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Dax Cantering


My barn family is the best barn family out there. I might be a little bit biased, but ever since Miles got put on the disabled list, I’ve had numerous boarders offer up their horses for me to ride. So while it’s sucked not being able to ride my own horse, I’ve been having a blast test driving some new-to-me horses. Last week I introduced Coal, whose claim to fame is being the best OTTB trail horse on the planet. This week you get to meet Dax!

Dax through the Window
Hello, handsome!

I’ve known Dax, a teenage warmblood, for a really long time — his former owner is one of my good friends, and we actually showed 4-H together (on different horses) way back when. About a year ago, Dax sold within the barn to another good friend of mine. These two are perfect for each other because Dax is a steady eddy type of guy that can do it all. From hunter paces to combined training to jumpers, he’s game for just about anything. So when Dax’s mom offered him up for me to ride, I enthusiastically said yes!

Dax is too big for the frame
Love this sweet boy!

The only catch was following his strict recovery routine. Dax suffered a suspensory injury that he’s still coming back from, so following his prescribed 15 minutes of walk, 15 minutes of trot and 5 minutes of canter was very important. Luckily, Dax’s mom trusted me to follow his instructions to a “T”, which is easy enough. I mean, you can really got a lot done in 30 minutes of walk/trot, plus 5 minutes of cantering. So I rode the Daxasaurus (his nickname because, obvi, he’s HUGE) twice this weekend, for exactly 35 minutes. I had a ton of fun both days, focusing on some of the same things I work on with Miles, like stretching up through my core and looking ahead, plus getting to play with Dax’s more advanced buttons.

Dax trotting
Flatwork is more fun when you’re dressed for jumping.

Even though he’s huge, Dax is really athletic and flexible. He has a super great dressage foundation, so while there are a bunch of buttons Dax has that I don’t know how to use, he has a few that I can push. To start off we worked on the basics: bending, maintaining the connection and a consistent rhythm. Once I remembered how Dax felt (comfy. omg so comfy), I was able to do a bit more, focusing on myself by stretching up through my core and looking ahead — way ahead. I even played around with stretching, because Dax has a wonderful free walk. It’s really easy to get him to stretch way down and swing his hips in the walk and it’s a really cool feeling to ride.

Dax Cantering

Plus, Dax is very in-tune with your seat. You can turn and adjust speed all by using your thighs and seat. This is something I’m working with Miles on, but sometimes it’s hard to know if I’m asking correctly because it’s a difficult concept for him. So I practiced with Dax and it was loads of fun (also, a great confidence booster to know I have SOME idea of what I’m asking for, hah). We finished each ride with a hack outside the ring, which is Dax’s favorite. He loves to go out on the trails, so I knew he’d enjoy some time plodding around the grass.

Thanks for the ride, Dax

All in all, I cannot thank the generosity of my barn family enough for allowing me the chance to ride so many fantastic horses! It’s been a really big confidence boost to remember that I can ride different types of horses… at least on the flat. So thanks Dax and Dax’s mom for two really amazing rides <3


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

20 thoughts to “Daxasaurus”

  1. He is cute! Sometimes I like it when owners give very exact instructions on how to ride their horses. Takes all the guess work out and I feel like I’m helping some.

  2. Sounds like you and Dax’s owner helped each other out! I really miss having a barn family now that I keep my horses at home. Yours definitely sounds like a great supportive group!
    I refer to Jamp as The Jamposaur all the time! But for him it’s mostly because he does this face at dinner time that reminds me of the T-rex in the original Jurassic Park movie.

  3. Aw he’s so cute! Glad you’re having a good time riding, I’m sure it’s been great to get on different horses, even with Miles out of commission for a bit. 🙂

  4. What a cutie! I love riding different horses. Makes me thankful for certain things I love about Knight and also gives me confidence in areas he’s not as educated on. Like role modeling. Also, I wanted to comment on your post regarding the tack box. I really enjoyed that one. I think the mentality of Midwestern parents is perhaps the same. My mother was so excited to get my horse stuff out of her house also when I got married and was finally settled. And all my boxes of books. And miscellaneous items. At my barn in CA, we don’t really have tack rooms and a number of folks have boxes like yours positioned right outside their pipe corral. So if you ever move west, you’ll be all set….Congrats again on your home!

    1. Seriously, I don’t think you all realize the sheer volume of stuff tucked away at the parental homesteads. And I have been very patient and prioritized what goes to the new home -most useful first. But there is a large empty basement now crying out to be filled up! Love you Tracy!

  5. What a cutie!! And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, how wonderful that you have such a great group of people that you ride with. That’s rare and it’s fantastic 🙂

  6. That’s so kind of your barn family! It truly means the world when friends lend there horses. Hope Mr M is recovering according to plan.

  7. Glad you have a nice guy like him to have some fun with! I love getting on a different horse once in a while, especially ones that I’ve seen go many times but haven’t tried myself. Sometimes they feel totally different from what you’d expect!

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