At the bottom is my 2015 in review— since this blog is only 3 months old, there isn’t much to it, but it’s there if you’re interested! This post will mainly be about my goals for C, myself, and my riding. I decided to take a page from Megan at A Enter Spooking’s book and do quarterly goals. Because C is so young, I expect we’ll run into snafus, or even exceed expectations, so I’ll review this again in early April and adjust as necessary!
Goals for C, late Winter/early Spring 2016
- Grow up and into those legs. This will improve coordination and his ability to do the things we’ve been struggling with such as leads, better transitions, etc. After that judge’s comments (“Lovely prospect, just a little gangly/uncoordinated right now”) I’m excited for this to happen.
- Build more booty muscle. It’ll make it easier for him to pick up and hold the canter, as well as make jumping a bit easier/smoother.
- Nail down longe commands. This is on me, too. Right now his longe manners leave something to be desired.
- Small collections/adjustability. Something that’ll really come in handy when we jump, since right now he gets excited and flat, and sorta rushes/drags me after the jump.
- Tolerate braiding. Seriously dude. Stop head bobbing.
Goals for M, late Winter/early Spring 2016
- More effort/thought into exercises. Keeping flatwork fresh and interesting is a bit of a trial, and sometimes I should just go in and set up a few pole exercises for us to go through.
- Listen to more podcasts/riding theory, purchase a couple books. These resources are so invaluable and I need to take better advantage of them!
- Pilates! I have a membership in my hometown for a wonderful fitness center that offers classes. I want to strengthen my core on and off C
- Audit a clinic or two. I’m kind of curious if the clinic I participated in was an anomaly or if that teaching style is the ‘norm’ for many clinicians– basically, if I need to grow thicker skin or if that teaching style didn’t suit me. Plus, education!
- Get more social. Right now most of my friends are barn friends. Nothing wrong with that, but I could do with more of them!
- Practice braiding. I can do tails ez pz, but my button braids are mediocre on a good day.
- Find a way to combine something I love with something that pays the bills. Lord help me.
Goals for riding, late Winter/early Spring 2016
- Develop a more independent seat. Bareback work, no stirrups dressage, build up that core!
- Get on a lot of different horses, if possible. I’d like to develop my riding skills and make myself more adjustable, to fit the ride rather than trying to make the ride fit me.
- More dressage! And I’m talking valuable dressage that will help C get rounder, improve his topline, and make him a more supple, responsive horse. I’d also like to work on baby leg yields to work on leg aids with him, and find a specific way to ask for canter that doesn’t confuse him.
- School Intro when the season begins. To work on how he sees XC, and better channel his energy out there. Right now his misbehavior means a lot of circling, saving the reward (the jump) for when he’s actively listening.
Goals for the year, 2016:
- Compete at one H/J Show at 2′. Because I hate crossrails and so does C (Okay, not really. It’s just me. I really hate crossrails despite how great they are for learning and schooling. Don’t judge me).
- Compete at one USEF Dressage show at BN. Because after writing Falling In & Falling Short after our last dressage show, I’m determined to redeem us!
- Compete in one event at Intro. For the experience! Plus we’ll nail the W/T dressage test.
- All pink, everything. Self explanatory, and I’m well on my way 😉
2015 In Review
October, 2015: I bought C on October 6th, the day before my birthday! After a period of “I-can’t-believe-this-is-real”, we had a wonderful little jumping lesson and started preparing for our first ‘show’, a little local derby. I wrote my first ‘theory’ post about expectations in baby horsedom, which I think I’ll be turning into a series this year! We had an excellent dressage test and a wonderful jumping round and came in 3rd at our first show!
November, 2015: We had our first brush with saddle fitting issues (and unfortunately, not the last) and I realized my horse is supremely passive-aggressive. I did my first bloghop (haikus for Zen and the Art of Baby Horse Management) wrote about dressage struggles and fear of the upcoming local dressage show at BN. Just in time for December, I compiled a post of my horse’s grossest facial expressions for your enjoyment.
December, 2015: I kicked off the month with another theory post on communication with our equine partners, cried a lot after a tough clinic, and fretted about how well my future and C’s align. I opened the best Secret Santa gifts from the Graduated Equestrian (successfully further pink-ifying C’s life). I also wrote a post that started a super interesting discussion about stadium jumping in a deep or forward seat. On New Year’s C popped out with some mystery hives and we may have found a saddle that fits– plus some analytical stuff about his little misbehaviors!!
In January, I’m hoping to keep the blog updated as regularly as possible, and start a number of new discussions that all riders can benefit from. Happy New Year’s to all from M&C at Canter & Candor!