Sunday, July 8, 2012

Be Still My Heart! Dee as...Babysitter?

Yesterday, I watched a 10-year-old girl ride Dee.  No kidding.  MY Dee!  The mare I once nicknamed “Stinky Dee,” due to her hotness and attitudinal issues.

Trainer Ashley Haffey trots Dee
Honest to God, I thought I was going to start crying, watching Dee walking oh-so-carefully with a little girl on her back – a little redheaded girl, by the way, which I used to be, myself.

When I arrived at Lane Cove Dressage, where Dee is in training, I was late, hauling my hoof rasp and farrier chaps, a huge pail of horse vitamins and a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff.   Dee was already working under saddle with Ashley Haffey, the Greene, NY, trainer who has brought this mare so wonderfully to her current level of training.  After Ashley walked, trotted and cantered Dee, she got off and fetched the little girl (I didn't talk to the girl's grown-up about using her name, so I'll just call her "the girl.").

Ashley gave the girl a longe line lesson on Dee, then let the girl ride Dee by herself.  The girl steered her slowly at a walk around cones in a 20 meter circle.  It was just amazing to me to watch Dee as she started to realize that she had a little, inexperienced packaged on her back, and, as green as Dee herself is, she started walking so carefully, listening hard to the little girl, and watching Ashley as well.   To be honest, I was afraid Dee would just steamroll off down the arena with the 50-pound kid clinging on helplessly, but she did the opposite.  She slowed down to a crawl, responding correctly when the girl gave the correct aids for walk, halt and reverse.

Dee canters with Ashley
I didn’t get any shots of the little girl’s ride, but it was about the prettiest thing I have ever seen in my life.

Hats off to Ashley Haffey.  Bring her your ponies, people.  She will work miracles!  And don’t miss the Fred Kappler Clinic she is hosting on August 4th and 5th.  I rode with Fred last time he was at Lane Cove Dressage, and it was worth the trip!

August 4-5: Fred Kappler Dressage Clinic, Greene, NY: Lane Cove Dressage will be hosting Fred Kappler for his "Basics & Beyond" clinic on August 4th and 5th. Fred is a very supportive and understanding instructor that works with riders from various riding levels and disciplines. Riding & ground driving/long reining sessions are currently available from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday & Sunday. On Saturday we will host a potluck dinner with Fred at 6 p.m. after rides are finished. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Please contact Ashley Haffey if you are interested in riding. Rides are $135 for a 45-60 minute session. A non-refundable full deposit of $135 is due by July 15th to secure each ride. Stalls are available for $10 per horse. Please contact our farm for a registration form.
Auditors fees are $15 per day or two days for $25. Contact Lane Cove Dressage Lane Cove Dressage; 470 Cummings Rd. Greene, NY 13778; (607) 743-1309;;

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