Horses & Fancy Hats

Sunni & Rosie in Lebanon

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Yesterday, a new level of driving training, after a sudden decision to enter my first competitive show, and before changing my mind. The actualitiy of being away from home with a horse for three days, and leaving assorted other critters behind, requires mega-logistics. My newness as a competitor adds confusion. Thoughts of showing bring many pressures, and after reflecting, preparation would be stressful in this short summer’s remaining weeks.

Meanwhile, my lesson with Sunni was about performing in a competitive dressage ring. We had to enter the ring at an appropriate speed, get correctly into position, salute the judge, and embark on a beginner’s pattern. This meant trotting at a consistent speed while making a perfect 40-metre circle. Then we had to cross the arena, trotting in a perfect diagonal, and then, make another perfect 40-metre circle (in a direction opposite our first circle). After making that second circle and trotting along another diagonal, we had to fine a center-line and move on it to the area’s center. There we stopped momentarily, to (again) salute the judge, before taking two steps backward, and then going forward–walking briefly and transitioning to a trot. Following all those moves, we could exit the ring.

In a real competition, a driving team competes in dressage and also must complete a timed cones course. The dressage and cones arenas require drivers to wear fancy hats and scarfs–clothing representing formal driving attire, in the early 20th Century, when driving was the way to get around. Oh yes, and clean shoes (heels not required). Our driving trainer says not to worry for she has a collection of appropriate hats and clothing articles.

I want to continue practicing dressage patterns, they’re great exercises in discipline for horse and driver. By next summer, my horses and I ought to be more capable of performing in a competitive environment. This would make it easier to embark on the showing-leg of our journey in driving.

Happy eye

Dear Readers: Horses grazing always make chewing grass look fun! Diana

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