I feel like a workhorse stud with an attitude and broken ribs from jousting very well could have glowing red eyes. And I feel even more strongly that people would pay for the novelty. I'm sure his "mare" is very patient with him and affords him sunglasses when the glowing red eyes have to go out in public. what on Earth is up with dressage these days? And do all these brands even know what "horse poor" is?
I had intended to show a rated show this year, but due to finances it did not fly. Show fees were almost $1000 with memberships and I was plainly shocked. When I showed in Highschool our local club did a pretty good job of keeping class fees low and stabling reasonable. I camped out at the grounds in a single person tent and lived out of my dad's Subaru for the weekend feasting on Chef Boyardee, poptarts and fortune cookies. I wore hand-me down show clothes and sat the trot to avoid having the judge see the giant red clay stain on the backside of the breeches (The next year I was smart and bought 3 pairs of white Walmart jeggings) since I had been able to reasonably afford to show one horse (I had a few other horses I rode for the owners that they footed fees for) I figured I could afford to show my horse for one show. Oh no. Class fees were upwards of $60, no tent camping allowed on the grounds, and neither was sleeping in your car allowed. Membership fees were huge for the local club and USDF/USEF. Stalls were 1/3 of what I pay monthly for board per night. And you were not allowed to bring your own shavings, but they would happily sell you some for an arm and a leg. The end result was the biggest nope that ever noped and I decided I needed to stay home. I'm horse poor. And I thought a lot of other riders were too, but if the prices indicate anything about the "market" of dressage, I'm way below the target audience. Which brought me to the vexation that has been driving me crazy for the last couple of years. If you're on FB or Instagram or any other SM you've probably seen a growing trend in "Equine Couture" with matchy- matchy- tack and equipment, satin saddle pads, extremely stylish breeches and glorious stable grounds to background it all. Don't get me wrong- I'm all for looking tidy and presentable but it's over the top. The horses are more a backdrop for an overpriced fashion statement and how well you ride is not as important as how put together you look. The same matchy- elegant set ups with the custom saddles and $100's of dollar outfits are often paired with draw reins and tie downs and tight flashes. To me the fad of the aesthetic presentation is taking away from the horsemanship- which I've long defined as "getting your horse out day after day irregardless of the weather and trying to do better by them than you did the day before" and thus slowly stacking the building blocks to making a great team, a better seat, a quieter feel, and a more willing mount. And as far as I can tell- spending 100's on breeches and saddle pads doesn't make much of an impact.
Which brings me to the question- what the heckle happened? Is it the fault of social media? Of the riders? Of the trainers? How do we take a sport culture and take it back to the mud and the dirt and the hard work that defines it?
I guess I'm just rather peeved. I will however not apologise for me "something of a rant"
Also someone called my trailer a "piece of crap" and I'm feeling deeply wounded since though cheap and old it is solid and it has faithfully and reliably performed it's duty; which has probably further fueled this rant. pony up in the timber or "a really nice trail ride by ourselves since no one wanted to come along thank you very much"
On a more jovial note I took the pony up into the mountains and had a glorious four hour ride up in the timber. A barn friend told me about a nice Sandy trail that met up with another equally lovely trail and it was just down the road too. So I loaded pony up and we made an afternoon of it complete with a picnic lunch. Usually most of our "trail riding" only happens when we go out to the ranch to move cows. Pony was wonderful and very good and made excellent time. I don't know how far we went since I'm as directionally challenged as the average lemming but he was moving at a good clip and it certainly seemed like we went down three valleys and up three hills/very-small-mountains. There are pictures. how a clueless amateur gets the changes since she's clearly never done this before.
On Thursday I trailered out to a gentleman down the road who has a lovely arena and is an even lovelier host, (this has been a weekly thing now) and we ride and critique each other. We worked on laterals and our geometry in a lettered arena. And as a resultpony felt very under himself. So when he jumped to canter and just felt there
I asked for a change. And i got it. Which is pretty much how I always ask for a change. I don't really school them. Or plan to school them, but when he has a good day and feels ready- i ask. And it's given me pretty good odds for success. Someday I will need to be able to get them on my time and where I desire them exactly but for now I like how this works. I like how it keeps him calm and gives him confidence and I can build on success. The lady I bought Nick from I watched school her upper level horse in the changes in such a way that he was a nervous, heavy, late behind wreck, every ride they worked on the changes and there was not much for improvement. But there's a better way if you're willing to take the time and you don't have a lot of help, and you don't have any idea how to train them. I can feel if he's ready, if he may offer, and I can ask. And so far- though he is far from being perfect, he is calm and he changes in front and behind and he Canter's off without getting heavy. We have plenty of time, and we will take advantage of it.