Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dressage, Long Grass & Cobwebs

Brutality begins where knowledge ends. Ignorance and compulsion appear simultaneously.
Charles de Kunffy 

A good hand is the one that can resist and yield when necessary and receive with precision the action created by the legs. 
Salomon de la Broue

I have been crazy busy lately. Blame it on my wrist, it's a handy scapegoat for a life filled with activity, much of it catch-up.

Kristina and I went to the Northern Lights Dressage Show Sunday. It's been four years since I have watched a dressage show and I was overall pleased with what I saw. Although the majority of horses still are huge, there were many more smaller horses than once was the case. Even a couple of adult women on ponies!

I was also pleased to see a lighter hand and seat on some riders. Unfortunately it's not the norm. A beautiful Andalusian stallion showing at Prix St. Georges was ridden in the German style. Force is never attractive and I couldn't help but wonder how he would have moved if he were allowed softness.

We came away from the show realizing Zing is more advanced than we realized. When you live in a cocoon it is sometimes difficult to judge where you are. Both Kristina and I have a critical eye for gaits; a soft, round horse with fluidity of movement and we realize now that it's there more than it's not. We haven't been to Bill's for lessons for a long time, so as we have had no outside influence or comparison, it was a good time on several levels.

We have had a lot of rain this month. After a summer of drought it's really appreciated, but I suddenly have grass, lots of grass to mow. Yesterday was spent mowing the lawn and then getting on the little tractor and mowing thistle in a pasture. Silly horses won't graze where there are thistle, so I had half of the pasture overgrazed and half with long grass interspersed with thistle. Those three mares cannot risk touching some thistle to their lovely lips.

The farrier will be here this morning, so I will get all the news fit to pass on in the horse world. No one knows what's what like a farrier! Then I have barn cobweb removal. This is the season for those sticking things to sprout. You can actually see them redevelop as you take them down. My barn definitely shows my absence, but the basics have been done and that's the important part.

So kind readers, this is a glimpse into the exciting life that I call my own. Don't covet my glamorous existence too much!


  1. I covet a life such as yours - working with beautiful animals and on the land. Give me real, grounded, compassionate living over glamor any day.

    So happy for you that things are getting back to normal for you. Hope to hear more about Zing!

  2. Alas, I covet your existence as the grass is always greener on the other side...even though there is tons of it in your world. I haven't been to a dressage show in years and it is noce to know that the seats and hands are beginning to soften some. One of the reasons I disliked the show world as it was more on winning the ribbon than working with the horse in his natural beauty. After scribing for many FEI tests, I realized that quite a bit of it was WHO you were and not necessarily how the horse moved. One instance, a lovely Arab did a beautiful free moving test, rounded and on the bit coming from behind. The judge scored the test low..whispering to me..it's a stupid Arab. The next in the ring was a big warmblood ridden German style by a well known trainer. The judge & rider did the Hi, how are you as he passed the stand. Horrible ride...scored way higher the the Arab. Such a slanted world at a high rated show. They are good to watch and know where your horse is..who just happens to be the best judge in the world. Ok...off my soapbox now!

  3. I have never seen so much rain in the summer as this summer. So the amount of grass I have had to cut is nothing short of ridiculous! Sounds like you had a great day out. Good for you!

  4. No grass here; I hate the stuff ~ but then I don't own horses either. Starting to warm up here already. Have even removed my jumpers [lol, sweaters, not dresses] a time or two...

  5. I have to agree with the last comment, you make it all sound so nice! I miss mucking the stalls...maybe I should come and help you!

  6. I here the glamorous life is over rated anyway. The average person is far more interesting than they think.
    I would call what you do boring. I have never grown up around horse your blog gives me a little insight to a world of breeding horses and a little understanding of the amount of work that goes into looking after all your animals.

    I'm glad you are getting rain. We have also had a bit of sky water fall here too but it needs to rain for months non stop to get us out of drought.

  7. Dressage well-ridden is beautiful, but my life, well not so much! But it's mine, so I live it!

    Alicia, I have heard every slam there is to be said about Arabian horses, but as someone who lives up close and personal with them....they are worth putting up with the ignorant nonsense!

  8. As a non~horsie person, what is the problem with Arabs? I was under the impression they were the elite of the horse kingdom....they look gorgeous. What's not to like?

  9. Ganeida, it's hard to explain. The world surrounding horses is often ignorant and prejudiced, which makes sense because it carries over into normal life as well. But the Arabian horse gets picked at a lot by people who don't know what they are talking about. Part of this can be blamed on the way they have been shown over the past 20 - 30 years, but mostly it's ignorance. They are the genius of the horse world and they can do nearly anything you ask of them, but they don't generally tolerate bad behavior from humans. I've often said if you own an Arab you'd better be at least as smart as your horse! Also, they are not a large horse and 'big' has become a standard in many people's mind of 'better'. I absolutely love them and mostly ignore others stupidity.

  10. Ah ~ thank you. I've often noticed dumb people can't tolerate smart animals & give them no credit for being smart. Personally I'm always amazed at the sort of smarts animals have & Issi can certainly outsmart me. He gives his whole mind to it. lol

    Oh, I don't like big either. I like delicate & the arabs always struck me as a delicate sort of a horse IYKWIM.


I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.