Friday, July 5, 2013

End of June Goals, July Goals!

Is June already gone? The 4th of July is already over? WHAT IS GOING ON? Before you know it, Christmas will be here... slow down, time! You're going way too fast for me!

Onto our recap of June goals!


O-Ren June Goals:

1) Continue consistent work under saddle - w/t/c, relaxation, OBEDIENCE, steering/brakes/adjustability!
Success! But, of course, it is an ongoing process. She improves little by little, still struggling with the mental challenge of simply permitting me to direct her (she would rather just do whatever she feels like doing, with no input on my part). Our brakes are VASTLY improving on the flat, and her willingness to take a contact versus duck behind it is improving, but her new things is to take the contact perfectly... and spring off into hyperspeed. Well.... better than duck behind it and crawl like a snail, right? We'll get there, she just has to find a happy medium!

2) Start JUMPING! Small things, grids, poles, etc!
SUCCESS! She has jumped grids in the arena as well as successfully completed her first XC schooling. This all was huge for us - our biggest and best goal yet! With some finesse, she's going to be a total machine!

3) More experiments with tack, hoof boots, etc! Experiment in finding out what works best for her!
Success! It is still somewhat ongoing in terms of tack, but I love the Delta boots on her. The problem is that they still rub her, even with pastern wraps and all... ugh! These red mares and their sensitive skin. Thankfully, I don't need to use them much - just when her feet have been wet or we are going somewhere rocky or rough. In terms of tack, that mostly related to just gear and bits (my saddles all fit her fantastically). I've played around with using a running martingale for jumping (pretty good), a tiedown for western work (for fun - and it works very well), and the neck stretcher as both the stretcher and a chambon, just to remind her of manners (very useful, but I think too restrictive at this point, and I might totally nix it for a few rides to see if the head tossing is gone or not). For flatwork, she loves the Famous Blue Bit, but for jumping we have some playing to do. I've had a few of you offer to send me some bits to try - THANK YOU so much in advance for doing that!! Can't wait to play around with them!

4) Start conditioning sets (trots, canters)
Success! That said, I actually started sets and then stopped them - she was getting overly fit! I think we'll back off on the conditioning and ramp up on the training - she's crazy fit already and I don't need her fitter. More emphasis on the training, LESS emphasis on the fitness!

5) Work on buddy sour issues - going out totally alone, being left behind, etc.
Success, but it's a work in progress! She now hacks out totally alone without issue, and if there are other horses around and she is following her buddy, her buddy can trot off and she doesn't care. If her buddy leaves her behind on the trail though, she still wigs out.... that being said, once her buddy is far enough away and she has been schooled a bit, she chills out significantly and can walk again on a loose rein all by herself. Mares....


July Goals:
1) Continue basic dressage work - walk/trot/canter on the bit, stretching, emphasis on balance during circles/serpentines, start some lateral work! (We've already begun to play with leg yields and turns on the haunches - more work on those!)
2) More jump schools - increasingly advanced jump work in the arena! (No more XC schools in the area until August sadly - everyone in TX hibernates in July, with good reason!)
3) Plan out our hypothetical "show" schedule for the fall - pick out some schooling events!
4) Chart out our monthly calendar and stick to it!
5) Continue to play around with patterning on barrels and swinging ropes off of her - maybe progress to pulling the dummy and/or roping the dummy!


Yes, we HAVE been patterning her on the barrels for fun.... more on that soon ;)

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