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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dressage Influences

I don't usually like to link stories about stories that already have "legs". However, I must give credit where credit is due. Elmer is still going strong and is a testament to good genes, a little luck, careful management, and....could it possibly be dressage?

My interest in Dressage started when a close acquaintance, Jessica Post mentioned that she did "dressage". What the heck was *that*? I don't think she did it formally at the time (it's been ~4 years since I've talked to her so that might have changed), but I was intrigued by the levels, and the amount of communication, and I was hooked when she showed me a pic of her riding a horse across a field. So quiet, so perfect, so relaxed.

My next exposure to dressage was my aunt Sharlene. Minx came up lame after a trailer ride to her house so I decided not to ride. Once I had made the decision, Sharlene pulled the rabbit out of her hat announced we were off to a dressage show. She had already known what we were going to do if we didn't ride, but in typical fashion let me make the mature choice to put my horse's welfare first, on my own. :) It was a recognized, very fancy show. We (of course) sat in the covered arena and watched the grand prix level riders (OntheBit - I'm sure you will correct me if I got this wrong!). I was excited - here were horses with trots as big as my Standardbred and the riders were sitting! I intently studied the rides and looked past my first reservations that being on the bit was just about pulling. There are 3 rides in particular that I remember.

Elmer Bandit is who pushed me over the edge....Repeatedly throughout the articles published about him, his owner gives continual credit to dressage, for keeping Elmer fit and flexible in his old age.

Of course the last straw for finally scheduling lessons was my inability to productively school her canter....


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  2. One of the other blogs I read is that of a vet, who judges endurance events. She has met Elmer and his owner several times and always gets a good story out of it.

  3. Is her blog public? I never pass up an opportunity to add a blog to my reader... :)

  4. Hahahahaha!

    You said: "here were horses with trots as big as my Standardbred and the riders were sitting!"

    ...and what was I working on just two hours ago with my Standardbred, do you suppose?!

    Dressage = hard work. That's why I like it.

  5. Dressage has got to be THE most intense thing I've ever done with a horse. I have NEVER thought SO HARD on a horse in MY LIFE. I am literally drenched with sweat from teh effort of THINKING after a serious schooling session. Whew. What a rush.

  6. That show was the famous DG Bar Ranch Extravaganza in Hanford. I'm so sorry that they discontinued the annual event a few years ago to focus on young horses. I'm glad we got a chance to attend.


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