Goals are always a fun thing to set at the beginning of the year. I did pretty good at meeting the ones I set last year and I don't get upset if I don't meet them due to circumstances beyond my control. In fact, K was stressing and planning to try and make one more ride (or maybe two) in order to meet the trail riding goal more than I was. I pretty much figured when December rolled around and I needed almost 40 miles that it wasn't going to happen. Goals give you something to work toward and strive for, and helps me keep my focus during the year.
So here goes:
1. High Country Working Equitation
I haven't said anything on the blog about this yet, but I got asked to be on the board for High Country Working Equitation. I said yes and am looking forward to all of the fun things that are in the works, as well as, ready to work hard and diligently to really establish HCWE as a serious club in the area. This will go hand in hand with promoting the discipline of Working Equitation and getting the foundation for a show series/circuit (or whatever you call it when you have schooling shows and rated shows and Championship shows) laid down for future years. I'm really excited about what the future holds for this sport.
2. Clinics and Shows in Working Equitation
So far, it looks like there are plans for a couple of clinics and a couple of shows. One of the clinics and show will happen at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo this year, which I plan to participate in. The clinic and show will push the event to five days for Ashke and I, but I think that will be just fine and I really look forward to being able to ride and have fun. Unfortunately, it does mean that I need to procure Spanish riding clothes, because of the Alta Escuela. I hate having to buy clothes. I miss my pre-child/pre-menopause body something fierce. I need a Spanish jacket that will accommodate my voluptuousness and a pair of pants that don't make my butt look the same size as Babe. The other part of this equation is to make sure I practice with Ashke. Which leads us to the next point.
3. Ride Four Days a Week
This has completely derailed the past two months. Now that the holidays are over and we are in a barn where I don't dread being in the indoor, I need to get back to work. It will take some finagling to give myself time to get a ride in, like making sure I can fix leftovers for dinner the nights I ride during the week. It also means not talking myself out of riding in the evening. That has gotten really easy to do. I think I am feeling the cold a bit more than I have in the past, because it is a mental struggle to leave the house after dinner to go ride. It is certainly more of a challenge to go home, eat, snuggle the boy and then leave again to drive out to the barn. On Monday, when I left the house a little after six, it was much easier than tonight when I got to the barn at 7:45. There was no ride happening then, which is a good thing, since Ashke's right front leg was a little puffy. (It wasn't sore to the touch, there was no heat, and it was along the outside of his fetlock. My gut tells me this is a battle wound from Saturday when we scrambled up a gully and he almost lost his footing.) I think he nicked the outside of that leg on a rock during the ride. We will see how it looks on Friday night and I will start using the BOT splint boots on all of our rides. I have plenty of things to work on in the indoor, so even if the weather is bad, I'll still have specific techniques I am working on. I hope to move the gate, the corridor and bell and the garroucha pole to the barn over the weekend.
4. Develop our canter
We finally have a relaxed and balanced canter. Now we need to develop it. A good walk-canter, canter-walk transition needs to happen to facilitate a simple change of leads through the walk. We need to canter nicely between obstacles without flailing and giraffing. We need to pick up our canter at the exact moment I first ask for it, instead of feeling like I am pony club kicking him into the gait. We need to work on smaller circles, which will give him the chance to develop the strength to do them without needing to cross canter. I am putting him back on the Smartpak Rehab pellets and this time I hope I remember that every time I take him off he starts having issues with the right hip.
5. NATRC - At least one ride
I have discovered there are four rides in Colorado within a couple hours drive: one at Buffalo Creek and one on the East-West regional trail, the other two at the Air Force Academy and Lake George (by Tarryall). The dates they are scheduled do not conflict with the WE, although I'm not sure all four rides are doable. But I have the goal of doing at least one NATRC ride with Ashke, K and Eddy. J will crew and I think this might give us the excuse to get our truck camper.
6. Our First 25 Mile Endurance Ride
The Colorado Mountain Mettle Express at Greenland is already scheduled for this year on Oct 1st. I really, really want to try that ride. K is game and I think we should be able to make the distance without any problem, considering we've done training rides that long, over that amount of time. It would be good to finally accomplish what my stated reason was for getting Ashke in the first place. Then I could say I had ridden an endurance ride. And if I didn't like it I wouldn't have to do it again.
7. 500 Miles on Trail
I think I will actually make this goal this year, especially if we don't travel at the holidays and I do the above mentioned rides. It was a goal worthy of trying again. And with K and Eddy close to where we board, (until they can get into my barn), it should be easier to go for longer periods of time.
My only personal goal this year is to never drink soda again. It's been a month without and I am almost over the depression of no more DP. I can't drink any soda at all, since other sodas (rootbeer or lemonade for example) are gateway sodas to the gloriousness of DP. Seriously, never again.
That is it for now.