Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

Dancer’s New Digs…

Posted by mandyhuckins on July 7, 2009

So far, we love our new stable!  The people I have met have all been very friendly and helpful.  One has let me permanently share her organic fly spray and another has lent me her microtek to try to cure a little skin irritation situation on Dancer’s hind end.   There are some very lovely horses at this stable to – so Dancer fits right in (ha, ha) :-). 

Here is what the barn looks like from the outside:





There are 36 stalls in the barn and you can see from the top picture that the left side is the stable and the right side is the indoor riding hall.  So, it is very, very long (although a little bit narrow).


So far, there aren’t many riders inside.  The weather has been lovely and people prefer to use the large outdoor arena (photos on that another time).  But, one rainy Saturday morning, I was riding with two other large horses and a third was being lunged.  I was worried we were going to get jammed up in here, but there was plenty of room.  And, it stays surprisingly cool in here during the hot, hot days we were having last week.  So, that is a bonus.  About half way down on the left is the door way that enters from the stable.  Across from it on the right is the door into the house where the owners of the barn live.  So, every once in a while, that door will open and someone will come out.  That is scary to the horses!


The princess in jail….but, what a lovely jail.  The stalls are 12 x 15 (!) and feature rubber matting, shredded paper for bedding and automatic waterers. 


Not the best shot, but just to give you an idea of the scale – Dancer is not a small girl, so the stalls are a very generous size.  I can see I really need to get her nameplate.  Some people have very cute ones that say the horse’s name on the first line and then “loved by owner’s name” on the second line (or some variation of that).  I will have to give that some thought.

Here is the cutest member of the equine family – and the newest.  I think this little guy was born just a few weeks before we arrived.  He is so friendly.  Anyone can pet him.  He was tired when I had my camera out, so this is the best I could do.


Dancer seems to be settling in nicely. I have been able to ride her about 4 times a week.  Since our training had been rather spotty before we left Montgomery, it took her a while to get back in the swing of things.  At first she felt super unbalanced and she just wanted to run around.  Strangely, she was completely ignoring my leg and I had to start carrying a dressage whip to sharpen up her transitions.  I felt that she was going to pull my arms out of their sockets.  It was gradually getting a little bit better and this past weekend, I had two of the most lovely rides I have ever had on her.  On Friday morning, I rode inside because their was a jumping lesson going on outside.  She was “with” me right from the start.  I was able to establish the same amazing feel I had during the end of my lesson with the British riding instructor several months ago.  Dancer had self carriage, she was on the aids, she was light in the forehand, soft and up through her back and just lovely.  I then was able to ask her to lengthen and shorten her stride at will and it felt like she was so powerful, yet so light.  My wish was her every command.  I was amazed.  Then, on Sunday morning I rode her outside.  It was windy and there was a cross country lesson going on, so every once in a while the wind would bring us the sound of the instructor shouting or a horse would come galloping into our line of vision.  Dancer was keyed-up and jumpy.  I regretted my decision to go outside immediately, but decided to give it a try.  I had a long, long warm up at the walk while I waited for her to settle in.  I kept her busy with suppling exercises like shoulder in, leg yields and some attempts at turn on the haunches.  Once she was paying more attention to me than to everything else and had relaxed in her back, I started trotting.  I made sure to keep her slow and steady from the get-go and she was amazing!  She spooked once or twice, but came back to me when I steadied her.  She felt like she had springs in her legs.  I did a little canter and it was so slow and springy that after a few rounds I decided to call it a day.  No need to mess with perfection.  I can’t wait to ride tonight!


2 Responses to “Dancer’s New Digs…”

  1. Lori said

    Glad Dancer is making herself at home, sweet home. You WILL have to find a cute little nameplate for her! Gotta keep up with the Joneses, right? 🙂

  2. Lori said

    Also, as John was looking over my shoulder and seeing the cute little pony, he said, “I used to ride a horse named Dancer. She was my favorite. She was like Dixie (our rebellious, sassy dog)…had a nice littel wild streak in her.” Then he told me to tell you that. You know him…”But I like them.”

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