Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Missing my girls

And my husband and son too....

May 31 I left home to attend a conference in Chicago. I won't return until Tuesday, June 5.....I hate being away from my family and horses, cats and dog for that length of time. Deb takes care of Suki's exfoliation, moisturizing, etc while I am away and Christine has been keeping watch as well. So I know that she is being well-cared for. Nikki is ridden while I am away, but probably doesn't get a lot of attention other than maintenance stuff while I am gone. That always makes me feel bad. I love that Jennifer has been posting the photo of the day because it always makes me smile. I should have Meghan send me a Nikki picture each day.

I love this photo....Suki looks so regal!

When I lunge Suki I like to remember what it felt like to ride her. The very first time I cantered her under saddle I was propelled forward from the push! It was so funny. As a 17 hand 3 year old with VERY long legs, she was all over the place until she figured out her body. I would rise into two-point position and just go with it down the long side of the arena, which at first took about 4 strides! The length of Suki's stride was amazing (and unbalanced), but as we continued she developed strength and learned what to do with all of those long legs! The balance came and began to work on containing the stride a bit. When I watch her cantering in the field she handily can shorten and lengthen her stride, turn on her hind end in a half pirouette and continue. Sometimes as she approaches the gate I am certain that she will crash and I ask her to Whoa with my voice. Suki simply shortens her stride and comes to a halt. I have heard people say that dressage is not natural for a horse. Really? What I described is done at liberty, and while her balance comes from strength acquired from training I believe the movements are part of nature. Horses in the wild must adapt their strides, change gaits and sometimes change direction on a dime. Our training enhances these skills and fine tunes them.

Sometimes when I go out to get Suki I will "round pen" her around me in the field. It is such fun! She stays on a 20 meter circle around me and follows my commands. Of course there are also times when she bores of this game and breaks the circle, approaching me to walk next to me to the gate.

Nikki has been behaving in my absence, and I look forward to riding later this week. I packed a few Dressage Today magazines to keep my mind riding, while my body can't be!
Sweet baby Nikki...

Regular posting will be back beginning Wednesday.....

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