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Friday, December 3, 2010

It's Getting Mighty Cold Out: Don't Lose Touch!

When the weather gets cold like this, it becomes harder and harder for me to go out to the barn and ride. The horses get thick with fuzzies and the cool down time seems to take forever if you get them wet at all. Not to mention if you forget that when you get off that the ground has frozen, and slam your poor cold feet on the dirt only to feel that oh so familiar sting that goes all the way up your spine.

I find that it is times like these when it is important to keep track of what my goals are in my riding and keep inching forward. It's the worst when things not only become dark at 3pm, but stagnant in the ring with your partner. So I would encourage any reader out there to keep a log of what you do and where you would like o be through these winter months and see how far you get through your goals come the spring thaw. Be sure to set some obtainable goals, don't make them all impossible so as to not reach a single one, but then also have others that are going to be difficult, if not impossible for you to reach. In fine fashion... I'll share some of my own personal goals with Fire for these winter months:

- clean flying changes both on the left and right side
- clean and clear transitions, especially from the trot to walk, staying through in the back
- a stronger left side canter that has a more clear jump in it and equals what is happening currently on the right side now
- comfortable mini half passes in both the canter and the trot, on both sides
- at least one, if not two successful trips to another facility (he's only ever been off of his own grounds once!) THIS is a HUGE deal for us
- work the "big" clippers and get comfortable with them

I don't know how all of these goals will turn out, or if any of them will turn out. I do know, however, that I do have them all written down and have them in my tack trunk so I can see them every day before I get my gear together to go ride. This helps me to stay focused and on the ball. It doesn't mean that every day I work flying changes, or the mini half passes, because we don't. But it does mean that because this list stays at the front of my mind we keep on working and my trainer will see a difference when he comes back into town from Frorida, and things won't get stagnant.