As usual, I can not for the life of me figure out WHERE this past month went! I also can NOT believe how much further we went beyond our goals AGAIN. I guess I need to step our goals up! (The first few months of the year, I reached almost none of my monthly goals, so this is a huge change!)
O-Ren September Goals:
1) Look at upcoming show schedules - see what I can go to and volunteer/learn! (Just me... not O!)
Success! And BEYOND success, really.... not only did I get to go and volunteer all day at an ADS show, but I also took O to the playday show and obviously we kicked some butt!
2) Continue to do suppling exercises (esp to the left) to help with our dressage work
Success! Mostly it was just learning how to better handle her while in harness - that really made all the difference, versus actual suppling exercises. One thing that really DOES seem to help, and it helps under saddle too, is to warm her up doing obstacle work, bending around the barrels. It's a burst of something high intensity (a really tight turn), and then following it she always relaxes and stretches down. It's kind of why barrel-ssage worked so well for her - something about a burst of energy, and then a subsequent release, really helps her to relax and stretch out.
3) Fitness! She got a bit fat during her training (even with rations cut in half!) - so now that she is further along we need to get back to some fitness work!
Success! She is now looking like a fit athlete again, instead of a fat lard. We did lots of fitness work on the roads, hacking several miles every week (sometimes up to 10!)... while I don't think pounding on the roads regularly is a good thing, doing it to some extent is not only good for her fitness, but good for her brain, since she has to learn to deal with terrifying things like rattling trucks and trailers. (There is a limit to this... I don't exactly want to get killed on the roads!)
4) Set up our schedule - pick days for dressage work/obstacle work/fitness work/etc
Success! And I'll do this one again for next month. Now that we are working obstacles and getting into some finer points of dressage work (SOME finer points, we're not exactly ready to go to the WEG yet or anything!), this is getting increasingly interesting.
5) Continue to do self-education - and keep looking for a local trainer!
Success! On the self-education part, anyway. I was able to participate in a really interesting online course, and also got to meet out local trainer in person finally, but I still don't have my own actual trainer. Sigh!
Pangea September Goals:
1) Possible casting/changing joint supplements to help her out - she has a hard time when it rains and gets muddy
Success - but only because we did not have one drop of rain the entire month of September. There has been no mud, so everything (including her feet) has stayed rock hard and dry. I'm sure that will change as we get further into fall, but she has been doing very well as of late.
2) Go on some more walks hacks if sound - just play it by ear!
We didn't get to go on any walk hacks... hopefully in October but I'm not going to push it.
O-Ren October Goals:
1) Set and maintain a schedule - certain days for fitness, dressage, obstacles
2) Finessing dressage work - half-halts, work on really moving forward and compressing
3) Self-education, as always!
4) Look for some more fun shows in the future - what is next!
5) Planning ahead: harness and cart upgrades I might want to consider in the future as we get more seriously into this sport!
Pangea October Goals:
1) Possible casting as we get wetter - see how sound she is!
2) Walk hacks if sound! But only if everything works out!
3) Second Rhino shot!
O had four well-deserved days off after the driving show, and today she got back to work with a nice lunge. She was kind of a little monster, and spent half the time bucking and leaping around, but she is clearly feeling good about life. She's looking a fair bit fitter (or well, a lot less fat anyway) than she did last month too!