The grass is as high as an elephant’s eye…no that’s corn. Today the sun is shining and the grass grows at lightning speed. It’s a good day, because the electric gate got repaired and Encore! and Daubry can enjoy the taste of fresh grass again.
The dressage arena is coming along and upon release from her corral Encore! ran down the property and danced on the rough surface of the evolving dance floor; Surely it’s a sign. I can hardly wait for the rain to stop falling and the sun to pour warm rays all over the ground. It’s time to dance.
However, until that time when California beach weather returns, Encore! and Daubry will celebrate the restored gate and play together in the rain on a carpet of long-overdue green grass.
Meanwhile, I take long walks at the mission and the beach. I pull myself through yoga poses. Watching Encore! jump and spin, I take stock of my ability to ride the wild. My only hope of enjoying the dance is to get in shape; more fit than I’ve ever been. Swimming, stretching, walking and jumping rope are my new joy. At first, I thought the workouts were torture, but soon realized, if I thought it torture, I would quit. Instead, I think of workouts as a kind of massage and have fooled myself into thinking I’m having fun!
I love riding Encore! and owe her the favor of sitting strong.
The river continues to flow through to the ocean. At the ocean’s edge rip tides surge and twist as the river kisses the lips of rough ocean waves.
The sand is packed from the raining sky, overcast discourages everything.
A driftwood tree pokes out through the packed sand. The sea wraps around the branches, burying her wave by wave.
At the exit a bright white Egret tiptoes across the shadowy wetland.
You should have been there.
The sky opens between dark clouds and the sea cuts deep rivers into the wetlands.
A complete reversal from the day prior when ducks floated on wide bands of quiet ponds stretched over reddish brown sea grasses that ruffle in the wind.
The sea is an unpredictable companion for the sand that rolls around under the ocean’s bullying or caresses; depending on the weather.
I am always full of excitement to witness primal art exhibitions at Ocean Park Beach.
I love to bend down and collect the treasures the sea throws onto the sand. Last week I filled my shawl with small conches rolled up to rest on the hard sand at low tide.
The constant wind etches into the sand and creates ribbons of wavelike patterns.
The roar of the sea muffles the sound of seagulls. The pelicans are stoic and the snowy plovers comical.
I hurry to snap one more picture before the rain starts.
Just when I thought I could have four days of sunshine to ride Encore! the rain came again and sent me back inside. Encore! and her stable mate Daubry were resigned to the damp, cold weather and simply looked forward to chewing hay. I on the other hand decided it was a good time to think about my dressage letters for the new dressage arena.
My friend Mary challenged me with her expectation for me to create something artistic; something original. I hadn’t even considered the option of making my own letters. I thought about what might work and express my art passion at the same time. Light broke through the creative fog and I knew exactly what I had to do; go to my favorite wetlands and gather smaller pieces of driftwood to form each letter. I could create sculpture to identify each place where a dressage figure would begin and end. My excitement grew as I thought about creating a space with art for training Encore! to dance; art inspiring art.
Making dressage fun is my number one goal for me and for Encore! Now I have a whole new perspective on making the space where we play as much fun as the dance that we do. Thanks Mary!
Today the rain gave way to sunshine and I took Encore! out with a lunge line snapped onto her bit, looped over her headstall and laced through the bit on the other side. We walked past our dressage arena in progress and enjoyed a light hearted lunge on our smaller square flat. Yes a long cherished dream of a home base dressage arena is becoming a reality. My dear neighbor Jon got a new tractor and wanted to practice. His wife Pam suggested he make a dressage arena for Encore! and me; a miracle to be sure.
Jon is having fun moving the soil and Encore! looks over the fence in anticipation of leaping around on her new dance floor. Yes Encore! leaps like no horse I’ve ever seen for the simple joy of jumping about. She was born to run, but it turns out it’s her time to dance. I’m over the moon with excitement and a renewed commitment to take her up the levels of dressage. She’s a show girl for sure and we’ll have fun learning to tango!
Horses that learn to tap dance are rare, but so are elephants that learn to roller skate. Nothing is impossible!