Tuesday 3 July 2018

2018 Q2 Review & Q3 Goals

2018 Q2 Goals

1. Settle into New Barn 
This means going out more frequently to reassure Kachina that the move doesn't mean I've abandoned her. It also means keeping a close eye on Kachina's weight and mental state to see if the move is actually benefiting her. Some short term upheaval is possible but if things don't improve within this quarter, I need to be prepared to make additional changes. 
Success! - The barn move has clarified that we still have some confidence issues to work through but in general Kachina and I are doing better in new barn than we were at old one. 

2. Improve my Relationship with Kachina on the Ground
This is a key reason why I am moving barns. I am already's Kachina's person, but I want her to learn that things like extended grooming sessions can be enjoyable, not just something to endure. Even if we have less arena time we should be able to use the heated barn and stall for some simple bonding time.
Semi-success - we've worked on this. I've made a point of making some barn trips just about feeding, grazing or grooming but we still have work to do to get her to relax in the barn. As a positive sign though Kachina has started to consistently look up as soon as I call her name and walk up to me in the big paddock. 

3. Hold 2nd Annual Dressage Show
This is scheduled for May 19-21, and it's looking like we're in decent shape compared to last year, but it's still going to involve a lot of work. 
Success! - we've already talked about this

4. Test Ride Every Two Weeks
Show season is coming and test riding helps us with showing so this needs to be added back into our schedule. This will consist of Training tests initially but hopefully include First Level tests by May or June. Our circles or diagonals might need to be a little wonky if there are jumps in the way but even a rough approximation of the pattern should help. Ideally I would like to do this weekly, but every two weeks at minimum. 
Fail! - I didn't even ride every two weeks so this was a fail this quarter. I didn't actually do any test riding until the day before my first show. I'm keeping this goal though because it needs to happen.

5. Work on Canter Lengthens
I know we have trot lengthens, and we've lengthened canter before successfully, but I haven't done much structured work yet on going forward and then coming back in the canter without losing anything else. This is the key thing holding us back from First Level right now so I want to work on it.
Success! - So working doing structured work on canter lengthens for the first time the week before the show where we were debuting at First Level wasn't really the ideal way to do this, but we did do it so it counts! I was actually really happy with how this came together, her canter has become much more adjustable. 

6. Get Married
I know, I know, not a horse goal, but I'm putting it on the list so I remember not to get too ambitious with equestrian pursuits. 
Success! - Got the ring on my finger to prove it ;-)

2018 Q3 Goals

1. Bring Kachina into Barn 5 Days/Week
We need consistency to make headway on Kachina's tension in the barn so I need to bring her in regularly. Even if I'm short on time and just bring her in and tie her for 5 minutes it will help, just visiting her in the paddock isn't good enough (my previous short cut when I didn't have time to ride). What exactly I do with her when I bring her in may need to adapt depending on how things go but I have some new plans.

2. Test Ride Every Two Weeks
Working on basics is always important but those aren't enough if I don't also practice geometry and the way movements flow together.

3. Develop a Good Stretchy Trot
We've scored badly on this movement too many times and it's frequently a double coefficient. I need to stop thinking that working on connection in general is enough to give us a consistent stretch, and actually focus on the movement itself as well as the basics behind it.

4. Commit to a Weekend of Stall Time
I need to be prepared to spend a lot of hours over a weekend if required to get Kachina to relax in a stall at our home barn. I have plans to kind of simulate a show environment (where she is great in a stall) at home (where she is not). I actually wanted to do this last weekend but crap went seriously sideways at work so I had to deal with that all long weekend instead.

5. Go on Two Trail Rides
These are already planned

6. Canter/Gallop in Fields
I've spent too much time in the arena since my barn move, there are fields that I want to take advantage of.

7. Participate in Judge's Clinic 
I'm registered so this should happen in August

Update on 2018 Show Season Stretch Goals

All of these are stretch goals (because only so many show dates, and horses wreck plans), but something for me to aim for within Q2 or Q3 (show season is Apr-Sept)

1. Debut at First Level
Success! - Two 58%s and a Reserve Champion award isn't too shabby for a debut! There's no excuse not to do First Level now so I will keep working on and showing at this level throughout the summer

2. Score Above 65%
Not Yet - highest so far is 62.6%, but as long as we do some focused work (and actually test ride!) I don't think 65% is out of reach. 

3. Earn an ADA Wild Rose Award
This involves getting scores of 63% or higher at 3 different shows at Training Level or First Level.
Not Yet - The first show of the year had us 0.4% short of getting our first score, but there are 4 more shows on the calendar so I'm still going to try my best to make this happen! 


  1. You are really hitting it out of the park on your goals. Well done!

  2. Overall you are making great progress on your goals!