Friday, October 3, 2014

september review + october goals

Okie dokie folks. Time to review my first ever exercise in goal setting to see how I did. The results? I probably accomplished about 30% of what I set out to do. Seems about right lol.

September Goals:

1. Work consistently on stretching down through my heels and achieving a long, relaxed leg from hip to heel. Specific efforts will include a few minutes of no-stirrups trot/canter work each (non-lesson) ride, and at least two bareback rides.

picture taken 9/28

Umm... yea this needs more work. My right leg continues to curl up under me. I was pretty good at the no stirrups thing at the beginning of the month, but tapered off when we got more serious about show prep. And uh, the bareback rides never happened. So this goal is staying on the docket. 

2. My lesson schedule in September is a bit wonky but here's the plan: 
   -at least one, ideally two dressage lessons @ GE
   -one xc school @ OF 9/13
   -one, ideally two jump lessons @ OF 9/20, 9/27
   -one or two lessons with D. Clasing @ GE
   -try to fit in a bio-mechanics lesson on 9/27 - might be wishful thinking tho
   -potentially haul Isabel to ST, the fancy pants hunter barn, for a lesson 9/16 - more for the experience than anything else

Our dressage, xc, and jumping lessons got jumbled a bit bc of Isabel's untimely wound. But we managed to fit in one dressage lesson, one xc school, and one stadium lesson at OF. The D. Clasing lesson happened... but we were just spectators unfortunately. Maybe next month? Bio-mechanics WAS wishful thinking. But the deposit is in for an October lesson. And the ST lesson idea was tabled when I decided to take a break from that barn. Still undecided on next steps there, but still have time to work it out. 

3. Get some gymnasties & grids back into our routine - Isabel eats them up, plus they made a huge difference when we started jumping in helping her figure out distances on her own. Perhaps these will be good opportunities for no-stirrup work on my end??

I'm gonna call halfsies on this one. We schooled a fairly simple grid (a FORWARD two stride to a one stride complete with placing poles) set up for the lesson program a few times. Isabel did it just fine, but it wasn't really what I had in mind. I'm thinking more in terms of bounces and one strides - since we've never done a bounce before. 

grids are also a nice way to introduce new heights

October Goals:

So, we're getting some repeat action here:

1. More no-stirrups work (no balancing on hands please!!!) and at least 2 bareback rides AND: Two Pointober from Hillary at Equestrian at Hart and L. Williams from Viva Carlos. (for anyone following who somehow doesn't already read those blogs too, check 'em out and join in the fun!!)

2. At least 1, ideally 2 dressage lessons. 3 jump lessons at OF. and 1 D. Clasing lesson.

3. Bio-mechanics lesson with particular focus on Izzy's right hind and my ineffective leg aids

4. Chiro appointment to investigate some of my concerns re: Isabel's hind end

5. Gymnastics! with a BOUNCE!! (perhaps can be requested during a jump lesson?)

6. Investigate possibility of local jumpers or dressage shows. Want more miles!

7. Make a decision re: ST

kinda wish it could be summer forever...


  1. You're not the only one whose right leg misbehaves! I think it's from driving a car (stepping on the gas pedal all the time).

    Good set of goals for the next month. :)

    1. thanks - and really interesting point! i just noticed yesterday that the wear marks on my car seat cover seem to indicate that i sit with my pelvis all kinds of crooked while driving.... food for thought!

  2. So my right leg likes to lock up and not do anything I ask of it. I've found the following things help me . 1. composite stirrups (I believe you use these already though!), 2. calf raises on a step to stretch down and up. I do about 100 a day combined with other stretches. and 3. scissoring the legs when I first get on (swinging the legs back and forth as far as I can without spooking/touching the horse). It really helps open up the hips which in turn translates to the leg. I hope some of these tips help! I know how frustrating a wandering leg is.

    1. oooh yes - thanks for the hints! the composites *are* helping, tho of course i'm using them in that 9/28 pic, so they're clearly not a magic bullet. but the calf and 'scissor' exercises clearly have my name written all over them :)

    2. Hey cool, thanks for the tips! As a right leg problem-haver (English is hard.) I will try some of these as well.

  3. Super goals, and congrats on getting as much done as you could! It can be really tough to stick to a "schedule" when show prep and horsey wounds are involved. I had these great goals of doing at least one bareback ride/no stirrups ride every week but that just hasn't happened with the showing we've been doing. It just means you can work on other stuff! With horses, you always have to improvise. :)

    My right leg has a mind of its own as well, so I hear you 150% on the frustration. One of my October goals is to lasso my trainers, gesticulate wildly at my leg and beg on bended knee for help in fixing it.

    1. thanks! and i like your approach!! maybe i've been doing it all along - i've been trying to mostly hide my right leg in shame, going through all kinds of odd contortions to keep them on my left side lol. perhaps i should actually, ya know, take advantage of their expertise????

      in any case, the bareback rides WILL happen this month. i am quite determined :)

  4. Gymnastics are the funnest ever, that's a goal that will be a blast to achieve :)

    1. my thoughts exactly!! i just wish they weren't such a PITA to set up...


Thanks for leaving a comment! You may need to enable third party cookies in your browser settings if you have trouble using this form.