I started making this dress a few years ago. I picked out the fabrics specifically because the colors would go so well with Cody's beautiful red dun coat. And I was going to get pictures riding Cody in it when it was done!
I had a few pictures taken on Cody in it a couple years ago, but it was still very much a work in progress at the time. It was wearable, that was about it. The bodice didn't come out right and needed to be remade, sleeves weren't done yet, beadwork was only half done, still needed to make the partlet and the caul for my hair. So we had work in progress pictures, but I wanted pictures on Cody with the finished product.
And finally this summer, just in time for the festival season, I sewed on the last of the beadwork, tied on the bejeweled sleeves, put everything together, and after literally hours upon hours of sewing and hand beading, declared my first court gown officially complete!
And I can no longer ride my Cody girl........
Cody's knee never completely fused after her surgery like it should have. She's pasture sound, but not rideable sound. At least not yet...... After going back to see the surgeon and find out our options, I think we're going to try the surgery again. Dr. Caron has never had one of these fail before, unfortunately Cody had to be the first. But she is in great health and of sound body, the rest of her joints are fine, if we can just get the rest of that knee joint to fuse, she should be sound enough to ride again. As soon as finances allow, we'll try the surgery again (thankfully at a reduced cost). Probably end of this month, or first of next month.
So here I am with my dress finally done, and I can't ride my girl. Yes, I have sweet Lady (and I did get some pictures riding her in the dress as well and will post some when I get them from the photographer), but this dress was made for Cody.
I finally decided I was getting on my girl, even if only for a few minutes, and even if all we did was just stand there. I wasn't sure how it would go, she hasn't had anyone or even a saddle on her back in a year and a half since she first got hurt. And here I am climbing on her back in 10+ yards and several pounds of court gown. Maybe that was wrong of me, but she showed no signs of concern as I carefully climbed on her back off the mounting block. She honestly could have cared less.
She even willingly walked off on her own without my asking and was happy to walk around, even if just slow and easy. And she hasn't forgotten a thing. She collected up so nice and light in the bridle. Even did some leg yield and side passing, remembered how to turn on the haunches and forehand with light aids. She was an absolute angel. I nearly cried. Heck, I am crying right now. I miss riding her so much!
Thank you Cody girl! It might have only been a 15 minute ride, but it was worth every second of it! You have no idea how much you made my day!
And how much I love that beautifully expressive face of yours. A noble steed indeed, befitting of the Duchess stature of that dress.
And if all goes well, we'll do this again in the spring....in more appropriate riding gear, out on the trails, with Lady as the pony and you as my mount. I hope and pray.
Yes, you can have some grass now! You deserve it beautiful!
All photos (c) New Age Duchess Designs