Goals for 2017
Increase Blogging Again
Buy a Trailer
Ride in Another Dressage Clinic
2nd Level Goals
Ok, so I'm going to keep the goal to increase blogging but that's about it. Honestly these just don't reflect much about what I want to improve this year and since I wasn't able to purchase a trailer a few of these are out.
I had good intentions with the 2nd level goals that were more about understanding and working towards the movements that make up a second level test than actually being able to successfully make it through a second level test in any sort of smooth, ridable sort of way. However, not really sure it's useful at this point at least not this way.
I've also become much better at making goals since my pony is actually rideable and can, you know, actually complete a good 20 meter trot and canter circle. I've spent some time outlining the things I actually feel like we need to work on and rather than keeping them in the background and limping through the rest of the year with these goals I figured it was time to clear the slate and start fresh.
Remainder of 2017 Goals
Build Katai's Strength:
This involves a few things including continuing to challenge Katai's balance with things like counter canter, walk/canter/walk transitions, trot poles, varying terrain, 10 meter canter circles
Another thing it includes is riding more and longer. I've discovered that I'm only really riding for about 15-(maybe)20ish minutes each time I ride! I had videoed a couple of rides and found that including my walk warmup, walk breaks, and cool down I was in the saddle for about 25-30 minutes typically which just isn't long enough at this point. It's not my physical stamina that makes me cut it that short, it's more mental but I need to figure this out so that I'm riding closer to 40 minutes for at least 1-2 of those rides each week. I've really gotten my consistency up and have been keeping it there but now it's time to increase the duration of my rides.
Speaking of varying terrain I'd REALLY like to make more opportunities to ride outside. Jane has one small hill on her property and if I ride down the road I can ride up and down the banks on each side in some places. At the very least it's a good mental break from the ring but hopefully it's just one more way to strengthen the pony.
As mentioned previously I'm planing at least two more shows this year. My main goals for these shows are to improve Katai's relaxation and rideability. I want to continue to be able to relax and have more fun, and I'm really hoping that she'll start to calm down more at the trailer and when I handwalk her around.
The smaller part of this goal is that I'd like to continue to practice my grooming and show prep including learning how to braid better and getting Katai more white and clean for the next show. This involves more desensitization to spray bottles and coat "products" for Katai so that she can let me do this especially when we arrive at the show grounds so that I don't just decide to throw up my hands and show with green spots on her legs.
|Such grubby legs for this show!|
"Fix" the Walk:
All I want is for Katai to relax in the walk. It's my fault that she's tense since she doesn't realize that walk is anything other than a way to get to trot. I just haven't practiced a medium or working walk enough so she's either on a loose rein or I'm just shortening the reins to trot.
More consistency with riding a medium walk and practicing other movements at the walk should be all we need here. Now I just need to do it (see also, riding more and longer above)
Honest Connection to the Outside Rein:
We're pretty much there with the left rein but not with the right. She's starting to get it at the trot but at the canter if I put any contact on the right rein she trots. Again, I just need to practice and actually do it. This is sort of also connected to my loose hip on the right which means my leg turns out from the hip so my knee points out which also contributes to her bulging out through that shoulder.
As mentioned I struggle with this but instead of practicing I just give up. I need to just practice, practice, practice. (see also, riding more and longer above)
Change it Up:
Originally part of what I loved about ponies was their accessibility and wanted/planned to do more different things. Without a trailer I'm certainly limited in what I can do beyond dressage right now but I have been spending more time riding outside and want more practice riding down the road.