Thursday, March 6, 2014

End of February Analysis


February Goals

1. Lots of Miles –My goal is to ride her 4 times per week through the end of February.

- I didn’t ride 4 times per week but I continued to do more riding and longer rides. Overall I’m pleased with our progress especially with the extreme cold which was the main thing that derailed all goals.


2. Strength –For the rest of February my goal is to do carrot stretches before and after each ride and to introduce more cavaletti work.

                - Total fail


3. Communication –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.

- I did more to introduce lateral work from the ground and also tried to attempt to work on it from the saddle but pony is sensitive and sensitive pony got flustered easily. I recently switched to asking her to move over slightly while moving forward vs. with her head to the wall and she took that better. Baby steps!


4. Trail Riding –If we have reasonable weather my goal is to get her out at least once a week for a quick ride down the road.

- We didn’t have reasonable weather and with the ice storm spending any time on the road was a recipe for disaster so this goal was caned entirely.


                March Goals

1. Move to new facility (me and Katai) – I am so ready to move and get going with our new life of lessons and progress! I am, however, very thankful to have the rest of March to work on improvement before moving.

- This goal will be a success if I get everything ready to move into our new smaller, locker arrangement and pare down my shtuff and if Katai is her normal reasonable (if still green) self for loading, trailering, and handling in a new place.

2. Continue to take lessons  (me) – I will be taking weekly lessons on the lessons horses available until I move Katai. At that point because of budgetary things I will need to reduce that to two lessons per month until around August so I want to take advantage of regular lessons this month.

- This goal will be a success if I work to improve myself, bring the new improved me to riding Katai , and soak in everything I can while riding the well trained lesson horse(s).

3. Work on consistency (Katai) – This is a huge one! I have the rest of the month to work with Katai and based on this move I have changed some of my goals. I was trying to work on contact and lateral stuff because I didn’t think I’d have anyone to help me in the near future so I wanted to start mixing it in to my work with her. Now with this opportunity I am going to focus on just getting consistency at the walk, trot, and canter in both directions.

- This goal will be a success if I can improve Katai’s consistency and bring it with to the new barn for lessons.

4. Strength (me and Katai)– Riding Katai is extremely easy on me because she doesn’t have huge movement and I, of course, haven’t been riding as correctly as I should be because I’m focused more on her. Between position changes and just general laziness in the past I’ve been quite sore after the two lessons I had this past weekend. Katai is also not strong, because hey she’s a green baby horse, but between the two of us we need to use March to get stronger so that we can survive lessons in a healthy way.

- This goal will be a success if I can start to see more muscle on Katai and get her top line filled in just a bit more before the move and if I can make it through the day after a lesson without feeling like I would like to die from sore muscles.

5. Desensitization (or whatever you’d like to call it) (Katai)– Katai is going to have fairly different things expected of her at the new place. They have crossties, which I’ve only had her in a few times, and their grooming/tacking up area is fairly small, heated, and closed in with “bunkers” right next to each other. There is generally much more activity since at the current barn I ride and groom by myself 90% of the time. I’m going to expect her (eventually, not right away of course) to be a well behaved lady for baths since they have warm and cold water right in the grooming area and she will need to be around horses being clipped and blow dried even if she doesn’t need to be. The horse care expected at this place is much more what I’ve wanted but since I’ve been around people who mostly trail ride and don’t do things like blow dry their sweaty horse I haven’t either. Now it will be an expectation.

- This goal will be a success if we don’t embarrass ourselves immediately upon arrival and if, within a reasonable amount of time, Katai is manageable for the things expected.


I know it’s a lot but I do think it is manageable and I’ll feel better if I’m at least working on the things above. The instructor at the new barn has worked with green horses in the past but this is MY green horse and I want her to be as prepared as she can be. I am nervous about things like how she will handle crossties, or how she will deal with the horse right next to her having a bath when she just hasn’t been exposed to stuff like that. This is certainly an opportunity to get her exposed to those things but it is my responsibility to make sure that no one has a melt down or gets hurt in the process and I take that VERY seriously.

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