Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Goals Redo

Despite never getting the formatting corrected on my last post about goals (I think I would have had to start from scratch and I haven't been motivated enough to do that) I have been making progress with my goal to reformat my goals. Mainly I think it's more of a conceptual thing but with goals that's the real struggle right?

What I realized, at work of all places, is that I already have the tools to structure goals for myself. After all I participate in coaching conversations with many employees on a regular basis and help them set goals. I just needed to start using my experience and not freaking out about how to structure these in a more standard way that doesn't work for my brain.

So I've decided to break these down into "buckets" and update at the beginning of each month. Thinking of these as buckets (or topics or whatever makes sense) just works better for me. There's more flexibility built into the idea of a list of "buckets" than there is in a more specific list or plan. Since it works for my brain I'm going with it and since it's the beginning of June so I figured this was a good time to start. 

1. Proper bend to the left - We've got it about 90% of the time to the right, not it's time to get it to the left

2. Stretchy Trot - This is so necessary for her brain and teaching her not to just run when we're stretching will help with everything else, plus it's an upcoming movement :)

3. Canter Transitions - Practice, practice, practice

4. Lateral Work - All of the sideways. After a recent break through at the Susanne Winslade clinic we've actually got this sometimes and I can feel when we have it. Now we just need to practice and get more consistent

5. Cavaletti Exercise - I'm currently on the struggle bus with teaching Katai to transition within gaits (trot right now) and she likes to take shuffly little steps and then just walk when I ask her to slow within the trot. I think part of it is strength but part of it is that she just isn't quite sure what I'm asking for. I tried out an exercise where I put three cavaletti on each side of a 20 meter circle with one side being closer together (shorter steps) and the other were further apart (longer steps). 

I didn't do one after the other since that would certainly have just blown her pony mind but I would do one a few times, take a walk break and then do the other. It was really rough but eventually she really started to understand and we quite on a good note. This isn't something I'm planning to work on regularly but it will be a good way to mix up our other rides.


  1. I am a big fan of the stretchy trot for shuffling ponies. I like to make a list of general goals like that too so that I know what I am working on when I get out there but I can add variety to the training and not just drill one or two things.

  2. Excellent goals! I just heard a helpful tip for stretchy trot, the judge said to just think of it more as lengthening the rein rather than "dumping" them. Ie she'll give a better mark if you were conservative and kept them shorter than if you loose all contact and pony is looking around at all the sights and or speeding up

    1. Really great tip T! It's times like these when I wish we had more mirrors in our arena so that I could get a stretchy trot visual :)