Thursday, August 1, 2013

End of July Recap, August Goals!

It's time for monthly goals! Hooray!


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!)
Success, mostly. We are a MILLION years away from where we need to be to even start thinking about showing (ok, maybe not that far, but sometimes it seems like it), but we're getting to the point where we're having more and more flatwork rides with normal, appropriate behavior. She's still not where I need her to be in terms of responsiveness, and being able to take a contact, but slowly we are getting better. Slowly. Very slowly. Our progress is all upwards though.... it's just very slow. 

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!)
Well, we're getting there. We didn't do as much as I was hoping and our last XC school was awful, so I think what we're going to do is just stick to the arena for a little bit and get her comfortably cruising around small courses there before we start heading out again. We'll school in August, definitely, but if we're not ready for schooling shows at the end of the month, then we're just not. And that's ok... these things take time.

3) Plan out our hypothetical "show" schedule for the fall - pick out some schooling events!
Success! Hopefully we actually get to stick with it... that's all up to her. We can only go as fast as we can go in terms of progression! I'm not about to rush into something that isn't going to end up being a good experience for her, so we'll just keep doing what we're doing and aiming higher and higher each time. 

4) Chart out our monthly calendar and stick to it!
I'd say this was only partially successful. I gave her days off when I felt she needed them, instead of sticking to her schedule, and did more lunging than I thought I would. I think that for the most part I am done with the lunging from here on out.... mostly we'll be sticking to under saddle work. I have this month's schedule in the works already!

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!
Success! We didn't swing ropes off of her, but we kept patterning on the barrels... the mare is a freak around a barrel and she LOVES it. And it's really fun... aw crap, does my warmblood want to run barrels?


I'd say the month was about 50-75% successful, in terms of goal completion. It just didn't end up being quite what I wanted, but we did try.


August Goals:
1) Continue basic dressage work - walk/trot/canter on the bit, emphasis on stretching and quietness, taking a contact solidly!
2) Jump schooling - work on gymnastics, small courses, things in the arena - just getting her rolling, quiet and confident! Also go to some XC schools, but keep it low key!
3) Keep to our monthly calendar!
4) Continue to dork around with hoof protection options - how best to help this mare with traction and comfort! 
5) Keep playing with barrels, and conditioning work.... because you never know, maybe we'll play around with some limited distance stuff and some barrels too ;)


Mostly, last month's work made me realize how much filler still needs to go into her training gaps. Being a very competitive soul, I have no interest in going to any shows unless we're going with the intention of winning (aside from a few schooling shows for experience, when she is ready), so I am more than happy to sit tight and do my homework at home until we're ready. Showing is great fun, and my end goal obviously, but unless I head out to one fully anticipating a good run, I'm not going to waste my money. 

I'm also having a lot of fun playing around the barrels, and she LOVES it, so maybe we'll dabble in that in our near future... because why not? 


  1. Sounds like you guys did great this month!! Way to go! I am the same way...I dont go unless I am pretty darn sure I'm gonna kick some booty when it comes to taking Spots to shows. But moreover, I want to always make sure I've prepared him well enough to have a confidence building experience first and foremost. When I've prepared, the placing/ribbons more often than not take care of themselves :) We're back doing just dressage for now while I fill in some training gaps that have surfaced recently and I'm really enjoying polishing him up a bit! Keep on keeping on! She looks awesome!

  2. She looks adorable in a western saddle

  3. What a lovely pic! As Eisenhower is quoted "Planning is everything; plans are useless" - I think its really good that you map out your schedule, but also good that you listen to her and give her days off if you think she needs it =)