Tuesday, January 7, 2014

End of December Analysis; January Goals, and Musings on 2014

Well, our goals this month are a little belated but I figure I had a pretty good excuse for that!


O-Ren December Goals:

1) Work on fitness - prep for the High Roller ride in January!!
Success! She was GREAT for the ride and I felt like we were decently conditioned for it. I had a fresh horse cantering across the finish line, and she is sound and happy (and tired). There is more conditioning to be done, of course, but now that I have *actually* done a ride I understand more of what goes into it (for both of us), and can prepare accordingly.

2) Work on improving the canter - work on the lunge and progressing to work under saddle
We definitely worked on this on the lunge, and cantered A WHOLE FREAKING LOT under saddle... it just wasn't in dressage tack, in a bit, or in a dressage-y manner. I am happy with the work we did on the lunge, and think that this is very important for her - she needs to learn to balance herself on the lunge first at the canter without zooming around before we add a rider. And when I am out conditioning her and cantering a lot - and we do canter A LOT! - I have tried to vary between keeping her slow and together, and moving forward. The hackamore is great for this as I can actually rate her, something I can't do in a simple snaffle. When we get back to dressage-y work, I think I will be riding her in a pelham - something with the same mouthpiece, but something with a little extra e-brake in case we continue to be bargey.

3) Dressage work - progress in training as well as compliment fitness work
We didn't really do this like I had originally planned, but I have a better idea of what needs to be done now, and so therefore can set future goals accordingly!

4) Fun stuff too! Barrels/poles/driving/etc!
We did some of this, but not too much... some patterning on barrels for fun!

5) Make sure all tack/boots/etc are squared away for higher mileage rides - everything needs to be chafe-free! 
Success! Or well, for the time being, sort of. The bridle/hackamore (with fleecy), breastcollar (with fleecys), girth (which is fleecy), saddle (with fleecy cover), and pad (shock absorbing no-rub-anywhere pad), are all working well for her, and are all obviously fleecy-ified out. The saddle is TOO HEAVY though, at at some point we will have to consider a new saddle. As for the boots, well... the ONLY thing I've been able to ride her in without major rubbing or spinning issues is a cruddy old pair of Cavallo Simples - literally everything else I have tried either rubs her raw, doesn't stay on, or doesn't fit. The Cavallos are bulky but they weren't rubbing at all... until the actual ride itself. Now she has two enormous totally raw spots from the boots. Great.... more brainstorming is needed.


O-Ren January Goals:
1) Prep for our next ride in February - more conditioning, more miles! Be really prepared fitness-wise. 
2) Make sure to figure out elyte and gastric support for the next ride! Really failed on this one at High Roller, absolutely must do better at the next one.
3) More brainstorming and experimenting about footwear... experiments, experiments.... 
4) Work on the lunge in the Faux-ssoa - specifically CANTERWORK, and map out a plan for dressage work!
5) Freejump if we can, and amp up the height!


As for Miss Tre, I am not going to do goals on her. I had to have that firm talk with myself that yes, I bought her as a sales horse, and yes, because of this she MUST be sold, she can't stay even if she is adorable because that's not what I bought her for. She is super great, really really awesome, and because of that she is going to be very salable. Luckily she is a solid hand too small for me, which makes it easier to focus on prepping and selling versus keeping her! This mare would love love love to have a little girl of her own, and that's the kind of home I hope to find for her. Her sweet and adorableness is wasted on me - I like them spicy!

Speaking of spicy, not sure if you can see this photo (you may have to click on the agreement to view photos, no charge or anything just granting permission!) of O totally wigging out on the way out of camp.... I'm definitely going to order some of these so I can share with you all! This fatty has got to lose some weight... not remotely amused with the way I look in the saddle, even if I was wearing several layers. 

As for 2014, I am still musing on what I want to really solidly set my goals as. Obviously my 2014 goal for Tre is to find her a girl, but as for O, it's a little harder. She thinks endurance is the most excellent thing we could ever do, and is happy to RUN FASTER GO ALL DAY YAY GO MORE NOW GO FASTER. This unfortunately does not completely sate my desires - I still want to event, still want to do dressage. Or at least, I think I do. Do I? I'm not sure. Some days I am totally sure, and other days I am not. Dressage yes, if only for the purpose of I can't *not* do dressage... dressage is training, and training happens every day. Who doesn't want a light, responsive, confident horse that listens and moves with you no matter what? Dressage is training, dressage is creating longevity and soundness through strong backs and toplines that can carry a rider for long periods without fatigue. Dressage will ALWAYS be there in my life, because dressage always has to be there and dressage benefits everyone. The goals will become more concrete the more I think about them, but for sure, we want to keep doing endurance - LDs until we are comfortable, and then maybe try a 50 once we get everything together. In terms of dressage/eventery things, I think in January we will really work on the lunge and really get that canter going, February we'll be back to working w-t stuff and then get to honing that terrible awful no-good-very-bad zoom zoom canter. There is a beautiful, uphill, and slow canter in there, I have seen her do it... just trying to convince her to do it is the hard part. As we progress from there, we'll go to jumping more again, but we MUST get the canter work good before we jump. We MUST have a good canter. In the meantime, however, I intend to start free jumping! 

Thinking thinking... musing musing. Feel free to give me your input and ideas! 

Also, did I mention it was only 9 degrees here yesterday morning? 9. 9!! I know it's a LOT colder than that up north, but this is Texas... 9 degrees doesn't happen here. EVER. 


  1. Definitely know what you meant about liking them spicy, thats my current dilemma. Love your goals and you'll figure it out even if you take a bit more of detour from eventing then originally planned.

  2. I would totally take Tre off your hands if I could, I don't know how thrilled my parents would be about that ;). She is reminds me of my old pony Rosie who I just outgrew. Thankfully a new pony came into the picture. Otherwise I would be coming out to Texas to steal her. Again, my parents would be thrilled. (Add sarcasm.)

  3. FWIW, after one season of dabbling I still see no conflict between doing CTR/endurance and eventing the same horse at roughly the same time. I think one would probably want to be clever about scheduling competitions and rest periods, and I can see it becoming Too Much to move into the upper levels of either sport. But I am 100% positive that one could do a good job at both BN/N and LDs in the same season, and about 75% positive that BN/N and 50s or Training and LDs would be likewise compatible. I don't currently have the cash or a strong desire to prove it (although we did a Training-plus XC school ~2 weeks out from our first 25-miler last year and both went great), but maybe you do?

  4. I respect those who like them spicy, because I do not!

  5. Look into Omega Alpha Gastro FX for O.

  6. OK, that picture had a certain Paso look to it... the head position, maybe.

    Looks like y'all were having a good time :)