Monday, June 21, 2010

Picture Happy

Pictures? On this blog?! Surprising, I know. I do try to have pictures, but I am not exactly blessed in the picture-taking-and-uploading department, so typically "trying" does not translate into actually "doing". BUT NOT TODAY!

These pictures are from a recent ride in the Big Field. I have to say, it's pretty frickin' amazing how far we've come, considering where we started from. We may not be able to nail our Second Level (or Training Level, really) dressage test, but dressage is not just a sport. Dressage is training, the gradual improvement of a horse - any horse - that you love and wish to improve your relationship with. I know dressage has done wonders for Sofie, and I believe the most important part of dressage training is patience. So many people don't want to give the horse the time it needs. They want it now - the frame, the movements, the qualifying score. And maybe they can get those things, but they miss out on what is truly special.

When Sofie came to me she had issues. She was not the sweet-natured, beautiful dressage horse she is now. At least on the outside. The potential was buried deep underneath the physical problems, the psychological scars. It's coming to the surface now, and it makes me so happy.

sld 25

sld 26

sld 30

sld 32

sld 34

sld 35

sld 39

sld 49

sld 52

sld 53

sld 54

And these are my favorites:

sld 51

sld 38


  1. Wow, I'm very impressed. Both with your gentle contact and with her huge improvement. She has turned into a horse that would make any dressage rider proud. Congratulation, all your hard work and effort has paid off =)

  2. I am jealous of your riding haha. Sofie is GORGEOUS!!!

  3. Very good! You should do some interdressage tests. They are baised mostly on how the horse goes, I bet you would score high.

  4. Your Sofie has a kind, interested eye. She looks happy. I can relate to the type of rider you used to be (and are probably still battling a bit now and then) because I am the same way, but also doing better. My dressage trainer is a big reason for this. She tells me I do not bear compliments well, and that the striving for perfection is impeding me going forward as fast as I probably would if I would relax and let it happen. And I, like you, am always worried about my horse. To the point where I couldn't get him on the bit for quite a while because I wanted to have "soft hands" and not be yanking on his mouth. I was afraid of the contact. I have it now, and can't believe how great it is! One thing she told me that I loved. (She's 80, and an eventer from England, who still rides)..
    "My dear, your horse will always forgive you your mistakes. The question now is, will YOU?"
    Loved your story!