For the next 12 months, I will be blogging about my journey to represent the average dressage enthusiast: to find and train and compete a Cinderella prospect of a horse. I plan to spend no more than one thousand dollars.
This search marks my return to what I call my purist theory. Clearly, the majority of those who love our sport and desire to be competitive simply do not have the tens of thousands to go shopping, much less can afford to be in full training and hit the show circuit. Most of us are doing everything we can to pay board and ride in a clinic every now and then. And it becomes very depressing to think a person cannot be taken seriously in this sport without access to a trust fund. After all, if we believe what we've been told by books and the old masters, then we must all concur that "any sound horse with three, correct, gaits is suitable for dressage" not just stay-at-home dressage but competitive dressage.
And so, I have been trawling online, not ruling out any breed or cross, looking for my next horse to be lurking in a field somewhere or being unloaded in some kind of "daughter has lost interest" fire-sale. I plan to travel to Rerun: the off-the-track Thoroughbred rescue in Virginia six hours from me. There are several lovely Thoroughbreds that, being off the track, will probably have a bit of "jewelry" in their radiographs, but I will see what I can find.
I hope you'll join me on this adventure! There's an awful lot of "National Velvet" dreamers out there and I'm one of them. Please follow along as I blog weekly in this year's "Remember to Smile" series about the search for a Cinderella horse.