But it turns out that having to step up and work with Dawn was one of the most important things that's happened in my horsemanship in years. She's taught me as much about softness and relaxation and using thoughts to direct and cue, as any horse could - she's my teacher, one of my best. She says I still have a lot to learn, but that at least I'm trying! She's quick to validate when I'm riding more correctly - she rewards the try.
So, in honor of a very special mare, here are a few of my favorite photos of her.
Napping and very sleepy:
The "look of eagles":
In her winter coat, with the lovely black velvet nose:
Happy birthday, Dawn!