Dinner Comment

Dressage Mom Archive on August 2, 2007, 3:05 pm

The scene:Yesterday when I picked the girls up from school, it was really hot and they were all sweaty from running around outside. So I decided to turn on the sprinklers and let them run in the water with their little sundresses and sandals on. When we went inside for dinner I stripped their wet dresses off and sent Lily upstairs to her room to get a pair of panties for herself while I diapered Macey. She came down wearing a new pair of panties. We sat down for dinner and had this conversation
read more »

Pick one - too deep or too hard?

Dressage Mom Archive on August 1, 2007, 4:34 pm

Kaswyn and I had a lesson yesterday. Even though we've been typically working for 35-40 minutes each ride, our lesson was only 30 minutes. This was because I decided to have my lesson outside instead of in the indoor arena. I did this for two reasons. The first was that the barn felt really stuffy and oppressive, even with the big aisle way fans going full blast. Sure, it was hot outside, but at least the air seemed to be moving around a little bit. Once you get a sweat worked up even a little breeze
read more »


Dressage Mom Archive on July 29, 2007, 12:48 am

I went out to see my horse today and his stitches look fantastic. There was no swelling, oozing, or heat in the area, and no swelling in the lower leg at all. I wrapped his lower leg again after I walked him, just in case he gets any inflammation. Such a relief.
read more »

I should know better than to open my big mouth...

Dressage Mom Archive on July 27, 2007, 11:39 pm

In my last post, my optimism got the better of me and I was anticipating getting to show my horse next summer. This, it seems, guaranteed that something bad would happen to Kaswyn.I got a call this morning at work that said my horse had somehow punctured the inside of his left front leg while turned out with two other horses. Normally he would have been outside in a large pasture with these horses, but today there was thunder and lightning associated with the light rain which was falling, so the
read more »

Show musings

Dressage Mom Archive on July 25, 2007, 4:36 pm

Things have really been going well with my horse. I've been steadily increasing the total riding time, so now we're up to about 35 minutes of work. That's really pretty good considering my horse used to work for an hour each session. I've also added another line of half-pass at the trot, and two lines of half-pass at the canter each direction. I'm hoping to get my trainer to video us so I can update my Video Glossary with half-pass. I also need to get her to video shoulder-in and haunches in, two
read more »

A bee in his bonnet

Dressage Mom Archive on July 23, 2007, 4:45 pm

Last Wednesday I was working in the lab, as usual, and when I got to a place where I could stop and take a break, I checked my phone. I saw that I had received several calls from my trainer, plus a text message, all in the space of about 20 minutes. This is a bad sign, because most of the time anything she has to say to me can wait at least an hour or more. The text said, simply call me ASAPThe first voicemail went something like this - Hey, I wanted to let you know that when they brought Kaswyn
read more »

No new tale to tell

Dressage Mom Archive on July 15, 2007, 12:02 am

I haven't posted lately because all I have to say is "Kaswyn feels great! My ride/lesson was fantastic! Things are going well!", which is really quite boring. Not that I'd want to go back to the mystery lameness/attempt to rehabilitate roller coaster that we were stuck on for 18 months. At this point, I'd rather be boring. We're up to about 35 minutes of work each session and he's been feeling great. He's been completely sound and absolutely even. In addition to leg yields we've added come shoulder-in,
read more »

How to piss off your trainer: Part 3 of The Critic

Dressage Mom Archive on July 2, 2007, 2:36 pm

Part 1Liz and I had been working hard for the whole show, doing our best to keep the stall area cleaned and perfect in our quest for the groom's award, and we were tired. In my experience, there are three stages of being tired for a horse show groom. They are Tired, Slaphappy, and Grouchy. You get Tired from running back and forth from the stalls to the ring, standing for hours in the sun, and toting equipment across the show grounds. If you can push through the Tired stage, you get your second
read more »

Video Glossary of Dressage Movements

Dressage Mom Archive on June 29, 2007, 11:46 pm

Many of my readers are not horse people, or if they ride they don't do dressage. I have been asked by a few people to explain my horse terms in more depth than I have been. While I don't have a problem with doing that, I realize that it's much easier to show what I'm talking about rather than type it all out. This will be a section that I'll update from time to time as we add more and more advanced movements to our training regime. I'll give official definitions from the United States Equestrian
read more »

Lateral work... but SLOWLY

Dressage Mom Archive on June 28, 2007, 4:40 pm

Although I haven't posted about it, Kaswyn and I have been doing a little lateral work and circles for about a week. I never got a call from Dr. B, and after discussing it with my trainer we both thought we should just give it a try and see what the result is. The result is a big smile on my face. No swelling, no uneven strides, no lameness. We are just doing a few circles and leg yields, which I suppose could be considered the easiest of the lateral movements, and we aren't doing a lot of them.
read more »

How to piss off your trainer - Part 2 of The Critic

Dressage Mom Archive on June 22, 2007, 6:41 pm

Part 1Working as a groom at an Arabian horse show is hard work. Don't get me wrong, it's super fun. But it involves getting dirty, being tired, and doing all of the grunt work and crap jobs that nobody else wants to do. Once you realize this an accept it, then you can have a really great time, especially if you have good people to work with. Liz was Blair's student before I started riding with Blair (at least, I think she was). At the very least she knew Blair before I did, through channels that
read more »

Pretty much says it all

Dressage Mom Archive on June 20, 2007, 12:51 pm

My trainer rode Kaswyn on Monday, and then sent me this email. I just have to tell you that your horse was great today.I have visions of you competing him again.......and maybe, just maybe, I could do my first Grand Prix on him. He is such a special horse, I know you know that, but he is truly a gem.You are very lucky to have such a great guy......I must say I'm relieved that I'm not the only one that thinks he's feeling really good. I'm just waiting on the okay from Dr. B to start circles and lateral
read more »

What's in a name

Dressage Mom Archive on June 16, 2007, 1:34 am

My horse's name is Kaswyn. I'm often asked what his name is. Not just by horse people, but by people who hear that I have a horse, or see me in my breeches and ask "Oh, do you ride?" When I say "Kaswyn" most people have to repeat it back to me, just to make sure they have it right because it's not easy like "Sam" or "Trigger". Then some people ask me if I named him myself, or where it came from. It's common for Arabian breeders to name their horses with references to the dam or sire's name. Kaswyn
read more »

How to piss off your trainer: Part 1 of The Critic

Dressage Mom Archive on June 12, 2007, 12:32 am

Here is the second in a series of stories outlining some of the times that I've pissed off my horse trainer (unintentionally, of course). This particular story takes place about twenty years ago when I was working for an arabian horse trainer named Blair. I was around nineteen years old, and had known Blair for about six years. Blair had taught me volumes about horses, riding, and training, and in return I worked for her as a groom. My duties not only encompassed grooming, cleaning, and lunging
read more »

How to piss off your trainer: Part 3 of Gumby Horse

Dressage Mom Archive on June 9, 2007, 1:35 pm

Arabian Native Costume. (not me!) Photo from www.equusfarms.com/Training.htm Part 1The morning of my Native Costume class with Synbad arrives, and Blair has me hop on him for the first time since the accident to see how he is. The swelling has gone down a lot but you can still see some adema in his back legs. He was still cantering in this weird way where he would hold one or the other back leg in the air during the canter stride. This made me really nervous and I was afraid that he'd fall down
read more »

Feel the burn

Dressage Mom Archive on June 8, 2007, 12:27 pm

Kaswyn continues to improve every time I ride him. At this point he's very even, pushing nicely from behind, and willing to work. Now it's just a matter of muscle building. I can still feel that he's weak in his rear, but I can also feel that it's improving and his strides feel more solid and purposeful. The left lead canter, which has always felt a little funky, is feeling fantastic. This could be partly because I'm concentrating very hard on fixing my riding problems, mainly issues with my left
read more »

How to piss off your trainer: Part 2 of Gumby Horse

Dressage Mom Archive on June 5, 2007, 11:34 pm

Part OneCheryl and I watched on horror as Synbad, down in the washrack with his rear legs in the splits, struggled to stand. When a horse is down and is trying to get to it's feet, it's wise to let them figure it out from a safe distance (assuming they aren't in danger of injuring themselves further) than to try and help them because you're likely to get kicked by a flailing foot or worse, have the horse fail to stand and fall on top of you. I'm sure it only took ten seconds or so, but it seemed
read more »