Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sunshine Schooling and Goals!


How I spend my "TGIF" after work!
Yesterday the sun was shining - finally! - and I could barely contain myself after work. Pony time! Pony time! Pony time!

I headed to the barn with a game plan; we were going to work on our schooling again like the previous day and fortunately for Suzie, we have to trail-ride TO Our Meadow, so we are covering all of our bases!

But first, I feel like I need to divulge into what my general goals for this month are.
With both Suzie and I coming back into work, I'll be looking into these four things as my primary concern:



Trail Riding/Barn-Sourness 
My first and foremost priority is to mitigate Suzie's barnsourness she likes to show every Spring with me. This will be taken care of relatively quickly, I predict, due to the fact that if we want to ride at all, we HAVE to leave the property. She hasn't escalated to how dangerous she was last year and I have better tools to deal with her resistance, so I am confident we will overcome these issues this month.
Soundness
Right now, she is feeling quite strong and ready to take on work-tasks, but at the same time I have to remember to take it slow with her. We will keep this ongoing throughout the rest of her years with massages, chiropractic adjustments, supplements, corrective shoeing and by the end of the month some BOT therapy!




Attend a Clinic/ "Fun" Day
I have signed up for a clinic April 25-27 with a clinician I've ridden with in years prior and I am very excited! Hopefully we have enough riders so it won't need to be cancelled; and fingers crossed for decent weather! I will be hauling out after work each day! I feel like a clinic to start off our riding season will be a great way to gauge how much/how little I should be asking and if I am being too harsh/ too soft with her. I haven't had a lesson in over two years! Eeek.

Develop Schooling Around Fitness LevelsThis may sound like a stupid one, but Suzie and I aren't very fit right now and I need to not over-face her in what we are doing. As more rides come, I'll have more "technical" riding goals established, but for now we will work on fitness as a per-requisite for difficult work.



Our ride yesterday went SO well. She sucked back for the walk to Our Meadow, then relaxed into some contact walking, circles, serpentines and bending. We had some uncommitted stops - I'd ask and she'd sort of just "fall" into a halt. Will work on those as time progresses. We picked up some trot work and oh my, it was heavenly after the first 5 minutes of ugly, rushy and unbalanced mach-10 trotting. She really stretched into the bridle and softened for me. Ah, it was bliss. We did a few transitions and she was quite compressive; was easy to get her to change from slow/fast and despite being out of shape, I am quite pleased to say she did a lot better than I thought! What a pleasant surprise.

We cantered both ways and although it was very discombobulated, it was a nice, uphill and quiet canter. We finished off with some more long-trotting and walking and then SO texted me saying he wanted to meet up with the dogs. So I headed up the long side of the field where a side-walk connects to our street (the same one Suz and I walked up a few days prior). She started to realllly suck back on me and spooked at some dogs running at the fence. She got kind of looky and uppity, so I schooled up in the upper field until the SO popped around the bush with the dogs. I called it quits, she was quiet and reaching for contact so I walked several steps and then dismounted.

I walked back to the barn with the SO, Suz, Ty and Roxy. We even stopped at the park for a little photo op and let a few kids pet Suzie - one girl was yelling over to her mom, "Mom! Look! A horse is in the backyard!" I'm sure her mom though she was just being a kid, LOL.





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