Open Competitions with Standardbreds

There is no reason why you can’t take your Standardbred into an open competition. There is nothing holding you back from pushing yourself and hitting those goals.

For those who have aspirations of competing in an open competition but feel like they’re never going to be able to. Re read the first paragraph again, and probably another 3 times.

Let it sink in.

It all comes down to your training and having a knowledgeable coach who will help you achieve this goal and your willingness to learn and motivation to make it routine.

You need to think about where you’re at with your training right now. How many miles has your horse have being under saddle, 6 weeks, 6 months or even 2 years? Note where you’re at and where you want to be down the track. If your horse has not long been under saddle, that’s great, put your goals down and work towards them.

There is nothing holding you back. Speaking from my own experience, I’ve competed in more open competitions then I ever have within the Standardbred ring. It can be done.

The ridden Standardbred classes have gone leaps and bounds over the last few years, it’s lovely to see the amount of horses out competing. The overall presentation of the horses is certainly something to be proud of. Honestly, it’s a huge credit to you for presenting them so beautifully.

It’s lovely to see the determination and also the enjoyment from these riders who are competing in the ridden events. Don’t let your goals stop in the breed ring.

There are some amazing riders out there who are completely kicking goals in open competition, have you seen some of the amazing Standardbreds sand dancing recently? It’s not only great to see but a pleasure to see good training pay off and for the breed to really be seriously competitive with other breeds in the 60×20.

If you’ve been following me for a while you know my view on competing Standardbreds in open competition is there is no chance, you’re not good enough or you will be out of place because you ride a Standardbred. It honestly comes down to good consistent training.

Lesson Diagonal Pair

 

If I’m speaking honestly, I felt prouder and successful about my own training when I was competing Arnie in open events. The fact he was just as competitive with all the other horses on the draw and no one looked at him as just a ‘Standardbred’ but a dressage horse.

A few little wise things from me to you.

  • A knowledgeable coach to help you work towards your goals.
  • Good training system
  • More importantly be consistent with your training system- stick at it.
  • Good things take time
  • Don’t stop learning

Let’s wrap up 2020

Like most I’m looking forward to wrapping up 2020 and heading into 2021 bigger and better.

 

For me, it’s my first real big year with DDE, with my completion of my EA Coaching I headed out into the big wide world right before that thing we’ve all gotten used to hearing about. Covid – sigh, it’s deflating how much I’ve gotten used to hearing and talking about it on a daily basis. It’s been a little harder developing my coaching and tee business this year then I had originally planned!

 

I’ll be honest so much has changed with the horses and my goals. Literally just crazy looking back now!

 

Earlier in the year I made a tough decision to sell my young horse Minnie, was so heart breaking for me to come to that decision. But I know deep down in my heart it was the right one to make. She found a wonderful loving home and is even out and about competing this year with some great results with her new rider! Which makes me feel like it really was the best decision.

 

My plan with Arnie this year was to have a super year out competing as he turned 20 this year, I really wanted to push ourselves and see what we could do and finish his competition career on a total high. Personally, I was imagining champagne and buckets of carrots for the both of us for Christmas this year to celebrate. I guess in a way we still did ‘just because’ 🙂

 

With this in mind, Arnie winding down and enjoying life and selling my next up and coming horse Minnie. I decided to make a purchase on a horse I honestly didn’t expect to make. A schoolmaster. Aka Mr Bert. I rode him a few times before finalising everything, but after my first ride with him the feeling I got I knew he was my next horse to join the team!

 

The decision to purchase something that was the next level (or two!) above what I was currently riding was a huge decision. I know every journey we go on with our horses is different, but I don’t think you can really compare purchasing a young horse and going through the beginning baby stages to a horse that’s older that has more miles and education with another rider. Each have their own experiences and challenges.

 

Learning how to fly and use the control panel is a challenge in itself! I honestly don’t think it’s as easy as getting on and pushing buttons – ok maybe to some, but not me. They say it can take up to 12 months for a horse to really feel like your own, it’s totally true. It’s a learning curve for both the horse and rider, applying the aids slightly different and working together to form a team.

 

With the new addition added to the stables my goals totally changed. It’s honestly been the most amazing year for me horse wise. Learning how to put movements together, learning how to get that feeling and beginning to control every single foot fall.

 

12 months ago, I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me that I would be learning how to half pass, flying changes and canter pirouettes. Let alone having my first advance start at a competition – ok, I may have flopped it a bit, but it’s all part of my learning and next time will be an improvement.

 

What I’m thankful for during 2020

 

My clients! I’ve enjoyed working with each and every one. Meeting all those lovely horses I teach and their riders who are always wanting to improve. Making and designing all those clothes this year, I haven’t put a number on it but it’s a lot of parcels out the door to the mail man.

 

Of course, it goes without saying my good health with everything going on in the world at the moment. It’s just mind-blowing thinking how this virus has changed the way we live. I’m not even sure when we can go on an overseas holiday again.

 

Last and certainly not least.

 

Creating and being a part of an amazing community. Building a good community is a hard thing to do, it takes time. The DDE community might be small but it’s something I’m proud to be creating. Your support means so much more then you know – every like, every comment, every message, every email opened, every message sent to me all adds up.

 

What are you proud of this year? What have been your highlights?!

 

Happy Riding

Ingrid 🙂

2019 Goals Worksheet

2019 Goals Worksheet

Yet another year is upon us, meaning another year to set our goals and strive for our best. I never used to be much of a ‘goal setter’ but when I found my love of dressage, I felt I was lacking direction. Not only with my training but in general.

When I attended Brett Parbery’s intelligent riding retreat in 2016, everything started to settle into place. Physically writing down my 12-month end goal gave my mind a clear path and direction to work towards, step by step, month by month to achieve these goals.

It is so important to have goals. But, just remember a goal is just a wish without a plan.

a goal is just a wish without a plan

For all the dressage dreamers out there I decided to put together a revamped version of the previous goals worksheet.

2019 worksheet is 4 pages to print, one page for each of your 3, 6 and 12 month goal. Breaking it down to help you think about each goal and how to achieve it.

Just a reminder this is totally FREE and the link to download is emailed to you after the ‘check out’.

Click here to visit the FREE resources on the shop.

Happy goal setting!

The not so perfectly planned year

When I was writing down my goals for this year I was super excited to picture my goal kicking year ahead. I was focused on three areas of my life; training and competition, personal development and professional development.

Recently rereading my post “goals for the coming year” my heart sank a little, because I feel I haven’t achieved not one small part of my goals that I had set out to do. Unfortunately, its life, things come up. I broke my collarbone in May and was out of the saddle for a while, which led me to have a knock-on effect to be a little unmotivated with my personal and professional development goals. Once you feel down and out it takes a while to gain that momentum for the uphill climb.

Once you feel down and out it takes a while to gain that momentum for the uphill climb.

But you know what, after enjoying a glass of wine (or two, or three. But, hey who’s counting ?) I had a thought to myself. The year is not over, I still have time to tick a few of my goals off my list and start to shape my 2019 from here.

The not so perfectly planned year

Coming back into the competition arena after 7 months. Better yet, 209 days ago or 60% of my 2018. (wow sounds a little depressing!) makes me feel a little nervous on the inside. Especially since we have only been back training since July, 66 days or 18.08% of my 2018!

The not so perfectly planned year

I have re adjusted my goals that I enthusiastically wrote down at the start of the year.  Still focusing on my three areas of my life. I might not be writing these down as enthusiastically as I once did at the start of the year, but I know I am not the only one out there who has fallen off the wagon. I can only start to shape my amazing 2019 from here.

Training and Competition
  • Pluck away at our counter canter and canter loops (in the novice 2.3)
  • Play around and get confident with some lateral movements
  • Sharpen our simple changes
  • Attend 3 competitions before the end of 2018. With good confident prelim and novice scores.

 

Personal Development

I’ve commenced the EA NCAS Coaching Course so long ago and have only completed the theory side of the first set of modules! I feel like I have a massive anchor holding me down, a weight on my mind that makes me feel as if I cannot progress. I need to shake this feeling, especially if I want to do what I love! In saying that I am aiming to complete one more section of my course before the end of the year. In hope one tick off the box on the course will lead onto another.

As for the exercise goals I had written down. Well, I haven’t progressed all that far with that! I might leave that as ‘ongoing’. Says the person who puts strawberries in her dessert to justify it to be ‘healthy’ ?

Professional Development

I honestly feel this is the side of my life I am starting to have under control. I absolutely love Dressage Dreamers. It’s hard to believe how an idea sitting down on my laptop watching tv has led me to how it is today. It’s my project, it will change and shape into something different over the coming years.

The Standardbred Showcase has been working super, I absolutely love reading everyone’s stories and sharing them! You can check out the stories here.

I’m sure I am not the only one who has had an unplanned year, would love to hear how you are going towards your goals ? comment or drop me a line!

The not so perfectly planned year

My Goals For The Coming Year

As I sit down thinking and writing out my goals for this coming year, I find it hard to concentrate. A typical hot Australian summer day, looking out the window of my parents’ house at the paddocks while sitting in the air conditioning, a whopping 45 degree Celsius. This horrible heat wave makes it difficult to write down any inspiration, sitting down sweating, exhausted after the morning stable chores. But, fortunately as I start to cool off in the air conditioning watching Arnie in the paddock in the distance, I begin to picture our exciting venture for 2018.

Goals for the coming year

I started thinking about the different aspects of my life and what I want to achieve. I broke it down to a few areas.

 

Training and competition:

Finishing 2017 off with a protocol test gave me the confidence to work on the areas of our tests that need improvement. I feel focused and clear cut with what I need to do to achieve our desired result. My overall aim is to qualify for the State Dressage Championships in Novice, I require scores over 65%, which I believe can be completely achievable. If I stick to my weekly and monthly schedule!

Back in November 2016 I attended the Intelligent Riding Retreat with Brett Parbery, it was an amazing experience. Not only did I meet 13 other like minded wonderful ladies, but I managed to have an idea on my own training system and my own road mapping towards my goals.

I absolutely love having dressage as my main discipline, it allows me to have achievable goals and create a road map to make that goal more visual. Which makes me think about my main training goals with Arnie over 2018, I would LOVE to have an Elementary start on him one day in the near future.

As our training progresses I have a few little goals in mind:
  • Master our counter canter, which we have complete confidence on the left rein! So, I feel this could be quite achievable if we put our mind to it.
  • Get confident moving the hind quarters, don’t be scared of some travers!
  • With our simple changes progressing nicely over time, I would just love to ‘sharpen’ them, have more jump into the canter from walk.

goals for the coming year

Personal Development:

Around April last year I signed up to commence the EA NCAS Coaching course, I successfully completed one unit out of many in the Introduction level.

Being a little side tracked during last year with other ventures, my aim this year is to complete my intro level and commence Level 1 Dressage. Huge step forward towards what I feel is a dream journey, but I think it will be completely worth it if I concentrate and keep hustling through each bit of the course.

Something that has always been on my new years resolution list for the past 5 or so years, is to get fit! But this time I want to stick to it, not make any excuses. This is why I want to set aside time each week where I think about my own rider fitness and concentrate on exercises to help. Rather then putting my fitness in the basket labelled ‘lose weight’, because I know myself too well, I will avoid getting around to making time for it.

Professional Development:

I love to write, I love to blog, I love to share my journey. I hope to encourage a positive environment for other equestrians. This year I really want to vamp up Dressage Dreamers and really start to shape it into something special.

It’s life, a few things can get into the way forcing other priorities further down the list, but my aim is to be more organised and have Dressage Dreamers at the top and become more consistent. More writing, more sharing, I really feel in this day and age we need to have a good support system. I feel that I am extremely fortunate to have the positive family and friends encouraging me with all my ambitions.

goals upcoming year

 

Let me know what YOUR goals are for 2018?! It doesn’t matter how big or small, I would love to know!

Happy Training 🙂


What is your Riding Ambition? – Equestrian Blog Hop

I’m delighted to join in and be part of this month’s Equestrian Blog Hop run by Bridle & Bone. The topic for November is, what is your riding ambition? Do you have one? As I sat down and thought about what my riding ambition is and if I have a riding ambition, I started doing a little research and reading about ambitions.

 

Ambition is defined as “a true desire to do or achieve something”. Now, after some reading I believe if you have a passion, such as riding, there is no doubt that you would have a desire to go out and be with your equine partner. You do have ambition and desire to achieve the best you can.

“Ambition and love are the wings to great deeds”- Goethe.

You could say my ambition started from an early age. Being surrounded by horses, riding and competing at shows, qualifying for royals. The desire to achieve my best in the show ring soon developed into my harness racing days. My ambition shifted to become a better driver and achieve the best for the horse. Again, my focused shifted as I made the change to get back in the saddle again after a break. This is when I found dressage, which has become my love and passion ever since. I have found a discipline that allows my riding to grow and develop into a better rider.

Arniwho Riding ambition

The early morning alarms, saddling up while the sun is rising just so I can get a good 30-minute ride in before heading off to work. Walking through the front door after the sun has gone down after exercising horses after work. Falling asleep on the lounge after dinner while watching TV. Non-equestrians really sit there scratching their heads wondering why on earth we do it and what possibly could we gain out of it.

Love is why we do it, ambition keeps our head in the game. The ups and downs, tears and laughter, equestrians wouldn’t have it any other way. No matter what discipline we are all set out to achieve something.

 

Riding Ambition

For me where I am with my dressage journey, no matter how far down the path I go. It’s the burning desire to become a better rider that keeps me heading on my merry way. The path will never come to an end, you will never stop learning. Most importantly, you are never too good to learn.

How do I stay on the path? I have two main things that help me.

First one, I currently I have 12-month goal set out on a poster written up the very top. I have the months broken down underneath in headings, I plan out parts of the 12 months. Such as, lessons, competitions, time off, body work etc. Basically the building blocks heading towards that end goal.

Second one, surrounding myself with like minded people. Whether you surround yourself with positive like minded friends or even having your social media feed positive and inspiring. Chatting to the other dressage girls inspiring and motivating each other to keep striving to do our best each ride. Or simply following the top riders and trainers in our sport, aiming to be that person you follow religiously online.

 

It begs the question, what are your riding ambitions? What is your burning desire with your equestrian partner?