Thursday, April 25, 2013

Beautiful Dressage Day

Once again, the KY weather is manic depressive....yesterday, it rained and was dreary most of the day, and today it was bright, blue skies, and beautiful.  I had to teach my grad class this morning, so I took a quick trip to Quillins Leather and Tack beforehand so that all my new ponies (and one old one) will have new halters.  :)

After a great Skyped class (I have THE BEST students ever), I was off to the Kentucky Horse Park to watch what was left of dressage.

Yet again, I was struck by how excited...ready to go...these horses were while they tried (and they REALLY tried) to do their dressage tests.  Several of them (like Jessica Phoenix's Exponential and Daniel Clasing's Houston) looked as though they might jump out of the arena!  Both put in a respectable test nonetheless.  I'm so thorougly impressed by these riders.  Even when the horses were excited and even tending towards naughty, they kept on riding the horse they had...I could learn a thing or two from these folks.  Consistency.

I noticed that the very fit horses had a tendency towards what I would call being tense--and the tenseness created less straightness, as well as some inconsistency in gaits (for instance, while they were doing counter canter).  The horses who scored well were straight with good transitions and consistent gaits--not necessarily the "flashy" movers, but the ones who were connected and forward.

I got to spend a tiny bit of time with Peter Atkins' groom, Amanda, one of the nicest folks in the world.  We both commiserated that Peter, who had a lovely ride, didn't score better.  Sigh.  I wish I were more educated so that I could understand what happened.  I would love to read the comments on each of the tests!

I sat in another Stackhouse saddle, and I'm wondering if that's not my answer for Bart.

Saw Catherine from Area V, and enjoyed sitting with Cynthia and Jon.  Karen and I hit the trade fair, and we might have some 'splainin' to do at home.

We ended the evening with Composition friends Jeff and Jenny Rice, along with Vered and Judah at a restaurant called Alfalfa.  I had a super meal, and got to chat with some smart colleagues (and some fun/smart kids, too)--then Karen and I came back to my brother's house and enjoyed some bourbon and Dark Horse Chocolates.  Life is good!  Let's hope the weather holds.

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