Thursday, August 4, 2011

This Just In

Horses never cease to amaze me. Today I witnessed a job swap: the first time my trainer Karen's Trakehner filly Lola jumped under a rider, and the first dressage lesson Blue Fox Farms owner and hunter/jumper trainer Teri's Oldenburg stallion Jeepers experienced in a dressage saddle. At first glance all this doesn't seem so spectacular; Lola has free jumped and has been lunged over cavaletti and is a sensible, willing girl; Jeepers has been in consistent work and is a kind, mannerly boy.

But Lola was so relaxed and workmanlike over her fences: she didn't get strong before the jump or rush after it; she basculed nicely over the jump and tucked up her knees-- "very photogenic jumper-- she hangs her body over the jump" as pro jumper trainer Teri Bludworth put it from the saddle.

Then Jeepers displayed amazing suspension and gaits; he happily moved from shoulder in to leg yield to lengthening, and his canter is simply beautiful. As pro dressage trainer Karen Brown said, "If I didn't know better I'd think I was just riding a very pleasant gelding."

The very fact that these two youngsters took so easily to their earliest lessons in a whole new (to them) discipline and that their respective owners so completely confide in them is what I find amazing and inspiring. Wonders, even the expected ones, never cease.