dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, February 21, 2016

I have a Riding Lesson

With  having no arena riding is, at best, sporadic in winter. I had thought that it might be nice to take a few riding lessons on another horse with Karen. But every time we tried to arrange it something, usually weather, interfered. We finally booked it for Saturday. The weather people were starting to predict some not-so-nice weather but I grumbled at the universe to knock it off and the predictions went away.

I am sure that I had no control over the chance in the weather but, frankly, the universe owes me a little slack so I'll take it.

My friend Janet very kindly allowed me to ride her lovely Andalusian mare, Lucera. I've always liked Lucera she's a no-nonense, at times dramatic mare but she knows her stuff. Karen bought her when she was young and she came from the same area as Carmen. Lucena was Steele's escort when he came to live with us.
"it'll be all right. I know her and she seems nice"

the mare knows her stuff
At Red Phoenix Farm the horses are lunged or worked in hand before riding. It allows them to loosen up and to establish the partnership before the ride. It also allows the rider to figure out what to expect. Janet allowed me to work with Lucera to start which was great. It was a bit different for both of us- first of all Lucera knows the Spanish commands and my accent was definitely off. But we muddled through. In the end I was happy with how were doing. 

I then mounted and Karen put us to work. Lucrea is smaller than Carmen but is broader and takes up the leg well. She's also very comfortable. It was fun to ride a horse who knows so much but doesn't give it away for free. Irish is like that too but since I trained him I know how he likes to be asked. Lucera liked to travel with her head out towards the wall and her shoulder falling in. It can trick you into pulling on the inside rein but it can also teach you to use inside leg to outside hand. Like they say you should do in all the dressage books. There was also the weird leg thing that we were riding through a corner. Karen explained that she hates to step in poo (it was hers) so what I felt was her doing everything to not get her feet soiled. 

In the end it was great to work on leg yields, shoulder in, haunches in and even a wee bit of half-pass. Lucera seemed to be enjoying herself as much as a I was. When she was through the back it felt awesome. When she was wasn't it didn't feel too bad either. When we finished she was steaming and I was grinning. I love riding a horse that makes you think. The whole lesson we had a conversation, at no point did she tune me out although a few times she sent beseeching glances at Janet "save me from this insanity". But I didn't feel as out of shape for riding as I thought that I would. 

After we went to lunch at a local place 'The Flying Apron'. As always the food did not disappoint- especially the salted caramel cheese cake. 


  1. I love riding a thinking horse too! Sounds like a great lesson :)

  2. I like horses who don't like to step in poo. It makes cleaning easier. I think I'll ask the weather to cut it out next time it disagrees with me.


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