dressage barns, dressage competition, dressage queens, snow cones, Upper level dressage

Our Barn is so Cool

Every barn has a personality of its own. Some are competitive. Some are casual. Some are completely insane.

I somehow lucked into a barn that is just right, offering a positive attitude and complete acceptance of where you are or are not on the ‘competitive continuum.’

That means that whether or not you show isn’t important and, if you do show, the level at which you show is just right: whether you’re just starting out or competing at an upper level.

I admit to having Upper Level Envy, a documented medical condition wherein you really, really want to do passage, tempi changes, and other awesome moves — but in this barn I don’t feel looked down upon by those with greater ability. If they roll their eyes as I careen around the arena, they do so discreetly. I try not to get in their way.

One of my favorite barn personalities is Knox. He just turned two.


His mom, Jessie, does an incredible job of balancing motherhood, roller derby, and a love of horses, while dressing herself and Knox quite stylishly (note the hat).  Both of her horses accept it as perfectly normal to walk nicely in hand, following a baby stroller.


Thanks to Knox and Jessie, the horses at our barn are used to toy airplanes, helicopters, and sippy cups being offered to them as Knox watches his mom’s lessons. This is a great thing. Should I ever come across a baby stroller on a trail ride, I am safe!

Jessie also uses the stroller to transport saddle pads, lukewarm coffee, and other barn essentials. Moms have to be innovative.

Todd, the farrier, created a sensation this week, showing up with a snow cone machine in his rig. I thought I was seeing things, but no, Todd has his own snow cone machine for hot weather. He generously asked boarders to help themselves.

Here’s a photo of Knox enjoying a snow cone, ringside. Natalie was giving a lesson at the same time, snow cone in hand. Everyone acted like this was normal. And, happily for this barn, it is.


I’m so happy here.