It occurred very suddenly to me today that I hadn't done my October goals yet!! What was I thinking!!
1) Continue basic dressage work - walk/trot/canter on the bit, emphasis on stretching and quietness, taking a contact solidly! As always a work in progress!
Success! She has done really, really well with this and is finally "getting" it on a regular and consistent basis. Or well, at least at the walk and trot she is... the canter is still a work in progress. It will take probably quite awhile to get her where I *really* want her, but as always, we will get there. As for her walk and trot work, her 69% and 73% in her Intro tests speak for themselves!
2) Jump schooling - work on gymnastics, small courses, cantering fences, slightly bigger fences and more XC schoolings!
Success! Again, it's not speedy progress, but it is steady progress. She is jumping courses, cantering *some* fences (although mostly we are still trotting due to her explosive enthusiasm!), and are doing bigger and more complicated things out on XC. By bigger and more complicated I mean BN fences.... but that's a start! We'll be adding more gymnastics as the winter creeps up on us and we lose our XC courses to the weather.
3) Keep to our monthly calendar!
Partial success... I kept changing the schedule on myself! I don't think I did very well with this one, but it's a tricky thing to truly keep. If she needs a day off but the schedule says dressage, at this point I am not going to opt for the day off and not push her. As she progresses, this will probably change some, and I will be more apt to push her when she needs to be pushed. Right now, she doesn't need any pushing.... she just needs steadiness, relaxation, and extensive rewards for doing well.
4) Get organized - what do I need for showing? Dust off show clothes/tack and inspect everything!
Success! I made some lists of things I need now versus things I will need for the spring (when we will be doing recognized things) and I'll probably make up a fun little Pinterest list of wants and needs, just because why not. I know I am nuts, but I love making lists!
5) Survive our first schooling show! Get through with a good positive experience no matter what the score!
Success!! And I'd say it was more than just a positive experience - with a 69% (1st), a 73% (1st), and being Intro Champion to boot, I'd say we did VERY well at our first show! Bonus that we also did our second show (our first event) and were 2nd despite a pretty awful dressage test!
1) Continue working on w/t/c dressage work, REALLY focus on the canter!
2) Continue with jump schools - gymnastics, cantering courses!
3) XC schooling - any schoolings possible, work on BN fences and BANKS!
4) Revise show schedule - what do we want to do this fall vs. this spring?
5) What else do we want to play with? Driving, poles, barrels, roping, trails - make some loose plans for other fun things!
Now that we have made it through our first few little shows, it is time to focus on what we really want to be doing in the spring. Spring goal: winning at recognized BN. I am admittedly a bit of a show snob in that I'm not interested in spending my money on recognized events unless I go into it with a very good chance of winning, so I'm keen to do all of my prep work well in advance. Schooling shows are for schooling, recognized shows are for winning! We know that the canterwork currently sucks in our dressage, so that needs to be made a priority. Both the BN tests are simple, with just w/t/c, although admittedly the new Test A is just BIZARRE... you don't even do a complete first centerline, you veer off at X and go on a short diagonal instead! NEVER seen that before! For BN for stadium, we need to be able to quietly canter courses, which will probably come fairly easily and focus around just keeping her quiet and rhythmic. For XC, we again need to focus on rhythm and cantering things, as well as facing scary new fences, ditches, water, and BANKS! She has done several ditches with only a little bit of spooking and hesitation, so I think this won't be that complicated to work on. She loves to go splashing through the water, so schooling that is also easy. She has successfully jumped out of the water via an up bank, but has not successfully made it down the same bank into the water. At WD there is a tiny little up/down bank that she has been off of with success, so we'll start to make this a big priority. At BN you generally would never see a down bank into water, so we have plenty of time to make sure that doesn't become an issue.
As for the rest of the fall show season, I will probably cut it way down to almost nothing and spend the money on schoolings instead of shows. There is a goofy fun Halloween show next weekend that I will probably do (just some in-hand classes and some w/t/c fun classes!) just for funsies, and I may do the Quail Run show and Greenwood show as well. I will for sure do the schoolings there even if I don't show!
I let O have a light week this week. We did a few lunging sessions without any equipment on, and I also long lined her for the first time! As expected, she didn't care as all, and aside from stopping a few times to turn her head and look quizzically at me, she figured it out pretty immediately. I'd like to teach her to drive, if I ever have access to a harness and cart.... she'd be a SUPER combined driving horse and it is something I have always wanted to do!
Times like these are when I am very thankful that I installed a very serious stand-still button on her... she had no problem stopping and just standing around while I dug my phone out, fumbled on it, took a picture, and put it back away. Good girl.
She is also, um... ready to roll after her week off... a little too ready to roll. A week of light work for a hot mare this fit? Yeah, that will definitely result in a lot of this...
She did manage to get it together though and trot like a lady through some poles!
It is supposed to start raining tonight and isn't supposed to stop for a few days... I will believe that when I see it! Either way, looks like we'll be heading back to WD!