THE QUESTION OF THE MONTH IS BACK! (Send yours to us for an answer) The Newest:
I ride my guy 6 days a week. Mostly work though maybe a day of long/low, walking easy stuff. I make myself wear jeans on the ‘7th’ day to discourage myself from riding that day. I love riding him though he can be a challenge. Would 7 days be too much?
BILL— Although you clearly love to ride your horse, I honestly am hard-pressed to think of a reason to ride him seven days a week. At the opposite end of the spectrum are novice adult foxhunters (usually males) who stereotypically ride to hunt and hardly ever in between. That’s a whole separate catastrophe for the horse!
I do applaud the idea of not schooling every single day and that you do stretching, relaxing work with him. In the best world, you would go beyond that. For a break you could do poles on the ground or even (gasp) jump small fences. If you don’t fear for your life, go outside the arena. A stroll around the field or a walk on the trail will suffice, but if you are up for it, dressage horses should be able to gallop!
Back in the day Susan had a very anxious thoroughbred off the track. We were told that when he ran even if he was in the lead coming to the stretch, as he came by the grandstand, he would turn his head to the right to look at it and subsequently be passed by all the other horses. The only race he ever won was at Suffolk Downs in a miserable snowstorm where visibility was so poor, he could not see the stands at all. The day’s meet was canceled right after that race!
When she discovered his total aversion to leaving the property, she devised a “mini trail ride” which while remaining in sight of the barn, took him on a circuitous route around trees and up-and-down over the back of the manure pile to give him some variety.
At the time we were leasing a small barn adjacent to a farm whose indoor arena we rented time in. To get there involved going down our driveway, traversing along the street to the next mailbox, and going up the neighbor’s drive to the arena.
One day on her way back from that arena, she had dropped the reins on his neck and expected him to make his usual right turn to the safety of his own driveway. To her amazement, he kept walking straight ahead down the road away from home. Out of curiosity she let him have his head and he traipsed into the unknown, eventually turning down a random street into housing development and eventually into a cul-de-sac. We never knew what had gotten into him, and he was never interested in repeating such a journey.
All that said, aside from a break from physical stresses, horse—just like people—need occasional breaks from mental stress. A day off or several days off in a row OR EVEN A WEEK can be really refreshing for them. There was the time before the prevalence of covered/indoor arenas and winter show circuits that horses routinely had time off built into their calendars. Since that is no longer the case, we have to go out of our way to remember to give them some R & R.
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BILL’s On-Line Store — STORECRAZY — is here to provide you with items that Dover and John Nunn can’t offer. Here’s a quick sample.
CLICK HERE to find many more items you won’t want to live without!
Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but this is real. If you’re in the Ocala area, here is equestrian-friendly yoga right in the heart of horse country.
NEW EVENTING TESTS!
If you want the US Eventing Tests which go into effect December 1, 2017, they are here: http://useventing.com/resource/dressage-tests-0 . If you want the US Dressage tests which go into effect December 1, 2018. You are going to have to wait until they are finalized … in 2018.
[A Note from Bill]
Let me introduce our Associate Editor, Hayden Finch. “Sidd” worked with us back in the ’80s when Susan and I edited A Tip of the Hat, the New England Dressage Association’s newsletter. Prior to beginning his career in journalism, Sidd scratched his competitive itch with a brief foray into professional baseball. In his first stint with us, Sidd penned this alternative biographical sketch of me for the Dallas Dressage Club newsletter publicizing a clinic I did for that group:
Bill’s bio courtesy of Sidd Finch
Bill Woods (not his real name) comes to the Dallas area several times a year. He and his wife, Onyx, are members of the Federal Dressage Witness Protection Program; thus, their true place of residence is unknown. Both train and compete most of the year in central Florida, often in disguise. Bill has been teaching in Texas since the mid ‘80s, having been brought here by Lisa Brown.They had met in New Hampshire some years before, drawn together by a mutual love of hybrid roses which they tended on summer afternoons at the institution.
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MORE HYPE ABOUT THE TROVE OF PAST BLOGS WHICH AWAIT YOU
If any of the following snippets pique your curiosity, you can find the story archived on this site. It’s DRESSAGE Unscrambled, with a twist—it’s free! More than two dozen dozen (more than 330) posts accessed by this click.
Remember Reiner Klimke and Ahlerich in the victory lap after their gold medal win at the ’84 LA Olympics? All those 76 one tempis in a row? Well, for old time’s sake, click here for the instant replay!
The Horse Protection Association of Florida needs your help!
HPAF receives no state or federal funding and exists only through donations. The amount of neglected horses and horses whose owners can no longer afford to feed them has exploded recently and your donations make it possible for HPAF to continue the work of protecting and saving horses.
“LINT IS A SHELL’S BEST FRIEND” CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHY
Quote of the Month
“We are all time travelers — just the really dull kind — ones plodding through the 4th dimension one pathetic second at a time.” (Robert Smith on NPR’s Talk of the Nation)
Quote of All Time
“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang onto, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.” Chögyam Trungpa
Click to view an important cultural icon: “Bambi Meets Godzilla”
LIFE GETTING YOU DOWN? THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS CLICK HERE FOR RELIEF OK, GO!
An audio treat for your dining and dancing pleasure? CLICK HERE
FEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS — A FANCIFUL VIDEO MONTAGE TO LEONARD COHEN’S “DANCE ME TO THE END OF LOVE.” The tango sequence is from the 1992 film Scent of a Woman.
For the One Minute Version of everything you need to know about woodsdressage.com – CLICK HERE
Below: To imprint in your mind. Harmony in the person of Col. Kurt Albrecht von Ziegner. His mount unknown.
Carl Sagan speaks of The Pale Blue Dot. Please click below and watch this!
It’s another Monday!
If this August’s total eclipse of the sun worked for you (or if you were indoors at the movies), there’s a second showing. The date will be April 8, 2024. Visible in the US on a swath from Texas through parts of the Midwest to Buffalo. I am not going to miss it!
TUNY, the French Bulldog, has agreed to assume BRUCE’S role as the official Safety Coordinator of this website. If, as you’re reading, she issues the “Duck and Cover” instruction, please climb under your desk and assume the position until she issues her All Clear announcement.