Like many people, I have traditionally heard the term Dressage Queen used in a generally negative manner. When I think of those words, I often picture all the stereotypes that are depicted about dressage riders - stern, tight-lipped, maybe just a little overbearing. If you go by what you hear, aspiring to be a dressage queen is often a frowned-upon goal.
But something happened that completely flipped around the meaning of the phrase for me.
The other day, I had one of those rides we all dream of. Cyrus was energetic, confident and bold, bouncy-bouncy and just full of life. He was sharp and had a spring in his step as if he was going for gold (in his own mind). He felt so upbeat that he carried me right along with him, lifting my spirits and putting me on that pedestal that only a horse can do.
Here is my attempt to capture the feel of the moment.
Soft, harrowed footing draws sweet patterns ahead
inviting the thumpety thump of my horse's rhythmic footfalls,
making a hoof print trail in the untouched sand.
gentle, warm breeze and
a wonderfully huge, open space
calling to us,
urging us to move, move, move!
Almost soundless footfalls
traversing over space and time
pushing, lifting, carrying two as one.
making circles, lines, loops and turns,
bends and laterals, straights and engagement
taking us from flat to round to uphill-like-an-airplane balance.
Heartfelt snort from my horse,
steady breaths on my part,
moving to stay still but covering ground in literal leaps and bounds.
Lofty almost floating yet
welcomed back to the earth with soft cushioned landings
step by step, stride by stride,
until we're both spent and needing to walk.
For a break.
Is this what being a queen feels like?
Not just a dressage queen -
but a Queen
on top of the world
(on top of my black beauty)
savoring every fantastical moment,
enveloped by all that surrounds us in sound, sight, feel and movement
and welcoming it all
Into my being.
Maybe this is what being a queen really feels like.
Have you ever had one of these rides? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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If you liked this poem, you might also like:
A Recipe for Living: If life were a recipe, what would it look like?
Because of Horses: What has changed in your life because of horses?
Living in Flying Changes: I wrote this short poem after a wonderfully exhilarating night ride.
Caught: A short piece of horsey fiction.
Moment of Beauty: Caught in the moment and recognizing it.