Thursday, September 8, 2011

September Goals

I was delaying writing this post. I wanted Andrea's story to stay front and center for a while and I wasn't really sure what to set as goals with my potentially exciting job-ish-thing on the horizon. However, I decided that I really do know what I need to work on, so there's no reason to avoid setting new goals.

August Goals:
1) Continue lunging/ground driving Izzy to confirm her ground manners, as per current work.
Conclusion: Semi success. I have basically dropped lunging for now because I feel that riding is in general, more productive. That said, she's been doing really well at this stuff if/when I ask for it.

2) Begin riding. 50-70% of undersaddle time done without stirrups. Use full seat breeches and dressage saddle.
Conclusion: Success! I have the bulging thigh muscles to prove it. I felt like it really helped me regain confidence and balance in a hurry. Also, it hurt like h*ll.

3) Stirrups on jump saddle and lots of two point in all three gaits. Might trot over poles, but no jumping until September.
Conclusion: Fail, actually. We did tons of two point, but started jumping about two weeks after getting the go ahead to ride, and even had a muy exciting jumping lesson!

All in all, I was pleased with August. We went from this:

Me watching someone else ride the Wondermare

To this:

Me confidently jumping the Wondermare over low verticals. Yay!!

So, that brings us to September. (In all fairness, the above shot was taken this month, but I figured it illustrated my point best.)

1) Change the warm up. I have found that Izzy actually does best when we start with a forward walk, moving off both legs and starting to loosen up her shoulders with some turns on the haunches. Then we go into a very forward trot on a loose rein, then move into a forward canter on a loose rein. I picked up contact as we come back into trot, and BOOM. That is an amazing feeling. Keep this up. See what (if anything) needs to be added/changed.

2) Keep that forward. I always seem to lose this somehow, and it is so incredibly critical to a successful ride. I need to ride very forward and get comfortable with it.

3) Canter. For some reason, this gait and I always disagree in a jump saddle. I need to work on sitting it without pumping my upper body and getting in two point without touching my rumpus to the saddle.

Hm... can you tell I've spent 80% of my riding time the past week in jump tack? No worries, I think we're having a dressage lesson next week. (And we -are- having a jump lesson tomorrow!)


  1. What time is your lesson tomorrow, and where? If I'm off work, I might come by to watch! :)

  2. With all these lessons I think I may be turning slightly green. You guys are doing so awesome!!! And not sure why I didn't mention it in the last post but it looks like you are dropping weight! You look great!

  3. Hope you have a great lesson tomorrow!!
    Sounds like good goals for September :)


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