I realize it's too late to do and real June goals (since, uh, June is almost over!), but I did have a few in my head that I've been both working towards and accomplishing. I think that writing them down and having more "concrete" goals will help me push a little bit more to aim a bit higher and surpass expectations.
The goals will be broken up pertaining to each mare and will reflect on their abilities and training - it would be ridiculous for me to set a goal of jumping 3' on both mares. I have to personalize it a bit more and reflect on where we are in our training - Suzie has been schooled more regularily than Tally at this point and I need to keep that in mind.
So, without any further rambling here are my June goals:
- Work on a more softened response to the bridle - we've been really carrying this out through each ride I've put on her since the middle of May and it has gotten LOADS better, but we need to be consistant. Connection through the bridle needs to be there.
- Extend and collect all the gaits! This is a big one because I seem to always keep Suzie at a nice jog/lope, but never ask for an extension/collection because I'm concentrating only on that one tempo and keeping it there! A clinician a few years ago told me that in order to have a well-rounded horse, we need to utilize ALL the speeds (including gallop!) and work for control and harmony.
- Ride one handed and try to accept that Suzie is not a 2 year old and in order to compete I will just have to suck it up.
- Prepare for a schooling show the first week of July (which I am organizing!) and attempt t compete one handed. Also begin preparations for an AQHA show the first week of August - which means that I need to get my AQHA paperwork finished! I haven't renewed it yet. This also means I need to get show clothes ready and a matching pad and split reins/show bridle. Buy all the things!
- Keep listening to Suzie's abilities. If she is having difficulties keeping up to the training regime, take it easy. Work towards all these goals with her well-being and age in mind.
- Continue to hack out and expose her to the "new" areas. Have her well-rounded and solid so that when Hubs rides her, he has zero issues.
- Work on more consistency at the gaits. Have her quietly trotting and cantering along without feeling like there is a freight train about to burst through her ears. Right now, I am concerned with her rhythm rather than the actual finesse of her gaits.
- Put in a GOOD Dressage school once or twice a week - one where we REALLY work on bending, suppling and tempo.
- Begin jumping schooling - nothing huge, but things like trot poles and small crossrails are acceptable at this time. She may be unfit and undermuscled, but crossrails never hurt anybody. Work on keeping it simple - start with a tiny course and see what she offers up.
- Prepare for the schooling show at the beginning of July. I plan on entering perhaps a jumping class or two and some flat classes if at all possible.