Failing Toward Success


I was standing in the Show Office at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and the show secretary was looking for my Intermediare 1 Adult Amateur division test results. There was a glass jar with with sweets and wrapped chocolates. I picked out a chocolate and had just popped it into my mouth when the secretary  handed me my test sheet and …… a blue ribbon. FIRST PLACE!!  I nearly choked on the chocolate , coughing and spluttering.  “Are you ok?” the show secretary asked. “Yes,” I croaked. “I’m just so surprised to have placed first!”

C.S. Lewis once said “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.”  This past weekend I rode the Inter 1 test on two days.  The first day’s test was a mix of good–not good–good–not good.  So on the second day I knew where I was going to have to…

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Monday Minstrel: Signs! Signs! Everywhere Signs!


“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” 

Does anyone else remember the ‘Five Man Electrical Band’ song from back in the day? Well, there were a number of signs at the Winter Equestrian Festival, held in the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, that brought that song to mind. But they were all there for a purpose, not to block out the scenery, or “break” my mind.  Here they are…


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Perspective and Redemption.



Biasini and I rode our first Intermediare 1 test. It was not as I had imagined it. But more of that later.


I woke up and thought:  “Oh my….I’ve got to go out there and do it all again.”   It felt like I had a mountain to climb. Then I remembered.

Two days before the show we heard that a friend of my husband’s was back in hospital. He had spent four months in hospital and we had been happy to hear, a couple of weeks ago, that he was able to go home. But it did not last. Now he was back in hospital. They cannot get him stabilized.

I said to myself: “I am so lucky. I am healthy, well, able to get up in the Florida sunshine and ride.”  I said a prayer for our friend and sprang out of bed!


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Robyn Andrews: Para Equestrian Competing for the Worlds.


Robyn Andrews, para equestrian and paralympian ,is the second of my interviews of Canadian dressage riders competing this winter in Wellington Florida with the goal of representing Canada in the World Equestrian Games (WEG) this September. I am asking each of the riders the same set of questions.


Here are Robyn’s answers to my questions.

When did  you start to ride?  I started to ride for therapy when I was 18 years old. My Physiotherapist thought that it might help with my balance and coordination. I would ride once a month. I had never ridden in my life so it was very difficult for me . I had a leader and two side walkers for 5 years.
When did you decide you could be a para-equestrian and not just a therapy rider?Therapists said I had that competitive drive and asked would I ever consider competing. Then the then coach…

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Monday Minstrel: Humor from the Far Side




A little of Gary Larsen’s humor from the Far Side to brighten your Monday!

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Monday Minstrel: Flying Horse!


I would like to introduce you to the FLYING horse. Not a ‘Pegasus’ Dear Readers!   A flying dressage horse.   Let’s start with examining the canter. In dressage we want a clear three beat canter. In some other disciplines they do not want the horse to be airborne and are happy with a four beat canter. But in dressage it must be three beat. The fourth beat is silent because the horse is in the air. It is in that airborne moment that the horse can change leads. The lead is either the right or the left depending on which of the horse’s front legs are “leading” in the canter. When the horse is in the air that is the moment it can change leads.  It is called a flying change and in dressage we want lots of flying in that change. The rider asks for the flying change one stride…

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Feeling like a Pretzel!


My Florida coach Luis Reteguiz Denizard ( Lou to his friends!) has had me working on a canter exercise and let me be candid, it has me feeling like a pretzel. So let me explain it to you.

  1. TRUE CANTER AND COUNTER CANTER.  For those of you who are not riders “true” canter is when the leading leg is the inside leg of what ever circle you are on. So if you are going to the left then the left leg, the inside leg, is the leading leg. You are riding on the “left” lead.  “Counter” canter is when you are going to the left and you ask the horse to canter with the outside, the right leg leading. This requires balance on the part of the horse and the  rider must have the ability to keep the horse in that balance.

RENVERS  This is when the horse is…

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From Growth to Gold Medal!


In the spring of 2012 Charlotte Dujardin, and her horse Valegro, came to Florida to compete in the Dressage Masters at the Jim Brandon Center.  Some of us had heard of her but she was not well  known outside of her native England. From what we saw  we were impressed and we knew she would be a contender. But we did not know how exponential that  growth would be.

Charlotte and Valegro warm up for the GP

London Olympics, August,  2012. I was lucky enough to be there with 22,000 other people to see this.


Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro were on the Gold Medal team for Great Britain. And…..they also won the individual gold medal. Here they are before the world’s press, in the center , the Gold Medal  winners.


To see the other responses to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge “growth” click here:

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Favourite Photos–2017


The WordPress Challenge this week is to show our most meaningful photo or photos from 2017. So here are mine:

The first is from London in June and the rehearsal of the Trooping of the Colour.  I love this photo of the mounted band heading up the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.  I have this photo as my screen saver on my pc and every time I look at it I marvel at the stunning whiteness of the Drum horse’s white feathers.


Next is a detail photo of the braiding of the Percheron horses competing in the six horse hitch at the Royal Horse Show in November.


Finally  a photo that may be my absolute favourite, taken with my phone during the summer. One day my daughter and grandson came to visit and I snapped this photo of  them with my horse Biasini. My grandson is delighted with the…

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