Sort of a Equitation Vacation

I’m tired but happy after a weekend where the only job I had was to drive to a place full of horses. And this morning’s drive had so many hawks and herons to enjoy that the hour flew by.

Waiting for their turn

Today we were back at the Highlander Ranch in Waco for a Working Equitation dressage clinic with Doreen, who is a great clinician. Watching people work on refining their riding skills was really helpful for me. The stuff I’m learning in my lessons was reinforced very well. I guess it makes sense, because Doreen and Tarrin used to do clinics together.

Sara got to touch him. Ooh. What form.

I’m glad I got there in time to see more advanced people in their sessions. That shiny horse from yesterday did leg yields and side passes at a canter like a dream. but he had things to work on, too. It was nice to see Doreen as patient with absolute beginners as with the experienced riders.

Sara learning.

I learned all about dressage patterns, which are exercises designed to showcase a horse and rider’s skill and finesse at whatever level they are at. They look for precise turns, straight lines, perfect stops, and smooth transitions.

Practicing half halts.

Each rider and horse had different challenges, so it was fun to see how they worked in them. Everyone improved! It was especially cool that there was only one experienced dressage person in Sara’s group, so they were all thrilled at their progress. They’re all planning to come back!

Watching and learning.

The most interesting skills they worked on were transitioning between walk and trot and doing “half halts” to signal that something is coming up and keep the horse’s attention. They did an exercise showing how it helped stops be better. Here’s Sara doing it.

I was the only person dedicated enough to just watch this stuff, but my own horses aren’t ready for it, so I may as well learn and support my friend. By the way, Sara got a nice prize for being one of the most improved students. That had to feel GOOD!

A good Boy

I was very impressed with Aragorn. He was solid as a rock. He was great when they practiced the obstacles all by themselves and just super in the clinic. He paid attention and did everything he was asked. Now Sara knows he was worth his cost, and she sees the wisdom of waiting until they were good partners before doing stuff like this. Yes!

Now I can look forward to working with my guys as much as possible this week, even if it’s cold. I want to keep doing better!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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