Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Goals, Dreams, Hopes, and Aspirations

From a Dressage Queen's perspective, 2009 was a good year!

Jeddien was, yet again, on form for a good competitive year with pleasing results.   She also shared a wonderful feel of upper level dressage work with several students at Kearsarge Meadows.

Piper Warrior provided a rider-challenging second show season with wonderful highlights and heart-stopping lowlights.   However, at home he made good progress in his training, including 2nd and 3rd level dressage work.   Even more fun, he starting working over colored jumps with a talented young rider who works at our farm.

And, sweetie pie Big Ben!   What can I say?   He has been started under saddle and is a joy to ride.   And he's very comfortable!

Going forward into 2010, this Dressage Queen has a few goals, dreams, hopes, and aspirations for her horses.

For Piper...
For Big Ben...
  • Successfully compete at Walk Trot
For Jeddien....
  • Debut at Prix Saint Georges
  • Earn 2 scores of 60% at PSG,   completing the earning of my USDF Silver Medal
For little Bea Yewtee....
  • To be backed and ridden   (With our groundwork coming along, we're getting closer to this important milestone!)

Dreams.   Hopes.   Aspirations.
Making them come true in 2010 is the goal.

Happy New Year !
And Happy Dressage !

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The DQ's Perfect Christmas Gifts

When it comes to gifts, what can one get for the dedicated Dressage Queen in their life?   For some, this is a perplexing problem that is difficult at best to solve. However, in our household, this is a "no brainer"!

Sure, gift certificates to Dressage Extensions, USDF's Store, Dover Saddlery, Smart Pak Equine, and other horsey shopping stores make sense.   But, for the true Dressage Queen, such as myself, who already has everything they need, often in triplicate, a truly special gift is called for.

Music CD's!

Yup, you heard me right.   Music CD's.   But not just any Music CD's.   I'm talking about Isabell Werth's "Musik zum Reiten" CD's, specifically designed for use in Musical Freestyle Kurs.

I have talked about this great series of Isabell Werth's instrumental CD's before.   Each CD comes with a selection of music highly suitable for use in Kurs.   On the back of each CD cover (as well as on the website itself) is a list of the selections along with the beats per minute speeds shown.   Once you know the tempos of your horse's paces, this makes the creations of Kurs another step easier.

For me, adding additional CD's to my Isabell Werth collection is always a great gift idea!  
And Santa has already hinted.   The computer and arena stereo system are both standing by.   It seems Happy Holidays! are here again.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pasture Play for Dressage Horses

There are several camps regarding how dressage horses should be managed, both within the competition season and off season.   Opinions about daily routines for the dressage horse can differ from barn to barn, and within a barn, from trainer to trainer.

With show season on hold for Winter until next April, dressage horse owners in New England are faced with decisions in regards to things such as :
  • Light (if any) work off season or keep in full training ?
  • Long winter coat, partial clip, or full clip ?
  • Shoes during off season or barefoot ?
  • To turn out or not to turn out ?
  • Turn out alone or with others ?
  • Wrap in cotton wool or rough it ?
  • ... the list of horse husbandry issues goes on and on.
For our horses, pasture time is a constant.   Whether winter or summer, show season or off season, they are turned out in small groups of equine buddies.   Clipping is kept to a bare minimum (bib clips).   Shoes are off for the winter.   And ridden work is kept fairly light, with focus on submission, response to aids, and lateral movement.

A couple weeks ago, just before our first good snowfall, we filmed some of the pasture play between two of our KWPN Dutch Warmbloods.   The dark horse is our Training Level competition horse.   The chestnut is a 3 year old who has just recently been started. This goofiness is a daily occurance.   We enjoy it, as it lets us observe how happy are horses really are day to day.   Yup, it's a dressage horse's life!     :-)