Saturday, July 23, 2011

Impressed and Eager to Work

Last evening, my friend Heather rode her horse Enchanté (barn name Asha) in a freestyle exhibition.  The event was held at a beautiful facility in Silverado Canyon that is a combination winery and barn.  Tables were set up under towering oak trees and people sipped wine while watching and learning about musical freestyles.  Heather and Asha just recently started competing in freestyle at level 1.  I arrived early and found Heather and her trainer, Mary (also a trainer I worked with a few years ago), braiding their horses in one of the barns.  Mary was riding Ascension who was her partner for many years before she sold him to one of her students.  She has competed him at Grand Prix so they were demonstrating a higher level freestyle.  They were, as always and as I expected, poetry in motion.

But Heather and Asha -- talk about an inspiration!  Heather purchased Asha I'm guessing 4 years ago.  Asha is a German Oldenberg, about 17 hands high.  When she came to Heather, she was tall and gangly and uneducated.  She fell in, she ran in the trot, but she was a beauty and she had a great attitude.  Despite working in a demanding job and dealing with multiple injuries (for both of them), Heather has trained dilegently and kept Asha sound.  Last night, Asha and Heather were amazing.  Asha has great muscle and great presence and has matured into a stunning horse.  She is scoring in the mid to high 60s at 1st level.  They are schooling 2nd level.  Heather sat quietly and rode with elegance.  Their extended trot was breathtaking.
Photo by Steev Neely.  Not last night, but recent.
This morning I couldn't wait to ride.  I was fired up.  I was motivated.  Jackson isn't a German oldenberg in full time training so I don't expect to be riding at the same level, but I want to be all that we can be.  I want to develop Jackson into a balanced, Mr. Muscle, eye candy horse.  I want to ride with elegance and subtlety and power. 

We warmed up on the bridle path, on a loose rein, but at a marching walk.  Then we did 20 minutes of transition work in the arena (mostly trot-walk-trot) and some counter canter.  He tried hard and his balance and throughness improved as we worked.  So far, he's doing really well with the GastroGuard.  No squirts and a sassy attitude -- works for me.  I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that in a month we can take a lesson.


  1. Musical Freestyle is one of my favorite things. I can hardly watch it without crying. Sounds like Jackson is doing very well.

  2. I would love to see something like this. Go Jackson!

  3. I'm glad Jackson is feeling better! :)


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