Dassah-Mare is Blossoming!

We had our first lesson in a couple of weeks yesterday evening and boy was it eventful!

Four of us were warming up in the indoor because the outdoor has been under water for weeks - so of course with all of us warming up we had a mighty fine dust storm brewing. I didn't lunge Dassah but warmed her up under saddle for about 10 minutes and then we stood in the middle of the arena (well, more like inside one of the circles of a figure-8 filling the entire arena) and watched the other horses come and go. Trainer-K has us practicing this so Dassah learns to relax and stand (Dassah is very good at this and likes to take these moments to catch 40 winks). I had a lesson with a girl named Sara on West (West is the Halflinger) and we chatted for awhile while we waited for Trainer-K to arrive. If the dust wasn't already hell, it sure was going to be with two horses taking lessons and two others riding around.

T-K arrived in short order and we begged her to let us try out the outdoor - she agreed and no sooner did we get to the scary end of the arena (West lead while Dassah followed -West and Dassah were half-asleep performing their best Western Pleasure impressions -and both Sara and I were on the buckle - an amazing feat considering for the better part of this entire spring/summer the gate to get outside has provided a great view of two tarp-covered enclosures containing sheep and chickens - enclosures are now gone but Dassah pretends like it's seared in her memory) when a rider who had been outside pops around the corner.  West bolted sideways (fastest anyone has ever seen West move), Dassah did her infamous stop-drop-spin-and bolt, and the two horses still in the arena bolted as well. We just about had a three-horse pileup as the other two horses and Dassah seemed destined to bolt straight into each other. One of the riders, a 9 year-old girl, fell off but she was the only casualty. Poor girl was so upset - fell flat on her bum - but in short order her mom had her back on her horse - as soon as we reminded her of how well her ride had been going and how well of a job she did falling off, she dried her tears and hopped back into the saddle. I gathered Dassah up and somehow, must be West's unflappable attitude, we went out of the arena (what I thought would now be the Gate of Terror/Mind-Melting Opening of Death) on the buckle!

We had been in the outdoor practicing our two-point and serpentines when one of the horses pastured outside began performing a bronco-routine. Bolting, bucking, bolting, bucking, you get the drift. West and Dassah were doing a great job of ignoring him when all of the sudden a mighty crash came from his general direction. Trainer-K ran to the end of the arena closest to him to check it out - he apparently launched himself over/into the gate and took off for the barn. Manny 1, Gate 0.

THEN after loose horse was caught and brought by Trainer-K to the outdoor to simma down, another horse was being taught to trailer-load in a loud clangy steel trailer!

West and Dassah - superstarts. They barely reacted to all the commotion and even the addition to the group in the outdoor did not faze them. SUPER STARS!!!

Trainer-K had us on a 20m circle of death and we rocked it. I have video but for the life of me I can't figure out how to get it from iPhone to Blogger - grrrrrrr. Dassah is slowly moving from super-relaxed pokey-nose mare to becoming more collected, more balanced forward mare. It's awesome.

My mare is just so awesome. I love this journey - it's been incredible to see her grow from foal, to gangly yearling, to awkward 3yo, to lovely 5yo, and then the transformation during her training from gawky under-saddle to relaxed to hints of self-carriage. She's such a fiery mare but also inquisitive and she has such an intelligent eye. She is certainly a character and so patient yet demanding. I never really liked chestnut coloring but now I think it's the only color for me, I just love the red!

No more riding until Saturday :( classes now. I hate classes. Who needs a Master's degree anyway? l-a-m-e.


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