A day with Emmy

I’m so thankful to have this dear grey mare in my life. Saturday was a very busy day – starting out with our first roller hockey games (I’m a coach now! and thrilled!) then a soaking in the rain packing up gear, then 6 boys at our house, and hungry, then off to find some Magic cards which were accidentally thrown out (so headfirst in a trash bin) then back home, throw breeches and boots on…and head to warm Emmy up. But it’s RAINING again…so…here’s the whole story. The backstory first? Yes?

Training Level 1, 1st test Thanks to Janet (my instructor) for filming this and for bringing me so far in 2.5 years!

Emmy and I enjoyed a bit of a wild warm-up at home (rain on the arena roof, which must sound like jaguar claws to her or something) so she was pretty hot and full of energy even after warm-up. On the way to the show via the trails through the woods she was quite intrigued by rain on the leaves and how the woods sound in the rain (different than normal). Once in the warm-up arena she had no real desire to canter through the muck, nor did she want to canter on the rail (where there is a decent path and no muck), so she picked the next best option – try to leap 20 yards of muck! The woman coaching her client in the middle of the warm-up arena must have had some second thoughts, but she stayed put hoping I could steer this beast.

Janet arrived shortly after and held a constant refrain: “MORE bending! more LEG! FORWARD! Get her to pay ATTENTION!” Eventually we settled in a bit, and I thought the walk from the warm-up ring to the arena might go smoothly. JUST as we were walking by a van with a horse in it, the horse inside decided to let fly with a large bang on the rear door. Emmy spun wildly to the right launching me forward in the direction we WERE going, then wheeled (by the bed of a pickup, which I thought might be a nice clean landing spot if I got thrown) but by this time she was cantering and I was still barely mounted, so determined to stay on, and keep my white shirt clean. I steered her toward a cedar tree to induce a stop, got her turned around again just in time to see Janet turn back toward us, arms outstretched, going “What’s the hold up? Come ON!”

Once she was in the dressage “court” Emmy performed fabulously, not even “talking” to the other horses around like she did last year. You’ll note one effort to gallop away from the judges’ stand at “C” at the left end of the arena but I got her back under control and just barely transitioned to a trot and made the final tight turn down the center line. I wonder what my scores will be? The whole event was great to look forward to – an excellent motivation for focus and a good opportunity to keep Emmy familiar with the unfamiliar. Life should NOT always be groundhog day, should it? Thanks for watching! (This is the second half of the test. The first half is a mirror image.)


  1. Tam 18 May, 2016

    Love it! So happy you are pursuing another one of your passions. I miss you and your positive energy.

  2. Gramma 19 May, 2016

    How extraordinarily different you look that your lessons the first year!! I even liked how you got Emmy to hold her head tucked in, but arched, especially difficult for a horse with a short neck. You both looked balanced and controlled. The video makes a mockery of the tall tale you spun before getting into the ring. Neither of you looked like you’d had an earlier, hair-raising, wild ride. Congratulations!! Sorry I missed being there, but we are grateful for the good video! Love you!

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