoidance of the hunting in Hitchcock Woods, Lauren and I took dressage lessons with Sally.  It was the first day we noticed the warm weather and our lack of short sleeve layers.  Lauren had a great lesson.  Sally gave her direction on strengthening Poleon so he can do the lengthened trot. 
 Lauren and Napoleon

Tyler and I are not that far along.  Sally had me focus on keeping Tyler supple since he is older and naturally stiff.  Sally said his trot was better.  Sarah and I have spent a lot of time working on it.  Sally helped me through 3 loop serpentine exercises in order to improve my aids and position.  

Sally asked to see my canter.  Tyler does not canter well.  It is his weakest gait.  He finds it difficult and also doesn't have the work ethic to push through.  After two circles of Sally watching me struggle, she asked to ride Tyler.  Sally was upfront that she might not be able to correct Tyler's canter today.  At first, Tyler protested because the work was hard.  Shortly after Sally's persistent demands, Tyler decided he was not going to participate.  He started buck a little, dance around, and ignore Sally completely. 

 Sally and Tyler.

In the end, to quote Sally, "Tyler 1. Sally 0."  Tyler's canter is an issue.  To fix it would take a solid week of dedicated time with Sally.  She couldn't fix it in one day without using up every ounce of energy Tyler would have during the week.  We chatted about the situation.  Tyler is nearing the end of his career and fixing the canter is a major endeavor.  He is a good horse except for the two 20m circles in our dressage tests.  With improved walk and trot scores, we can make up for his canter.  I will keep working on his canter, but I am not willing to make it a battle.  One of my favorite comments from Sally was that she couldn't get the trot any better than I had it, only she could hold it longer than I could. 

Before our lessons on Tuesday, Aileen, Hilary, Lauren, and I went to the tack shop and downtown for a bit.  Aileen and I spent money!  I actually bought myself a gorgeous new bag.  It's a local product and I have had my eye out for one.  I picked up a few things for Mom and Dad, too.  Tuesday night was our Ladies' night out.  The most exciting thing was the stink bug on my neck in the car while on the phone with Rob.  He just muted the five women yelling about the bug.  It was a nice dinner at Up Your Alley.  We gave the new waiter quite a lesson.  The girlies stayed at the hotel and watched Glee.

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