Sunday, May 22, 2011


Today we were supposed to work on lengthenings.  That was my plan.  I should know better.  Plans are silly, ephemeral things.

In a lengthening, or an extension, the tempo of the gait should not change.  When done properly, you should be able to close your eyes and listen, and never be able to tell that the horse performed the lengthening or extension.  That requires relaxation.  If the horse becomes tense, the steps of the lenthening become quick and the rhythm of the gait changes.  The stride becomes choppy and, when asked to come back from the lengthening, the horse breaks his gait or sucks back behind the aids.  Tension is the enemy.

Unfortunately, someone was being tempermental.  It just so happened that two cats were fighting in the woods behind the arena. They seemed to just be regular house cats to me, but Spider knew better: they were actually wild lions hell bent on eating horses.  Also, they were ten feet tall and had lasers for eyes.  Thank goodness he was there to warn me of the impending doom we faced.

Thankfully (due to his diligence) we were not eaten by the tiny, domestic housecats Laser Wielding, Ten Foot Tall, Horse Eating Wild Lions.   We also didn't really do any lengthenings.  We did figure eights and serpentines instead.  I find that working in complex patterns is excellent for taking a horse's mind off of lions and other things that lurk in the bushes (like velociraptors).



  1. Funny :) Working on figures sounds like a great way to get things back on track. Good thinking.
    They are such a mystery in their thinking - Rogo is scared of the blue manure fork if it's left outside (not inside), but apparently the red fork is much more domesticated and unlikely to attack him. He isn't scared of it.

  2. Nina agrees with me that there is no such thing as an inanimate object. The tractor is always suspicious.

  3. My boarder's horse (Cowboy) completely flipped out the other day - I think - because I was wearing a sun hat. It wasn't even the first time he's seen the hat - I wore it all last summer. He violently yanked back and broke his halter.

    Luckily my boarders finally got the breakaway halter I'd been suggesting ;)

  4. Ohmigosh!! OF course they were lions and those evil, dangerous predator raptors looks even more scary!! However could you expect Spider to concentrate under such conditions? Good thing "Moby Chair" was not planted by the ringside with no one seated in it....that would have done you in for sure.

    All I can do is sigh and offer a big *LOL*. Horses never fail to keep us on our toes trying to figure out how to train them.

  5. If I have a plan, it's never to make a plan because more times than not plans don't work out.

    Those lions and raptors can be pretty scary to a smart horse who needs to protect his rider. Circles are a great idea to take the mind off distractions.

  6. Oh I love the velociraptors. I am lucky my lil'QH is bombproof for almost anything BUT ...others horses loose in a field, and she becomes a nervous wreck :-(

    I agree with Spider wild lions, velociraptors, he HAD to look after you ^-^

  7. My little mare has also (thankfully) saved me from velociraptors... from my own backyard, no less!! What a selfless service our horses offer us.

  8. This will be an interesting experience for me, reading about dressage at this level. I rode horses since I was a young girl and learned both dressage and jumping, but on a very minor scale. My love for horses has never diminished though. I'm glad you decided to follow my blog.--Inger

  9. LOL velociraptors hehehe. I'm learning there is no point in making plans. They always get ruined. :) I'm just going with the flow now.


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