“Z” and I just finished the regional Dressage Championships held last week at the Waterloo Hunt Club in Grass Lake. We competed against the best of the best from 7 states. We didn’t finish “in the ribbons” but held our own for only “being in the ring together” 5 times before the championship class, which numbered over 40 riders. You’re required to ride the test from memory and without any physical aids. It is an adrenalin rush like no other. The test I rode had 22 separate movements and took just over 6 minutes to complete. Very intense. What a thrill to qualify and ride with such great talent.
Dressage can be likened to ballet, both classic styles that are centuries old, passed on from master to student. The difference being that it is done with an animal partner. A dressage horse must have an excellent temperament and talent along with a supreme athletic ability. The horse requires the understanding of a unique form of communication that necessitates intense concentration to decipher almost invisible, non-verbal, commands and react accordingly. Needless to say, this is no small feat for an animal designed to run free in the wild. The rider’s task is to draw the innate desire to perform well and to please. The horse is hierarchal, he will only submit to those they trust and accept, as in the leader of the herd. In the human world that leader is the rider and trainer who must win their affection and trust through kindness. This develops into an deep internal focus that allows the horse to listen to the person on his back, striving block out all external distractions. Along with the “reading of minds” between the horse and rider is also the advancement of physical condition through serious and regular work-outs that encourage rhythm and tempo, relaxation, suppleness and stamina. Z, now 11, has had such good training throughout his career that his job now is one of a “School Master” that is, to train me. He sure loves the show ring and is a flashy competitor that makes me look like I know what I’m doing. Even better he is kind and spiritual and I know he trusts me to the 10th degree. Niki and Pico are doing great too. They love to hang out with me when I’m working in the gardens. Or hop in the car to do a Kensington walk. At 9 and 10 they don’t seem to be slowing down at all. Pico runs full tilt boogey after squirrels and chipmunks and Bella girl loves to hop around on her hind legs like the dancer that she maybe once was.
I’m a lucky girl.
Chalkboard Features are Awesome once again. As a Starter there is Baked Brie Topped with a Spiced Apple and Fig Compote & presented with Crisp Crostini; Roasted Swordfish served over Southern Style Succotash and Topped with a Fried Tomato and Basil Remoulade; Fried Organic Buttermilk Soaked Chicken Breast Accompanied with Roasted Garlic Mashers, Green Beans and Chicken Gravy and Pecan Crusted Barramundi, (aka Asian Sea Bass, firm fleshed, sweet and buttery,) with Wild Rice-Cranberry Pilaf, Spaghetti Squash & Citrus Ginger Butter Sauce. YUM!!
Life is good. Every day is worth a Million Dollars if you make it so!
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE BISTRO!!