Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Brutal Cold

I'm at a weird place right now both in my personal life and riding. It's been around -20 to -30 with windchill most days last week and now again this week. It actually warmed up a little this weekend so I made it out briefly but after about 15 minutes my fingers were so frozen that I couldn't bend them  and they hurt really bad. I know I need better winter gear but right now it's just not in the budget. Hopefully in the next month or so I can save up for some better liners and gloves but for now its just not worth it to ride and spend time at the barn when it's that cold.

In other news I, for the first time since I remember, have no direction. I'm at a crossroads right now and my decision will clearly define my future in a way that's putting a lot of pressure on me to make the "right" decision even though I'm not sure that there is any such thing. Unfortunately that is causing me to not quite know where I'm headed with Katai either and since she's such an important part of my life it's been rough.

If I move I'll be moving her with me but then I have some decisions to make about barns, trailer options, instructors etc and I feel like I'm on hold until I know. Problem is that I can't decide if I want to move or not. This is the right time in my life and it's not that I'm scared but there are some really compelling reasons to stay as well.

Blech, I just don't know what to do and that's not me.

I'm going to try to make some decision by the end of the week but it'll be tough.

Luckily we're supposed to have a big warm up by the end of the week. We're supposed to get temperatures up into the upper 30s which will be more than amazing. I know I'll feel better once I get some time with my pony.

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 Goals - Here We Go!

Some of these goals or ideas have been floating around in my head for so long that it feels amazing to finally be sharing them. Last year I didn't really have any official goals and things were so up and down with Katai that I didn't feel like I could make any. First there was the fact that at this point last year she was so green that we were really just trotting (and that wasn't pretty) and walking and I had no real steering most of the time. Then there was the fact that I don't think I really felt like she was mine, I hadn't really committed to her which made it tough to make any plans. Plus I was at a tiny barn with no way to really take lessons or get any help with anything when I felt stuck.

This year is already starting off way different and I have to admit that I am extremely excited about what 2015 will bring in both my horsie life and my personal/professional life but enough blabbing, time to get on with it!

Goals for Katai:

1. Increase fitness/strength/flexibility
- get chiropractic done at least three times in 2015
- get at least three massages in 2015
- start serious fitness training as soon as it's not slippery out to include canter sets
- cross train - add cavaletti by February and small jumps by the end of summer
- add more structured lunging - at least 3-4 times per month

2. Show Pony

- practice with show environments by trailering off property at least five times this year
- show in three dressage schooling shows with at least one at training level
- continue with clipper desensitization
- perfect trailer loading
- ride in one clinic - can be any discipline
- perfect standing tied to the trailer
- get used to riding around other horses and busy warm up areas

3. Dressage Skillz

- nicer canter transitions (no more ear pinz and less choppy trotting) by the end of March
- better bend at all gaits to the left
- more understanding of whip cues - not over react or ignore - by the middle of the year
- listen to outside leg cues
- get a halt that regularily lasts at least 20 seconds by the end of February
- understand all three intro tests by the end of April
- begin trying or hoof at training level tests by the end of May

4. Miscellaneous  

- stay still for mounting
- gain trail riding experience both by ourselves and with others - get outside and ride trails at least 3-4 times per month

Goals for Me:

1. Increase fitness/strength/flexibility

- find a good yoga class and go at least twice per month
- get regular massages to help with physical things
- run in at least one 5K by the end of April (providing I can find one and the weather isn't too horrible), one 10K by the end of June, and Ragnar (total of about 13 miles) again in the late summer
- lose 15 - 20 more pounds

2. Riding Goals

- learn to weight each seatbone as needed - default to even (I sit much more on the right)
- find someone to take regular lessons with by the end of February
- take regular lessons - at least once per month
- learn to keep my lower leg back on a regular basis
- practice a more proper arm position
- regain jumping skills :-)
- gain miles in the saddle
- ride different horses
- renew my subscription to Dressage Today and read every article 

3. Show Human

- put together at least one set of show clothes (schooling show appropriate) including a pair of tall boots
- determine which schooling shows to attend and get signed up
- memorize intro tests by the end of May
- find transportation to shows

4. Miscellaneous 

- get a new job and move to a metro location (more on this in a future post)
- save up and purchase a saddle that fits both of us better
- take more and better pictures and videos
- read and review a horse book every month
- do a better job of journaling my riding in my blog
make good turnout a habit (pretend I'm getting ready to ride for George Morris everyday lol)
- update the name of this blog (I promise it will be the last time)

I'm going to follow up on goals at the end of every month and be ready to adjust at that point, either add more or take some away.



With my current decision to move I didn't have to think that long to decide which barn I would move to if I could. The barn I'm movi...