Tuesday, 4 October 2016

2016 Q3 Review and Q4 Goals

September is over (how did that happen so quickly?!), so time for goal review!

Q3 Goal Review

1. Get a lesson every month
Semi-success - I got a lesson from T in July, and a clinic with Elaine in September (3 lessons!). I didn't have any lessons in August, but I spent a lot of the month saddle shopping and that improved my position just as much as any lesson! 

2. Ride in a dressage clinic
Success - Elaine clinic in early September

3. Achieve quiet, round canter transitions
Nope - we did get some nice transitions this quarter but I realized that we still have more foundation work to do before really focusing on the canter.

4. Develop a good stretchy trot
Success - it could certainly be better, but we have one now and we didn't before

5. Get 65% on a test at a show
Nope - I only had one show this quarter and the dressage day wasn't a good day for us. I changed my focus from showing to schooling which I talked about here.

6. Teach Kachina to be good for bit check
Semi-success - I got Kachina to be a lot better about me sticking my hands in her mouth, but once I decided that I wasn't showing any more this year I kind of stopped practicing this. I need to add rubber gloves and strange people to the mix to get Kachina used to that.

7. Go on a group trail ride involving trotting/cantering and varied terrain
Success (huge success actually) - We spent 3 days in Writing-on-Stone riding the most challenging terrain I've ever attempted, and I've done a few group rides around the barn including trotting and cantering. 

8. Improve my position and hands 
Success - this is another one where I still have lots of work to do, but there's no question that my position has improved since June with the combination of a new saddle, a few lessons, and a lot of practice. 

In general I think I used the summer well, taking advantage of the nice weather to go places, ride out, and just generally enjoy my horse. There were also two major awesome but unexpected things that happened this quarter: getting my new saddle and having Kachina go out to pasture. I'm sad that the days are getting shorter but I think we're in a good place to do more arena rides inside and really focus on solidifying our dressage fundamentals.  

Q4 Goals

1. Participate in 2pointober
2. Solidify my new leg position
3. Get softness from Kachina in all gaits and transitions within gaits
4. Practice test riding and all test movements
5. Re-introduce trot lengthening
6. Get correct bend more consistently at all 3 gaits
7. Improve hand/arm position and steady soft contact
8. Get Kachina to stand inside for grooming and tacking up
9. Ride in a lesson every month


  1. If anyone is wondering why I am planning on mostly inside work from now on, the radio just announced that we are expected to get snow tonight!!!

  2. Always something to improve on but great job on the successes and semi-successes, especially the bit-check one! And yay 2ptober!

    1. Thank you! In my first recognized show this summer I found out that Kachina could not deal with the (very nice) steward coming up to her and sticking a finger in her mouth. Much head throwing ensued. I had never even thought about that being a problem but immediately decided we would need to do a lot of practice to improve that at home.

      Also yay for 2ptober, even though you aren't running it anymore, thank you for making it into a thing! Even though I'm a dressage rider I can see the benefit of 2 point to solidify my leg position so I am excited to have extra motivation this month!

  3. Holy crap snow??? We were in the 90s I'm not sure I can move back north 😂

    1. Yep, snow. It's snowing right now, though at least the ground is still warm enough where it's melting on contact for now. We're supposed to get down to -6C (21F) tomorrow though. Sadness.