To accomplish the big goals I need to lay out smaller items to fix, improve and correct. The following are my goals for the rest of February.
1. Lots of Miles – Both of us need time together mostly riding. She is weak, I’m still weak and I’m getting used to her movement and figuring out the communication between us. My goal is to ride her 4 times per week through the end of February.
2. Strength – I need to specifically address her weaknesses which will require more than just time in the saddle. For the rest of February my goal is to do carrot stretches before and after each ride and to introduce more cavaletti work.
3. Communication – Katai is doing really well and figuring out some of the more refined cues at this point, at least refined for a green horse :P, but I need to do more to introduce lateral movements since everything is built on that. My goal is to introduce some lateral work to every ride as well as doing some work on the ground to help her figure this out and figure out how to move laterally without a rider on the days that I don’t ride.
4. Trail Riding – I would LOVE to have nice enough weather to get her out of the arena occasionally in February. If we have reasonable weather my goal is to get her out at least once a week for a quick ride down the road.
During my ride on Sunday I really felt like I’m starting to trust her. She still has spurts of naughty behavior but I know exactly how far they will go at this point and I’m comfortable with how to correct her and move on. I feel like we are starting to become a team and that she is becoming a riding horse rather than just a baby/green horse. I think the main difference for me is knowing that I can do what I need to when I need to rather than needing to change my routine or actions to accommodate a green baby horse and it is a wonderful feeling.