Monday, April 4, 2011

March Recap and April Goals

Well, we are back! I had a lovely trip to NYC last week and Gatsby got a nice mini-vacation, Alexis said he was wonderful both times he rode him which made me very happy. We have been pretty down to business training-wise since we moved to DK in January and I could tell that he was on the verge of burning out, which I obviously did not want to happen right.before.Twin. So, he got ridding by Alexis only twice during the 6 days I was gone, and of course he got turned out as well. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to the barn Wednesday or Thursday because I had to stay late for month end. We did have some nice dressage rides on Friday and Saturday and I feel like we are on track for Twin! I really think he did need those days to relax and kind of forget about work for a while and I am happy with his mindset coming back into work.

And now for our goals...

March Recap

  1. Really focus on keeping him relaxed and attentive in dressage. This is clearly our weakest phase and I would really like to change that especially since I KNOW he is capable of being an amazing dressage horse.

I think this went pretty well. We had some moments of brilliance but they weren’t as consistent as I would like them to be. Progress though!

  1. Lots of work on lateral movements. This really plays into my first goal but also continues to keep me focused on his straightness.

Success! I made sure to start each of our rides with lots of lateral work at the walk and it has made a huge difference. I also started adding in some of the movements at the trot but I really want to make sure he is comfortable before moving forward; if he doesn’t understand completely he just throws a fit and that is definitely not what I want.

  1. Start working with my conditioning plan and really get a feel for how much work we have cut out for us if we are aiming for the T3D.

We haven’t done as much conditioning work as I would like but that has been entirely my fault as I have been out of town a lot on the weekends. I do feel confident about him being fit enough for the T3D though, I just want to get him outside of the arena and all to get myself used to having a fitness plan as we will be needing one in the future!

  1. Continue to work on his relaxation and focus in our jumping lessons. I am really excited that we were able to go back to the snaffle and I would like to start playing with his adjustability over courses.

We actually haven’t jumped since schooling at Twin but before then our lessons were going fabulously! We did have one lesson prior to Twin where we worked on some tough bending lines and angled lines and I really felt like I had a control over his stride. And we kept him in the snaffle at Twin and he was fantastic!

  1. Have a fun and successful schooling at Twin! At this point I am unsure of whether our first event of the season will be Twin or Woodside but regardless it will be great to get back out on a cross-country course and I really want this to be a confidence building experience for both of us.

SUCCESS!! Although Twin was a bit of a disaster on some fronts (bad weather and a horse colicing), we did have a great schooling. As I mentioned before we got over everything on the Training course without a single refusal! I have officially entered Twin at Training level and it’s looking like we’ll be heading to Woodside as well in May!

April Goals

  1. Make this the month of dressage. Even though our dressage work has improved tremendously since January, I am still not quite happy with where it's at. I would like our work to be more consistent so that we can start adding in new, more difficult elements. I also really want to feel confident in riding our test so I am not always dreading dressage day at events.
  2. Start adding in more difficult questions in our jumping lessons. I am really liking where our show jumping is heading but I want to make sure to keep Gatsby on his toes and thinking about every fence.
  3. Follow our conditioning plan more religiously. Although now that I've written that I've realized that I will be out of town the next 3 weekends and we didn't do anything last weekend...I will have to try to get some of these rides in during the week now that it is staying light later.
  4. Sitting trot! We have definitely come a long way in regards to our sitting trot, I mean, I can actually ride it now! But, we are starting to get to the point in our career where I really should be able to sit the trot for our whole test and we are not even close to that.
  5. Finish Twin on our dressage score. My dream goal would really be to finish in the top 10 but I am focusing more on going clean right now. Fingers crossed!

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