2014 goals

September Goals Preview

From my 2014 Outline:

September

Lots of options for getting out and about this month, depending on how we want to structure it. Do we want to do more low key stuff, or do we want to show off a bit? Some really good schooling show options if we choose to go that route. 

Possible events for riding or volunteering: Eddy Farm Schooling Three Phase (no dates yet), Equestry Schooling Dressage (no dates yet), East Hill Farm Schooling Dressage (no dates yet), GMHA Fall Hunter Pace (September 7), GMHA Horse Trials (September 13-14), GMHA Fall Foliage Ride (September 26-28)

 Yeah, there will be no showing off this month. There’s nothing to show off.

However, we are officially committed to the GMHA Fall Foliage Ride on Sunday, September 28.

Modified goals: more fitness, for both of us. Add some dressage schools back in. Stick to the frequency of riding, keep track of everything in the ride calendar. On September 28, at the end of the month, re-evaluate everything based on a full month of pergolide + Cushings diet.

2014 goals

August Goals Wrap Up

From my 2014 outline:

August 

Keep turning those screws, keep hauling out to jump with Vergennes trainer, keep fine-tuning the dressage. Foxhunting if possible. 

Possible events for riding or volunteering: Vermont Dressage Days (August 9-10), GMHA Combined Driving Event (August 23-24), GMHA Distance Days (August 29-31)

When I previewed these goals, I wasn’t very confident about hauling out or foxhunting, and Tristan’s vet appointment to check on his foot was still in the future. I didn’t yet know about the Cushing’s.

In short, August looked quite a bit different than I thought it would. I didn’t get to any of the events I’d listed – work or family commitments made them all impossible.

With the Cushing’s diagnosis, however, I made a commitment to up his fitness levels, and I guess that falls under the “turning the screws” part of this goal. I’m actually pretty pleased with the way August shaped up in terms of frequency of riding, as shown by the ride calendar I’ve started.

2014 goals

August Goals Preview

So, after the dismal failure that was my July goals, what does August hold? From the 2014 Outline:

August 

Keep turning those screws, keep hauling out to jump with Vergennes trainer, keep fine-tuning the dressage. Foxhunting if possible. 

Possible events for riding or volunteering: Vermont Dressage Days (August 9-10), GMHA Combined Driving Event (August 23-24), GMHA Distance Days (August 29-31)

I’m already signed up for a day of scribing at Dressage Days. I’d like to help at the GMHA CDE but I might have a family commitment that weekend.

How much riding I get done depends entirely on the results of the vet appointment to look at Tristan’s foot.  I won’t be able to haul out for jumping, that’s for sure; funds are too tight. I might get out cubbing, depending on how the schedule/timing/soundness works out.

Not feeling very optimistic right now.

2014 goals

July Goals Wrap Up

So, how did I do on my July goals?

July 

Work commitments ease considerably, and we should be able to pick up the pace here. If all is going really well we can turn the screws and think about the GMHA show at the end of the month, OR think about getting out and foxhunting. 

Possible events for riding or volunteering: Huntington Horse Trials (July 11-12), GMHA Dressage Days (July 25-27)

Sigh. Not really. Yes, sort of, but not really. I have been riding more than in June, but I would not describe it as turning the screws. More like flailing around and ending in tears.

I’m not feeling great about my own skills as a rider and the way Tristan is going right now. Some of that is my uncertainty and fear about the new foot problems overshadowing everything. Some of it is frustration, exhaustion, and lack of motivation. I can’t remember the last time I had a few hours to spend at the barn with Tris to just hang out.

Those two volunteer opportunities did not happen, but I did get to crew at the Vermont Moonlight ride, so that was cool.

2014 goals

July Goals Review

So what did I think I would be doing in July?

July 

Work commitments ease considerably, and we should be able to pick up the pace here. If all is going really well we can turn the screws and think about the GMHA show at the end of the month, OR think about getting out and foxhunting. 

Possible events for riding or volunteering: Huntington Horse Trials (July 11-12), GMHA Dressage Days (July 25-27)

Yep! Pretty much. Huntington won’t happen – maybe for volunteering, but I can also add to this the GMHA Member Days on July 14-17, and the Dog River Horse Club Gymkhana on July 27.

I’m looking forward to July. July is going to rock.

2014 goals

Quarter 2 Review

How are my 2014 goals progressing? Here’s the 2014 Goals post; I’ll go down line by line.

Tristan’s Goals

1. Get fit and rebuild muscle

Going really quite well! He’s fitter, and his back is really starting to look good. His neck is changing more slowly, but it is coming along. We’re now trotting the long hayfield hill in a long and deep frame on a regular basis.
2. Strengthen dressage, particularly the canter
Also going really well, though I can’t claim much credit for it.
3. Work on jumping again
I actually have popped him over a few jumps, and an actual lesson should happen in this next quarter.
4. Do a few tests at dressage show
Not yet, but the best candidates for this were always in midsummer through fall. The decision will be between a local schooling show and a bigger recognized show. I have some great options in both directions.
5. Complete a group trail ride
Hmmmm, not yet. Some good options coming up, though, especially with the GMHA member days.
My Goals

1. Get fit!

Hahahahaha. Ha. Damn it. Two steps forward, two steps back…

2. Find a schedule and stick to it.

I actually did a pretty good job with this through April and early May, and then June was like a bomb went off. Back on it going forward!

3. Take more lessons

Hmmmm, not as many as I had hoped for. A few planned for the summer. The big stumbling block here is money: I need to buy a new car in the fall, and I keep coming across unexpected expenses that are taking priority. However, the training rides were an excellent way to address this.

4. Rebuild emergency savings

I’ve just managed to start this up again, and the plan is for it to speed up in the fall.

5. Be better organized with barn stuff

Sloooooowly but surely. Some progress: I reorganized the trailer stuff, pulled the first aid kit to go over, and consolidated some tack. I need a few hours of good weather to drag out and clean my main tack trunk – it’s musty and cluttered.
2014 goals · canter · training board · video

Final Training Ride

First: I’m aliiiiiiiiiiiiive!

So I know it’s almost July, but let’s review my June goal:

June 

Unfortunately I already know that most of June will be a wasteland due to a massive work event at the end of the month. The goal for this month is to keep my head above water: stick to a schedule and keep him fit. 

Possible events for riding or volunteering: East Hill Farm Schooling Dressage (no dates yet), Vermont Morgan Heritage Days (June 14-15)

I was right. June was a total timesuck, wasteland, minefield – pick your metaphor. I got maybe a half dozen rides in the entire month.

The good news? Putting him into training for that month was one of the best horse-related decisions I’ve ever made. Hurrah and huzzah for that! He kept in work and fitness, and not only that, he made huge, HUGE improvements.

In fact, I have proof. I was able to get out last night to watch the last of his training rides and I have two short videos: the first of his first canter stretch during warmup, the second of a canter further along in the ride that shows some of what his next step is: more sit, more lift through the shoulders.

Finally, I saw this note and had to laugh. Only in Vermont would we still be worried about it being below 50 overnight. (I camped for most of last week for my work event, and on Friday night it was 38 degrees. Yep. You read that right. SO COLD.)

Here’s to more horse riding and blogging for the rest of 2014!