Dressage in the Snow


When I ride, I love to gallop and jump. But what to do in the snow? Snow requires walking gingerly; hooves fill up with balls of ice. So I decided to practice the one thing I hate: dressage.

Every horse sport has special challenges and in dressage it is the subtle communication that I find difficult. Tiny pressures and placements ask the horse to dance in movements he would never perform in nature. I ask, he doesn’t understand. I ask, he tries but can’t quite bend. And normally I get frustrated enough to quit after a few minutes. But in the snow it was the only thing to do.

So I tried. And kept trying. And then tried imagining the movement in my head. As soon as I did, I felt a release in my horse. Ah, this is the big deal! To think and move as one, softly crunching the snow underfoot.

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