How did the first quarter end up flying by? This year was my first time breaking goals down quarterly instead of longer ranging yearly goals and I think it worked out a lot better. Looking back on how we did:
1) Get back to a 2-3 times a week riding schedule for consistency. I have the arena at home now and lights. Really there are no valid excuses left. Success! Well, except currently since my arena is out of action being renovated, but I was riding at least twice a week every week leading up to that and will get back to it once the arena is all set to go.
Twice monthly lessons. The last two months have been rather dry due to the move and the holidays. The beginning of the year slows down at work quite a bit too which should help. Success! I either took a lesson or had Trainer come to a show and help me through warm up and my rounds which counts as instruction.
Switch feeds. Triple Crown has been disappointing since the sale to Purina. I’ve talked to a new rep from another feed that seems promising and with only one bag of TC remaining in my feed room (holy crap I have a feed room!!) it’s time to make the switch. Success! I switched the Dynamic Duo to Tribute. Gem is on the Kalm N EZ and Pete gets the ration balancer. Nash is on Purina Mini/Pony feed and is looking great as well.
Figure out a good mix of flat rides versus jumps at home. Now that I have a few standards I can jump at home for the first time ever. I’m very nervous about this since I haven’t the foggiest idea about how to set up an exercise. I need to find my 101 Jumping Exercises book and get cracking. Success! I dug out my 101 Jumping Exercise book and have worked slowly through the exercises. I err more on the side of flat rides versus jump ones and generally do 2 flats for every 1 jump school.
5) Make it to two h/j shows and don’t wimp out of the 2′ division for absolutely no reason. Time for the big girl panties to come out. Fail. I made it to one show with plans for a second, but them Gem came up NQR and got the rest of the month of March off.
Make it back out on the cross country course for schooling again. Kinda. I did go and I did jump over the ditch, so sorta schooled. A more experienced rider got on and got Gem over some starter level jumps which counts too.
By the end of the quarter have Gem accepting my leg at the trot and begin work on better bend using inside leg Success! We are getting better and better in regards to both and my lower leg position has gotten stronger because of it.
Get the left side of the property situated. There are two fence lines I want to condense to turn three pastures into one. There is a fourth pasture there too but this one needs some fence work to make safe and a plan on how to connect it through a small patch of woods. Success! We removed all the fence lines we didn’t want and created one large pasture for them. It has been great too as it is J shaped and they walk the entire thing. I’ve watched them slowly get in better and better shape because of all the roaming they do. They also show their pleasure at the open space by gallivanting around on the regular and it is such a joy to watch them galloping and playing.
Look at the right side and start some tentative plans. This half is trickier as there is a section of woods with a deep creek separating two pastures and then an open area that was used as a burn pile separating another. I’d love to plan a cross country field over on this side. Tentative planning will help future ideas. Success! We have plans. The right side has three pastures and a big open space. The plan is to connect the two front ones and expand into the open space to create one medium sized pasture leaving the back most pasture as a smaller one by itself. That way we have three pastures to rotate between all of varying sizes.
Hang real cross ties in the aisle and wash rack Partial. I have cross ties in the aisle, but the wash rack is currently out of commission as the water line broke.
4) Make some early plans for the tack room organization. Fail. This one is trickier than I thought. Dusty wants to tear down the entire barn and build a new one and if we do that then there isn’t any reason to put money into this one. That is about 5 years off in the future though and in the meantime I need at least a door on the tack room to keep dust out. Still need to work on this one.
Figure out stall bedding. Having never dealt with stalls before I’m a bit clueless as to what works best. Since they are only in stall for a few hours total a day the stalls don’t get that messy. I’ve been stripping them once a week and it’s been fine. The pine shavings I grabbed at TSC are ok but there has to be a better way to buy in bulk. Success! I’m loving the pellets and so are the horses.
Ride 2-3 times a week with a mix of solo rides at home and lessons Success! See above in the Gem category
2) Continue to work on my lower leg position. I’d love to have it in muscle memory by end of the quarter. 50/50. I am working on it and it is getting a lot better, but it isn’t quite there yet.
3) Learn to relax when jumping.Trust Gem a bit more and go with the flow better. Fail.
Gain a better balance with the release over jumps. Right now I either throw my reins all the way up by her ears losing all contact or I don’t release much at all and get her in the mouth. Success!! The neck strap has really, really helped me with this.
By End of Year
1) Complete a HT at any height, most likely amoeba (18″)
2) Begin work over 2’3″ stadium fences
3) Have a decent canter in dressage with ability to show the BN dressage tests
4) Have all pastures reconfigured