Thursday 14 January 2016

Hello World, About Me

My name is Sarah (I actually have a different legal name, but thanks to my immigrant parents, no one in North America can really spell or pronounce it, so I go by Sarah for simplification). I am in my late 20s, I live in rural southern Alberta, Canada, and I ride dressage. I have ridden up to second level dressage but I’m currently back working at training level with a new horse.

Alberta is a fascinating place for equestrian interests. We have world class facilities and competitions for almost every type of equine event, from show-jumping, to polo, to rodeo, to dressage, to western pleasure. However, Alberta is a large area and different types of riding have their own pockets of influence. I was first introduced to dressage when I lived further North for school, but where I live now is most assuredly not in a dressage pocket. In 100km radius of where I ride, I only know of two other riders who focus on dressage, and neither is at my barn. I used to haul out to get weekly lessons from one of them, a lady with a great eye called KD, but she decided a few months ago that the meager income from teaching me and a couple beginner riders wasn’t worth losing her amateur status, and so she decided to stop teaching. I fully understand and respect her decision, and we remain friends and show travel buddies, but it means I’m now on my own for training.

Besides dressage, I also enjoy trail riding, volunteering, travelling, dragonboating, and relaxing at home with the SO and our two cats. I pay the bills with my engineering job, which is a pretty standard 9-5 thing (though actually 7-4). I regularly overuse parentheses (sorry).

In the last year I’ve started following several blogs. I love hearing about new training exercises and also learning about how horse-keeping varies across the continent and even the world. I decided to add my voice to the conversation as I continue working towards learning dressage, autonomously. 

Autonomous: au’ton’o’mous (adjective) self-sufficient – existing, reacting, or developing as an independent, self-regulating organism
(note: for this definition, I count the combination of me and my horse to be the single organism)
Dressage: dres’sage (noun) the training of a horse to carry out a series of precise controlled movements in response to minimal signals from its rider

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