Monday, March 31, 2008

"Dressage...Sport of Masochists"

My break from dressage is officially over. My thoroughbred has been in training all winter and is baaaack, just like some evil imp in a horror movie. He is hot healthy and full of himself. I used to think the expression "racing fit" sounded good. Not so much, any more. Stronger and fitter for him = more reactive. I no longer know all the buttons he has installed. We get sudden sideways by accident, we get a ton of acceleration from very little aids. We also get spectacular reactions when a hunk of snow slips off the arena roof and foofs loudly. In addition, a fiendish family of pigeons has taken up residence in the arena rafters. Mom (or Dad?) swoops down periodically and causes a young thoroughbred to lose a year of life through sheer terrified mobility. I can ride out some of his spooks now much better than in the past, when I used to fall like a ripe melon; but I am still wary of the sudden sideways leap. I measured one of these once and impossibly enough, it was 18 feet from hoofplant to landing. I probably made it for 3 of those feet...

But dressage is great in that it is never-ending; you always have something to work on and you never actually improve more than an iota or 2, giving you a soothing sense of infinity. Somebody out there looks beautiful riding dressage (probably an android), and that image is enough to keep people going.

I attended a workshop on musical freestyles (just to continue my theme of "in-your-dreams-fool") Saturday morning. Since then I've been fantasizing about putting our rides to music and creating something unique. The clinician was Dr. Jane Linville and she was great, really inspiring. She emphasized that your horse has to like the music or he won't dance. This got me wondering what kind of music my hot off-track redhead would enjoy: I'm thinking a cross between Viking Metal and Sesame Street. What about your horse? If your ponies could hit the jukebox, what would they choose?


sue said...

must be that time of year.. Tonka and I have out first lesson of the season on Thurs... course there is a major difference doing dressage with a draft cross and your t-bred!!!! (think I will stick with my draftie!!!) happy riding, I should get something on my blog about my first day.. so check in...sue

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Hi - I'm LaTonne - I popped over from Nuzzling Muzzles. Love your blog. Your Johnnie is beautiful. Palomino is the only color we don't have...yet-LOL.
I like your philosophy on dressage...most in the Western world are only interested in getting to the "finished" product. I love the journey.
And hey --- we are neighbors - LOL.

3pennyjane said...

Grayson, our barn's grumpy App, is definitely into the pricklier German composers, or possibly Stravinsky. Orchestral, of course, and beautiful, but easy? No. I have a little more trouble placing Cappi, the windswept Morgan who has become such a pleasure to work with. It's too easy to say loud obnoxious rock, but the presto movement from "Summer" in the Four Seasons might actually fit him well. He's certainly happiest going fast, and the dramatic solos would suit his newfound show-offy tendencies.

maremom said...

I ride a belgian/paint X..
I think he would like a little county music,,for his paint side..something with a bit of an attitude...and the belgian..well what do belgians like anyway..I will have to check into that..