Saturday, March 15, 2014

Welcome Spring

I know spring is still a few days away but today it was spring at Oak Creek Ranch.  The sun was warm, the daffodils were blooming and the grass was green.  We moved the horses into the clover pasture.  The got to work on the grass after licking their bowls of cereal clean.

After chores, we climbed into the truck and drove down to visit this guy.

Sandy was getting ready to load Releve when we arrived.  She was showing yesterday and today (75 both days at 3rd level).  She told me that she has started working with Winston at canter and he is not happy about going in a nice frame.  We were just getting ready to start work on Winston's canter before we moved so this is new work.  His canter is comfortable but he goes around like a giraffe, hollow in the back and head high.  No loose swinging back and no pushing into the bit.  And he likes it that way, thank you very much.  He's been pitching a fit with Sandy so she advised that I just do walk and trot work today.  He was the same way with learning to use his body in trot so I know he will get there.  In the meantime, I'll let Sandy deal with the tantrums and I won't encourage things by cantering like a giraffe.

We started working long and low.  Winston likes long and low.

He does not like the actual work part that comes after the warm up.  He ducks his head and tries to avoid working into the bit.  I am not pulling him into this rolker-looking frame.  He is doing this all by himself.

Winston, Winston, it's not going to work.  I squeeze him forward with my calves and squeeze my fingers as if I were holding a wet sponge.  Up with that poll buddy.  Time to work.

When he realized the old evasions were not going to work with the new me, he gave up and gave me some very nice trot work.  I love the way I ride now -- with half halts that mean something, with focus, and with determination.  I still reward with softness, of course, but when Winston resists I don't give in.  Patient persistence is paying off.

After our short bit of work (I have another cold and very little energy), we went for a relaxing walk around the back pastures.  I'm pretty run down -- very busy at work and not sleeping well.  My dreams are transitioning from disturbing to sad so I'm not as afraid to sleep.  Grief is hard.

We picked up some supplies for Brett's current project and headed home.

The horses were exhausted.  Grazing in the clover pasture under the warm spring sun wore them out.


  1. I love dressage ~ it changed my whole way of riding .

  2. Winston is looking fantastic and you are sitting beautifully. I'm jealous! (in a nice way!)

  3. I envy your weather! Winston is looking like a powerhouse, so fit and gorgeous. Sorry you are still not back to your old have been drained. I see chickens in your future.

  4. winston is looking fabulous. He'll be happier in the long run- cantering hollow is very hard on the back!

    I love the rooster.

  5. happy spring. love the rooster. :) love the green grass!

  6. Glad you got out to see Winston - is he giving you a bit of a look in that cross-tie picture? Love the metal chicken!!

  7. Congratulations on your first chicken at the new place : ) I love reading about what has been going on, as always. Your green grass makes me feel happy.


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