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Dressage: It’s All About The Journey

Blogger Pam Stone continues her search for a new "Cinderella Project."

My horse searching journey continues with a few fits and starts…a failed vetting here, too high a price there…I still believe with my whole heart that there remain ‘Cinderella Projects’ available, but one has to turn over a lot of rocks, particularly in the mid-west, with Wellington a distant sight in the rear view window…Prices plummet when you’re nowhere near I-95!

 And let’s be honest, I am looking for the Unicorn trifecta on a beer budget: sound, sane, uphill. There have been some interesting prospects indeed outside of dressage barns—consider looking in Hunter/Jumper barns, Event barns, even Rescue barns…you just never know. You’ll probably bump into me as you search.

 In the meantime, I’m chuffed to see my students all doing so well on their own Cinderella projects. None of these horses broke the bank and are examples that any sound horse with three correct gaits can improve its way of going as well as be competitive.

 Stephanie successfully breeds and trains her own horses for the Arabian circuit, but has only been in dressage training for a few months. What a super combination she and Cyn make!

Donna, who has spent a lifetime riding and giving back to the Pony Club community, despite recent back surgery, gets the job done on the not-always-easy Mikey!

And Susan, who spent a windy and wild lesson having to deal with a target- shooting neighbor of mine (profuse apologies!), is learning to ride her OTTB, Shine, through her comfort zone to get him ahead of the leg and over his back into a stretching connection—not easy to do between spooks!

They may not be Olympic mounts, but they are, and have been, both competitive and enjoyable horses. In my own experience a price tag doesn’t have much to do with that ‘Cloud 9′ feeling I get after a great ride. While I’ve been privileged to own, ride and show some lovely warmbloods in my life, the deep satisfaction of training that first flying change, or moment of self carriage, is as enjoyable on an Andalusian as it is on an Appendix as it is on an Arab. At the end of the day it’s all about the journey. Between our horses’ ears.

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