The year that was… the year it will be

Wow I can’t believe in a few weeks I’ll be typing 2017, honestly it does not sink in! Only 2016 just seems real!

Did I achieve everything I wanted during 2016… nope… big fat old NO. Hopefully I’m not the only one. However, if you were to ask me did I achieve everything I wanted in the last few months… YES definitely YES. If only I was in this mind set at the start of 2016.

Finished off 2016 with a training day at one of our local clubs, I ran myself short on time warming up for our first test and it wasn’t very pleasant to ride. So, I would imagine it wouldn’t have been too great to watch!  I was honestly DISAPPOINTED in myself for it!

I made sure I had a better warmup that I needed for my second test…… I was really happy with my warmup and confident to go into our second test. We ended up winning 65.43% the Novice 2.2, even better we scored a 7 for one of our leg yields something I have to admit we STRUGGLE with!

 

Let’s reflect on that positive last few months, which have been amazing. I feel so focused, I feel like I have my goal in mind and its reachable. Each session I have whether I’m riding or lunging I want to have in mind that I am always training, I want to have a purpose.

It’s so damn easy to just go around in circles and not be in the complete zone and just be exercising the horse thinking what should I be doing next, what should I be working on. I’ve felt over the last few months that when I get on I need to focus on myself, my position before I worry about what Arnie is doing. Even when I’m working on different exercises and something isn’t going as smoothly as I have hoped I guarantee it’s my position or my aids that I am using not clearly enough or I am just over complicating it!

I love to read and learn a lot, I have that many books that I have purchased over the last 12 months, and that many links saved that I have watched or waiting to watch. I now feel now over the last few months that I have that confidence for me to do all these different exercises, push outside my own comfort zone to try something that little bit different, yes it might be ugly but hey that’s training! It’s helping both of us in the long run, in that bigger picture. Plus, I’ve been enjoying playing around with all the different exercises…. It’s kinda fun! GP here we come 😉

 

So, where will the beginning to 2017 be taking me? Well, I’m certain I will stay this focused for the start of the year. I want to keep training, keep working on my exercises, keep working through what I need to improve on to make myself better. I really hope to catch up for a lesson (or clinic) before Christmas and then again early in the new year before any of our next dressage comps.

Besides the training in the saddle I’m hoping to have all the things I’ve been working on behind the scenes ready early in the new year. I have this pretty new kick arse website I’ve been slaving over the last few months! It will be ready live before Christmas, I ALMOST have everything ready 🙂  It’s going to be fantastic! With the growing number of Standardbred’s out there in their new life after racing I feel it is important to have a strong support network within our Standardbred community, encouraging, motivating and supporting one another while we raise the bar and making this breed noticed!!!!!!

Till next time, happy riding 🙂

suppleness

What an amazing few weeks its been! Nothing is more satisfying then turning a corner with Arnie ! It was a bit of a last minute decision, I wasn’t entirely sure if Arnie was ready to compete but I’m glad we did decide to go to Castle Hill Show 2 weeks ago.

He warmed up a treat and worked very well in our Show Hunter classes coming away with 3rd Intermediate Show Hunter. We also competed in our ridden Standardbred classes, we came away with 1st Open Ridden Standardbred & Champion Ridden Standardbred.
Besides the results it was a win for us for the day to get out of Arnie’s comfort zone aka the arena! He really feels ‘safe’ in his arena knowing what tests we will be riding on comp day having run through them previously. The BIG space not being in the arena and asking to do a work out he hasn’t practiced before puts him into a bit of a spin!! So it was a very nice feeling to have him so relaxed and happily working around the ring 🙂

 

From Castle Hill we prepared for our lesson on the Thursday that week!
It is FANTASTIC to know how far we have come…Lots more of  connection its great which means we got to work more on suppleness! Yay, stepping up !

We worked on our transitions, which have been bothering me!! The canter- trot transitions I have been struggling with, it’s almost as if I close my eyes tell him to trot and hope for the best! Needless to say after our lesson I feel much better about them now! I always enjoy having a lesson, I always take away as much as I possibly can to work on at home & keep improving !!

We worked on a few exercises to help us, touched on spirals, leg yielding and shoulder-in to help our transitions. As we fall in on the circle through our transitions from canter to trot to the left (I have that feeling it’s both our weak side! )
I’m so happy our shoulder-in’s were going well during our lesson, something I’ve always played around with at home but have never been 100% confident with that work with him.
We left our lesson feeling VERY motivated and everything is falling into place in our work at home- thank you Kate! CAN’T wait to keep chipping away for our dressage comp at the end of November.

 

It was great to have a ride at home and work through the exercises we worked on during our lesson. It sounds so simple, shoulder-in along the quarter line – leg yield to the wall then shoulder-in down the rest of the long side. Sounds so simple but my brain was struggling putting it together ! I get so frustrated with myself when I struggle to wrap my head around things!

But….our transitions are coming together slowly 🙂

I have a few things in the pipeline at the moment which I’m extremely excited about!

One event I’m going to be MORE then happy to share with everyone in about a week! So excited, it really is a rare opportunity to expand my knowledge and help better shape my training & riding.

I’m also putting together some research with other people out there with their Standardbred’s. If you could be so kind to take literally take a minute to read & fill out !

http://www.dressagestandardbred.com/dressage-dreamers-team.html

Happy Riding!