Friday, December 27, 2013

2014 Goals

I'm hesitant to write a whole lot of goals, because if there's anything 2013 taught me, it's that I need to expect the unexpected. But there are a few things I'd like to accomplish.

1. I've been having a left lead issue and I need to sort it out. I think it's because my left ankle is mostly titanium, which limits mobility, but I've gotta figure it out how to work around it.

2. Consistently be very soft after jumps. I'm usually fine on the way there and over the top, but sometimes on the landing I hold a bit too much.

3. Find a way to get a ride on a horse who's further along than Lex - preferably a horse already capable of showing in the jumpers. I rode such a horse a bit this fall, which was nice, but I expect to lose the ride on him now that I'm going to Ohio.

4. Stop letting my shoulders creep forward when I'm in half seat or two point.

5. Ride as much as I can - as many horses as often as possible. There will be times, I expect, when the numbers are few and the hours are limited, but I'll do my best.

1. Rhythm is key: This is improving, and needs to keep improving. We can both be better about it.

2. Relaxation: Are you seeing a trend yet? We'll keep picking away at the training scale from the bottom up. She's getting much better at relaxing, as shown by her tendency to stretch her nose to the ground.

3. Lateral flexion: This will come in time, but she's making some progress. Substeps are getting her to move laterally from my seat and leg aids a little more consistently and keeping her comfortable with aids in general.

4. The canter: I have no control at the canter right now. We need to get on the same page here. This will come with time.

5. Jumping: By the end of the winter, I'd like to be able to trot little courses of crossrails and stuff, and maybe canter out of some lines and into some small single fences. By the end of the year, I'm hoping we'll be cantering whole courses. How big the jumps are doesn't matter at this point. I don't think we'll be doing 4' a year from now, but I'm thinking 3'-ish is reasonable. Whatever, though, seriously. She's my horse, I'm not selling her or trying to qualify for the Olympics, so whatever happens, happens.

Bonus Goal!
Showing: If we get to a couple little schooling hunter shows, I'll be pleased as punch. If we don't, that's okay, too. Overall, I want to work on my riding and to bring along a happy, healthy horse. I'm not about to age out of the juniors (HA, I am ancient) and she's already passed her five year old year, so there's no reason to rush at all.


  1. Love the realistic, reachable goals. I especially need to work on the "soft after jumps" part. I tend to ride way too defensively and it doesn't help my horse... who needs to learn to use his back end. Related? Yes.

    1. I hear you! As Chris explained to me, we can't ask the horse to go forward over the jump and then be like "STOP!!" on the landing. He also acknowledges that that can be hard to do on a green OTTB, but since we both have nice, non-runaways, we can do it! We should be accountability partners. :)

    2. Offer is open for you to come ride when you get back! Tank hates his face messed with so he is a good teacher of not yanking on him, he will tattle with tossing his head :). Great goals and hope to see you at some shows!!

    3. That would be really fun! I'd even come ride before I leave if I have time!

  2. Sound like good goals to me! I'm really excited for 2014, and getting to watch you and Lex improve first-hand!!

    1. Yes! This will be a highlight of the year, for sure!