Things we do that aren't dressage

Skeptical ear asks, "Should I ask why we aren't schooling our changes instead?"
While I work on organizing my thoughts for some more dressage-focused posts, I wanted to share some recent clips of moments spent outside of the sandbox, both on and off the horse.

Like time spent pretending to be much younger while playing in the field...
Or cuddling hard on sleepy, sunny, Sundays...
"How about we nap instead?"
Or galloping full out with minimal brakes...
Dressage horse? Pfft! Piaffe this!!
Yep. Today I'm just here to share photographic evidence of that time my horse spooked at a pile of hay in the dark, then ate it. Because that sort of thing is important.
#noshame #itwasdelicious
And while we're on the topic of food, here's that time Pig thought he was sneaky for stealing a bag of carrots from the tack room...
"I'm a real life Danny Ocean. Just better looking... and sneakier."
See, dressage training isn't all boring circles and transitions. We do a whole lot of other things. Like navigating tiny frozen streams...
And indulging our inner art critic while enjoying the stunningly beautiful Maryland sunsets...
That sky, though. Amirite?
Plus, it's very important to stretch out our back from all that heavy duty collection work!
Yeah, "stretching". I wish yoga was this much fun...
And we can't forget to take time out to play with friends...
After all, it's all about building relationships and memories. What's the point in the training journey if you don't enjoy time spent with your partner?
"Hi Lady! Got carrots?"
As our training gets more and more demanding, it becomes obvious to me that the whole process is aided through the quiet and relaxed moments out of the ring. That's where we build our trust in each other, and that's a priceless thing when you've hit a tough moment in the ring.
Plus, with views like this who can resist!?
Do you find time spent outside of the ring pays off when you go back to work?


  1. Not necessarily time outside of the ring, but time doing fun things with low pressure definitely helps. Like trot poles with no pressure to perform well, or bareback riding - simple for Fiction but hard for me. It de-stresses both of us and really helps build our partnership for when we do heavy work.

  2. Time outside the ring is so worth it- I need to do more and I have so many plans for this summer!

  3. I love Pig! He's such a feisty old man!

    This post is basically the reason I spend all winter foxhunting on Gina. The trust we build is so important, and I think she enjoys the physical and mental break from the dressage work.

  4. I love you and Pig's partnership! #relationshipgoals

    I love taking Kachina out for trail rides. She's actually a horse who doesn't mind the repetition and drilling of dressage, but we both enjoy low key walks through the fields with our friends. Kachina was a trail horse before I bought her and she knows her job outside of the ring (for Kachina, knowing her job = happy horse). Also riding out is a great way to develop a swinging free walk, or build strength and balance on inclines.

  5. totally agree 100%. just wish i had cute huskies to frolic with... and epic fields like yours!!

  6. I love that you and Pig are actually not DQ's at all, but wild feral creatures who love to gallop around outside. Riding out and spending time doing fun things that don't involve training in an arena make Dino actually rideable in the ring. Without his trail time, he is a miserable SOB.

  7. Outside the ring is great! But Penn hasn't seen that in a while :(

  8. "After all, it's all about building relationships and memories. What's the point in the training journey if you don't enjoy time spent with your partner?"

    This. 100% this. Love all these photos and GIFs of what are obviously some very special moments. What a partnership you two have!

  9. Mental breaks from highly structured work are beneficial to all, I think. Not to mention the good that varied terrain can do for a horse's body.

  10. These are the moments that I cherish the most <3

  11. When my guy is a real mess, a good romp in our back field usually hits the reset button quite nicely. He really loves getting out and doing something out of the ordinary.

  12. GIRL. Saw your name listed in the USDF Connection year end issue. MISS BRONZE MEDALIST.

  13. Not a single thing I have ever done could be even remotely considered dressage. However, I do find myself benefitting from the time I spend outside the "ring" of the rodeo that my life is.

  14. This was such a beautiful post, especially with those photos! I'm so jealous of your field you get to ride in


Post a Comment