Friday, October 31, 2014

October recap, November goals, general doldrums

Let's face it: this time of year sucks.  The time change hits this weekend.  The days are getting shorter.  Our ride season appears to be over for the year.  It's raining on and off, just enough to get the trails muddy and round pens a terrible mess for a few days a week.

Different pony, same darkness view :(
I've been riding, but with less enthusiasm and drive.  We're not really working towards anything.  Not having concrete goals is hard.. and not having riding partners is hard, too, so I need to work on self-motivating more.

Last winter, we tapered too much and I got myself hurt as a result.  It's easy for me to quit riding much once the time change hits (next week :( ) and the rains come.  More importantly, I feel like I'm then lacking in goals and what's the point?  So, in the spirit of addressing that, some long-term goals for the winter:

1. quit nagging, and reinforce that aids Mean Something.
2. prompter transitions (should follow from #1)
3. continue addressing my canter issues, as weather and footing permits
4. off-side mounting
5. strengthen my lower leg for more stability.  (posting with no stirrups? two-point?)

Thank you for all the comments and suggestions on my last post!  It feels sometimes like I'm the only one with the crazy frustrating horse who just. won't. go, and it's incredibly reassuring to hear that I'm not alone in dealing with that.  I don't think I have a specific goal for "forwards or else", but we'll continue to school that and hopefully get back to that being less of an issue.

October goals were:

- Continue to add canter as comfort allows, making sure it's a polite canter and not a running-away canter.   Accomplished!  That said, it appears that my lower leg is not strong enough and not stable.  Tall boots + dressage saddle masks the issue and "fixes" my canter.. so I'm clearly the limiting factor here and need to address that.
- Rasp hooves weekly to make sure boots fit for our early October ride.  Technically accomplished, even if the end result wasn't as intended, that wasn't a result of my hoof trimming!
- Acquire clippers.  Clip 'Fetti's neck shortly prior to October ride.  Accomplished!  No regrets there.
- School 'standing still while mounting' more.  One step is vaguely tolerable at this point.  More than that, absolutely not.  We have indeed been working on this.  It still needs work.

Totally unrelated: in which I established
that I can use the halter with the add-on bridle
& combination bit, though not very elegantly

November goals need to be a little bit more specific or else I'm never going to get anything done!  So:
- If riding in saddle, mount from right side.
- Try shortening stirrups in Eurolight and work in two-point, working up to a half-mile; aim to do this once weekly as weather permits.
- Continue not nagging and being mindful of what I'm asking. 

I noted two new white splotches on Confetti's back.  Baffling, but she tends to show them mainly when shedding each year.  It finally clicked, however, when I felt the dressage saddle.. there are lumps in the flocking right there.  Clearly, I need to get the saddle re-flocked.  That's on the agenda for November, and has to happen for several reasons.  It's my wet-weather saddle (fleece on the Specialized + rain = sad Fig).  Pony is still working in dressage lessons semi-regularly.  And.. I want to continue riding in it to work on my lower leg strength and cantering.  On one hand, argh!  But on the other hand, I'm so grateful that a cause showed itself quickly.


  1. this time of year definitely saps the motivation quicker than any other... sounds like good goals to keep you going tho :)

  2. It certainly is rough dealing with less daylight. I think you've got really great goals for the darker months though!! I really like the idea of picking a distance to ride in 2 pt instead of focusing on time.