dancing horses

dancing horses

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Decision

some of my FB friends are accusing me of upping their blood pressure with this saga. Another told me that I was not allowed to go to bed until I gave the conclusion.

So my apologies and let me conclude this story for you.

Sunday morning I woke up after a long sleep. The day was very cold (-12) and windy so we had decided to wait until the afternoon to ride. Our hostess took us to downtown Charlottesville to show us the lovely walking mall they have. It was lovely, even on a bitter cold February day so I can imagine how lovely it would be in the summer. We had a wonderful brunch at a restaurant and then headed out to the stable.

Unfortunately, it was still windy and cold but we carried on. I asked to ride Charlante first. She was a bit 'up' because of the weather but when I went in to pat her and pick out her feet she calmed down. We took her down to the ring and I watched her being lunged. She was quite excited but still incredibly well mannered. A few scoots but she never came against the line. I then got on her. This time we could walk off without help. I watched the videos after and her tail was actually blowing sideways. It was clear that she was not impressed with being out in the weather with the whole world blustering around her. But I asked her to soften and bend and she did. Of course we were not able to maintain it but we got better. Well I got better and realizing where she was going to lose it and correcting it ahead of time. We trotted a bit and then I asked her walk and then trot. Once we passed the gate she wanted to go out but I stopped her with my outside rein and leg. Which she protested. I was insistent and I was curious as to how we would work through this small hissy fit. What I realized that was she was so sensitive that you have to give right away. So I put my leg on and as soon as she moved forward I took it off and praised her (I will have to remember this in the future  I thought) I also remembered my lesson with Jane to sit up and use my seat to encourage her forward (thank you Jane).
you can see the riding ring- lots to look at

the house under construction to the right. the red skip had a
big blue tarp on it saturday but it blew off and was against the fence.

I then changed direction and we went the other way. She relaxed back into the work.  Every time she responded I let her know that I was pleased with her. A gust of wind from behind moved her into canter and rather than correct it I decided to ride it (I can fix that over time I thought). Again it was so effortless. I gave her lots of praise and we returned to the trot and then a walk. I halted her by the gate and chatted with Catherine and Karen for a bit. It was clear that she thought I was done but I wanted to do one more test. I asked her to walk away from the gate and back to work. And she did, without balking although it was clear that missy was not impressed. I loved how sensitive and keen she was. the question was did I have want it takes to bring her along? This is horse that required finesse and sensitivity.

I asked her to halt but she wouldn't stand. So we walked a bit and I asked her again. Again she wouldn't be still. I won't get off a moving horse so I channeled Royce and said in a clear voice 'whoa' while I sat still. She became rock still and I dismounted. We walked up the hill with her tagging along respectfully beside me. Her owner walked beside me and said "I like how you ride her. You ride with your head and not with your hands"

I brought her into the stall to untack her and Catherine went out to get Agente. However, I made up my mind and making everyone suffer in the bitter cold seemed pointless. I went out the barn and called to not worry about him, I had made a decision.  We all smiled and hugged. I may have teared up.

why her? Well I liked how different she was then Steele. I won't be tempted to compare her. I liked her potential.

But mostly I just felt my heart give a little leap every time I sat on her. I think that she and I can forge a partnership. So pending vet check I will the owner of a mare. Or rather owned by a mare.

me in multiple layers....

sales pic
Next steps: vet check, insurance, transportation....


  1. Hi Teresa, I will be catching up on your new girl adventure later today, but I need your help with a horse...Please follow this link to my Facebook page 'https://www.facebook.com/andrea.kelter.5' there is a little quarter horse in New Glasgow, well looked after, whose owner has been diagnosed with cancer and can no longer look after him. He needs a new home (no charge, and they will trailer him). Do you know of anyone who would take an 8-year old horse? This is very urgent....I would really appreciate any assistance you can offer. Thanks. Andrea Kelter

  2. OK, I am caught up on your "new girl" adventure. It isn't often that I cry, tears of joy or pain, but today I have shed some tears (of both) for you. I hope your vet check goes incredibly well, and that Charlante ends up in your barn. She's a beautiful girl, lovely size for you, and a pretty, pretty mover from what I can see in the sales pic. The young gelding really reminded me of Steele in a number of ways, but this pretty girl seems very different, and will (I think) allow you to live your dreams in a slightly new direction, and without comparison to the past. Steele will be very happy for you, because he loved you, and that is what love is about. I will be so very happy for you as well, and look forward to continuing the journey of the dancing horses on your blog. Funny, I had seen a horse in Spain recently I wanted to send you...but was not certain you were ready!

  3. Sorry, Teresa, one last thing. I am a graphic designer, and a photoshop expert. If you would be kind enough to email me that photo of Steele at the top of your blog, and (if you get the mare), a photo of her shot at kind of the same angle (once you get one), I would love to do something for you that I have in mind for your blog (your choice of course whether you use it or not)....but I think you might really, really like it. And it would make me really happy to do this for you and Steele and your new girl.

  4. Have to agree with the blood pressure complaints!
    Hoping you get the all clear. You look great on her :D

  5. She is lovely! Congratulations :) I just read through the whole story and she seemed like the horse you were most excited about. Can't wait to read more about her in future :)

  6. AH HA! I thought it might be the mare!!! :) Crossing my fingers she vets well for you. From the sound of things, I think you made an excellent choice! She sounds lovely!

  7. Very happy for you and I really like your choice. I was worried you were going to get the gelding. I'm sure he was great, but the when you wrote that you almost didn't get on him because he looked like Steele....speaking from my own experience, I know that would not be good for either of you. Fingers crossed that all goes well with the vet checks.

  8. :D Lovely, mares are awesome!!! This gal is gorgeous. Looking forward to reading more as your relationship grows.

  9. I'm so excited for you! Congratulations.

  10. She's so gorgeous! That sensitive temperament can be both a blessing and a curse, but I love it. I think you will, too! :)

  11. I KNEW IT!!! (true confession -- I googled her and saw "sold" and that confirmed what I knew you would do). Lucy is a super sensitive mare and I can tell you that Chalante will teach you to be a very quiet rider (which you seem to be already) and to be a tactful rider. Lucy is much the same -- Having a mare is very different but I love it and I think you will too. Lucy rushed when I first rode her but the straighter I sat, with better balance, the more she relaxed. Also, keeping my leg on all the time -- lightly, was a huge help. Sensitive mares don't like to be banged by legs coming on and off. Light contact and invisible squeezes with your calf are all you need. Its awesome. I am so excited for you! And for her!

  12. I knew it!! She's beautiful! I'm so happy for you!!!!!!!! I hope the vet check goes well. If she passes, any idea how long it will take to get her home? I don't know anything about crossing borders with horses. Also will we get to see the video of you riding her? I'm dying to see how she moves! Congratulations. I think she will help heal your heart and you won't be tempted to compare her to Steele. So happy for you!

    1. you had figured it out! I hope so too but I can't see why it wouldn't. I don't k now much either (or anything) but will figure it out.

  13. Oh YAY!!!! This is amazing news!!!

  14. A MARE! Yes, you two are perfect for each other - sensitive, but yet determined :) Congrats on your new working relationship.

    I think you were very wise not to purposefully select a horse somewhat similar to Steele; in the long run, you are starting anew, and that respects Steele's memory.


    PS you would love Montana - and would fit right in :)

  15. Congratulations. Charlante sounds like a lady (or a very polite ladies maid from Downton!)


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love the feedback.