Holy crap, the New Year is ALMOST HERE!
I have mixed feelings about this. 2013 was a really, really good year for me, all things considered. I had lots of positive changes, lots of big steps towards my future, lots of fun and lots of happiness. There is always bad stuff and stressful things and whatnot, but for the most part, it was all good stuff. It was different year than I'm used to having, but in a very good way.
I have a lot of yearly goals for myself and the business, but my personal horsey goals are not quite as concrete as I'd like them to be just yet. I have a lot of musing to do when it comes to what my real goals for O are - do we event, do we do endurance, do we do other fun stuff, do we do it ALL? I have to solidify goals there before I want them totally written out on paper, but what I am leaning towards with her in particular is that I want to do LDs with her (and do several AERC sanctioned rides), start playing on the barrels a bit more seriously (because the mare lives to run fast and turn on a dime), and keep working on her dressage and jumping. Some days I want to event more than others - sometimes the idea just doesn't feel the same since Gogo died, and sometimes I crave it badly. Over the next year, I'm not sure that I'll go to anything recognized or not, but I want to get her to the point where she could be competitive at BN-N even if she isn't showing. I need to direct my finances towards the business more than anything, so spending money on shows isn't going to be a huge priority (even though I badly want it to be!!). Endurance is extremely affordable compared to pretty much everything else, so we can get our fix that way and save some cash at the same time ;) As for late 2014-2015, if she is going the way I want she'll be out doing recognized stuff. I want to be smart with my finances and only go out when I have a horse that is going to go out and win... it's just not worth it for me otherwise.
Once I get more concrete goals written up, I'll put them up. I have to spend a few days really mulling it over in my head before I really make a decision. A lot can change in a year, after all.
BUT, one thing I DO know is that next weekend - the 4th - O and I will be doing our FIRST LD! Oh man... so excited, and a little bit nervous. It's always a little nerve-wracking doing something for the very first time. She is plenty fit, and I am hopefully fit enough too... ahhh! I have just a week to make sure we are all packed and prepared!
I was seriously craving saddle time over the Christmas break, so when I got back from FL, about the first thing I did was hop on O and go for a little 5 mile ride to stretch her out after her five days off. We walked for a few miles, tried to trot for a bit but failed due to some extreme mucky mud, and then I let her blow off a little bit of steam on the way home.
Before I got on, I cleaned their pen for them. The girls must have known a cold front was coming in today... yesterday they went BANANAS for no particular reason while I was cleaning their pen. I have no idea what got into them, they just started running and didn't stop for ten minutes!
As predicted, today the weather turned for the worse, and it dropped into the 20's with nasty sleeting mist. O still had a lunge on her calendar that needed to be done, so I got my lazy butt up and did it despite the weather and despite me being a bit ill. I seem to have caught some sort of icky bug on the plane ride home from Florida... gross.
This mare is just looking better and better. There are definite improvements here in the canter, although there is a lot way to go before it is any sort of show-ready. I've been doing a lot of cantering and galloping out on the trail, and have spent a lot of time on a very long contact - this has done nothing but benefit her. Her topline, which was nice before, has improved even more, and her neck has gotten increasingly loose and supple. She has really unwound herself through her neck and back. She still would rather be up and moving like a giraffe, but that is the way she is. I am loving how loose she is through her neck in the video, and how well you can see the difference in the canter from when she is too tight in her neck to when she is looser.
The more relaxed she gets in the canter, the better her balance will become.
Tomorrow if the weather holds, I'd like to get a good 10-15 miles in on her or so, even if it ends up being a bit slow and quiet. She'll have the rest of the week as mostly downtime to rest up before the LD on Saturday. Let's hope my cold goes away before then...