It’s Time To Dance …

Well, you may have noticed that my posts have been a bit sparse of late.

I’ve had a lot on my mind.

I’m moving Bear to another barn.

Something's Up

As any horse owner will tell you this can be a stressful change, especially if you’ve never done it before.

I’ve never done it before.

It’s been stressful. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The years of our lives pass speedilyย by.

It seems just yesterday we brought Bear home. He is my first horse; a dream come true. I remember the joy; the excitement; the desire to make good decisions on his behalf that would benefit us both.

Flash forward almost eight years. We’ve coursed our hills and valleys together. Forged a strong, trust-based relationship. It’s been a journey wrought with trials and tribulations; joy and happiness.

But he is now 12 years old and in his prime, and I am … well … I am well into middle age.

I have felt, for several months now, maybe even the last couple of years, the urge to change things up. While I appreciate, and needed, all the remedial coaching I’ve received in the past few years, I feel ready to up the ante. To step boldly into the dream of the dance that is dressage.

Bear and I are ready. More confident; more relaxed than we were even a few months ago. Sure, there are plenty of kinks to work out yet, but it’s time for a new perspective.

A new perspective requires change

So, at the beginning of January, I’m moving Bear to another barn. A small, low-key, dressage-oriented barn just 10 minutes further away from home. Somewhere we can work with a new coach and a new vision of what’s possible.

It’s a decision made after a month of deliberation ~ of talking with people I trust; writing down and considering the pros and cons; cogitating; meditating and, yes at some level, praying.

And, while the new barn presents plenty of opportunity for me to delve into the culture of dressage and develop my skills, my primary focus must be the welfare of my horse.

Will he be happy? Will he make friends? Will he receive good care? Have plenty of turn-out? Eat well? Enjoy the atmosphere? Be safe?

I feel that he will. I’ve known the owner for a while now. She’s been in the business a long time and judging by the warm reception I’ve received by people who already board there it appears to be a happy place.

I’ve been to the barn a few times to get a feel for it. With only 12 horses boarded, it’s smaller than Bear’s current home. It’s also older and the arena is about half the size of the one we work in now, but it hardly matters. The barn is clean, and quiet, and friendly.ย As well, there’s access to 94 acres of hacking, including a complete cross-country course (which will be pleasant to look at ;- ) … ). There’s a proper dressage ring and a grass riding ring as well. More outdoor options. This is good.

Last week the owner gifted me a ride on Connor, her beautiful retired Prix St. George mount, so I could have a lesson with my potential new coach. He is a well-respected German master and member of the bronze-medal winning Canadian dressage team at the 1995 Pan Am Games. I wanted to see if I liked his teaching style.

Connor really tested my mettle and made me ride every step. The coach worked with me in every step. He has a reputation for being technical and thorough. I like that. The bottom line ~ I totally enjoyed the experience. It was the first time I’d ridden another horse since owning Bear, and it left me with more respect for my ability and a desire to see Bear and I reach our potential. A move to this new barn would present us with the chance to do so.

So, this past weekend I made my decision. I’m trusting my heart and taking the stall.

Bear will have the same farrier, vet, dentist and chiropractor. Things will be the same, but different. A change will do us good. ๐Ÿ™‚

For my birthday my husband gave me something I’ve wanted for a couple of years now … an Inuit soapstone carving of a dancing bear. He bought it this past summer, long before this move to a dressage barn full of “dancing”horses was even contemplated. Seems rather symbolicย and meant to be, don’t you think? ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s time to dance.

Stay tuned …

Nurture what you love,

Dorothy ๐Ÿ™‚
Horse Mom

ยฉDorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

14 thoughts on “It’s Time To Dance …

  1. Oh, I love dressage. It is the most beautiful thing a horse and rider can do together. And I know you and Bear will be fabulous at it. Good luck in the new digs and keep us “posted” on your progress! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you! It will be an interesting journey for us both, but one for which I feel we are both well suited and prepared. My main concern is that we have fun. If we don’t have fun I’ll have to think again and train him for gymkhana or something like that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ … And no worries, I’ll be musing, and sharing, plenty. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Pingback: And the Brave Blogger Taking Up the Aspire Virtual Coaching Challenge Is………Avandarre in Dressage! « NewsBook by Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy

  3. Enter into your lessons and training with the goal of enjoying the experience and you’ll find many ways to have fun along the way. You’ll begin to see the real benefit when Bear starts changing body shape as he gains physical fitness. If you haven’t started a video diary I’d recommend it. The difference a year from now will be so pleasantly surprising. I’m still trying to remember inside from outside and ‘my other left’ but oh what fun we have.

    • Thanks so much for the tip about the video diary. That’s a great idea!!! … I am putting no pressure on myself to do anything but be in the moment. I really just want to enjoy the ride while improving my skills. Wendy has talked about me showing Bear this year, and maybe I will. We’ll just see how everything unfolds. … My focus at the moment must be to get him settled. He’s having a bit of anxiety at the moment, which I’ve been working out by free lungeing him in the arena. He likes that. I hope today to put his tack on and lunge line him in a more controlled fashion. If that goes well I may get on him for a few minutes. We need to get a routine established. Mostly, I need to get his focus back on to me. It’s a very different barn. Lots of new stimulation and he’s observing everything. He’s also distracted somewhat by his new girlfriend, I think. I’m in no rush. It certainly is an exercise in mindfulness. ๐Ÿ˜‰ … Thanks again! Happy New Year!

  4. Reading backwards I am so happy it went so well and he is a social creature. So many things I never thought of regarding mixing the personalities of horses. Hugs

    • Those who suggest that animals are dumb do not know or understand animals. Observing the herd and how they interact is an important part of understanding how horses tick. There is a pecking order and depending on how dominant or submissive the horses in question the establishment of that pecking order can be a difficult or easy process. Fortunately, the three horses in Bear’s little herd are evenly matched. One will be the top dog but I haven’t figured out which yet. Wouldn’t surprise me, however, if its the little mare, as in the wild the herds are always lead by an alpha mare. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Just so very interesting. I realize that all species have a pecking order and in fact a few years ago we had a 159 lb Mastiff and a 2 1/2 lb Yorkie and who do you think was the alpha / Yep, 100% the Yorkie. It was funny actually. I just never gave this much thought and it makes perfect sense and this is why I love your blog!

      • Yes, many a shetland pony has lorded it over a mighty draft horse. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sometimes I don’t think they even know they’re small. Or, perhaps they over-compensate for their small stature with a super-size personality. Whatever it is, it’s funny to watch … ๐Ÿ™‚

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