Wednesday 6 August 2014

August Goals

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In a first for me, I think it is time I start writing down some goals for myself and the girls - to try and hold myself accountable & to have an aim to achieve something by the end of the month - besides just ride.

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First off I must remember to KISS; so bearing that in mind my first goal is to:

I want to take at least one lesson with new trainer at yard and if it goes well sign up for more!  

And if that is the only goal i meet this month, I will be super happy to have done at least that.
In saying that, I am not limiting myself to that one goal, I am however hopeful that all going well with that first goal; these other goals might be more readily achievable - or i might at least be able to start making a dent in them...

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- work on walk & halt with Nancy
- work on walk with Kika
- straighten/sort myself out to help N right lead canter
- continue working with Kika on stretchy strides & relaxed trot work

B. Work on refining me
- look up
- heels down
- shoulders back...

Have I seen some sort of a brace/aid mentioned on other blogs to help with shoulders - can anyone help me find out more about this please?

To achieve these goals I have set out a rough guide/plan of attack aka a weekly schedule, which looks a little like this:
Saturday + Sunday - ride both
Monday - Ride one; lunge one
Tuesday - Ride one; lunge one - inverse Monday
Wednesday - day off for both as Wed is typically a super busy day for me at work.
Thursday  + Friday - Rinse & repeat of Monday + Tuesday

I also "plan" to keep Mon/Tues & Thurs/Fri flexible should I wish to and/or have the time to ride both - the above schedule is not set in stone. Although I hope to stand pretty firm with myself on riding both both Saturday & Sunday; to my mind those days are non-negotiable as that is what weekends are for.

As I said at the start - ACCOUNTABILITY
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In saying all this I have already messed up this week, LOL
In that i didn't go to the yard at all Monday evening as I was feeling poorly - but then rode both last night and plan to lunge Kika and ride Nancy this evening; so there is plenty fluidity & movement to the PoA (Plan of Attack).

K was a bit of a pill about things like relaxation through her neck under saddle for much of yesterday's spin so a little work in the pessoa where she is arguing with herself is in order I think. Although we did get some nicer work towards the end of the spin - I was adamant we would do something constructive with our evening. Really yesterday was just a continuation of the little bickering arguments we had in the videos from Sundays spin (posted yesterday). 
I did lengthen my stirrups a hole - which made me a bit looser in the tack for our first bad side canter yesterday evening and proved once again that I am gripping with my knees as I struggled to sit into the rocking (really more choppy) motion of her canter as she flailed a bit with her front legs initially before we could find our rhythm some bit. 
When I really concentrated on breathing and releasing the tension in my body she eventually took her cue from me and we got some much nicer work - although all still a long way from the lovely spin we'd shared on Saturday. If only i could (a) remember what i did and (b) bottle it to reaxamine at a later stage - I'd be doing well. Admittedly Saturdays spin was in one of the smaller arenas, so maybe that had something to do with it. Also we were just the two of us on Saturday, whereas both Sunday and yesterday there was at least one other horse in the arena with us - I know that distracts me as i spend too much time worrying about staying out of their way rather than riding to my own plan and trusting we can maneuver around each other. 
I honnestly cannot blame my horse's ADD on anyone but myself - poor Kika being such a sensitive creature and having inherited so many quirks from me - it is scary how alike we are. That saying about animals being like their owners ring scarily true for K & I!

Old photo showing Nancy's awkward Friesian inspired stance
PS: that's her mama in the background :)
Nancy was a doll as we worked on walk, trot and halting - I can feel slight improvements. Now to remember to keep changing things up so that it doesn't get stale and we both get bored. Mirrors area  godsend when trying to work on halting properly on a FriesianX horse who likes to stop and stand as awkwardly as physically possible.

All of this to say, you read it here first guys!
I have set myself my first monthly goals with a plan of attack no less - now here is hoping i can stick to it somewhat and make some improvements - keep your fingers crossed for me & all encouragement welcome ;-)


  1. Flexibility in a plan of attack is certainly key! It's so hard to ride two horses every night when you work full time, so I think you're on track not requiring that of yourself.

    This might be helpful, in this post ( I talk about an article I read on dressage position. It really helped me be able to move forward in separating my seat from my legs. Maybe there's something in there that could help you, too! :)

    1. Thanks for that, i did my blog catch up reading on my phone so didn't open the link to that article for fear of losing where i was in my blog catch up (lame reason for not clicking - i know). I had been meaning to go back and click the link when i got to a computer - but of course forgot! *blush*
      My catch up reading of your blog really spoke to me as your Guinness issues sound similar to my Kika issues. I'll need eyes on the ground (hence the trainer) to see if what i am feeling is in fact that or if it is me messing her up - always a possibility!

      Thank you for the link, shall deff bookmark that now for some light reading & referring back to as needs be.

  2. Good luck! Looking at your excellent goals, I think I should detail mine...

    Good job!

    1. Thanks very much for the encouragement - not sure these can be classified as excellent goals. But hopefully they will get us on the right track to making progress & more detailed goals as we meet them and hopefully get better.

      Looking forward to your wonderful offerings - i really admire your approach to training your horses.

  3. Replies
    1. I had a feeling you would approve of this post ;)

  4. Blam-o! ShouldersBack:

    1. Muchas gracias Carly - you're the best!

  5. I think those are great goals and love that you set a weekly schedule. You can totally accomplish them :)

    1. Fingers crossed i can accomplish them.
      Failed this evening though as I mentioned Wednesdays are my worst work day & today's was no different. So whacked this evening that I didn't make it to the barn *sadtimes*

  6. Great goals! Totally doable!

    1. Thanks, I thought if only I could tick to my Piano we might get somewhere. ..although I did put my name down for a lesson next week. Yay!
      Fingers crossed it doesn't get canceled this time

  7. Eek I got so behind again, but I'm catching up! You have the same goals for yourself that I do for me. I round my shoulders horribly. I tried the shoulders back thing, but it wasn't mine and it was too small so it hurt. I've been wanting to get one for myself, but couldn't find one so I'm glad you asked. I'll have to check out the one Carly mentioned. For the heels down I never could get it. When my trainer said heels down I shoved them down and braced. What finally worked for me was when she told me to point me knees down. It got my leg in the correct position, but kept me loose and made me stop worrying about me heels. :) I'm glad you made goals! It really helped me when I was doing it. The only reason I haven't been lately is because building our house and finishing our kitchen just made it difficult to plan anything.

    1. I've fallen behind on all my blog stalking again. Hopefully only by a week though...If i can catch up quickly that is ;-)


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