Tag: take all my money

I has a plan!

I think one of the things that has held my progress in check for a long time is not having very clear riding goals.  In high school I competed essentially to go hang out with horses and friends all day.  It wasn’t much different in Texas, when I was leasing a horse named Checkers.  It was just kinda like, okay go.  Get around the course, you didn’t die, okay cool.

Then I moved to Maryland, started eventing, bought a house, had no money, and I realized something.  Eventing is way too expensive to not visibly improve from event to event, even if that improvement is developing consistency.  If I’m going to bother with it, and bother to take two lessons a week, and not waste my and my trainer’s time, I need to have a clear cut plan and progression.

Yeah, so, I has a plan.

Short Term (Winter 2014-2015)

  • Improve and lighten my dressage seat – quieter hands, stronger back to minimize collapsing to the right side, open angle of hip to thigh to solidify lower leg
  • Improve sitting trot – catch more of the “upswing” and bring center of gravity back
  • A training level dressage test capable of scoring in the high 60s
  • Work on downward transitions and halt
  • Lots of gymnastics to strengthen and improve jump form
  • Stop using the martingale on the flat

Next Show Season (Spring-Fall 2015)

  • Complete an entire event without forgetting a test or course
  • Recognized Beginner Novice horse trial
  • A “move up” horse trial at Beginner Novice or a starter trial at Novice in the fall (This one’s a long shot, because I won’t bother to move up until I can actually complete events with no eliminations or memory lapses consistently)
  • One hunter show

Long Term

  • Renew CHA Certification
  • Qualify for the American Eventing Championships

Now, I’m not usually much of a planner, and I know as much as the next person what happens to the best laid plans.  I was actually feeling a little superstitious about writing them out, but my checking account needs real focus from me this year.

What are you planning to accomplish in the next year or so?

Photo “Blueprint” by Will Scullin

The Horsey Bucket List

Okay friends, you know what’s coming.  Every equestrian of every style has a “horsey” bucket list of all the weird crap they want to do atop a 1,000lb animal, or involving horses in some way.  Because if we didn’t, we’d be insane, right?

Well, I too have one of those lists.  And here it is.  Enjoy!  Give me suggestions!  Tell me about all the things you’ve done or want to do!

  1. Stay overnight at a big horse show.
  2. Go swimming with a horse.
  3. Play a game of polo.
  4. Do one of those vacation weeks at a working ranch.
  5. Jousting!
  6. Tour the UK on a trail riding countryside trip.
  7. Exercise ride a racehorse.
  8. Get yelled at by Our Lord and Master the all-knowing ever precise George Morris.
  9. Beat a pro in a horse trial.
  10. See the Lipizzaners AT the Spanish Riding School, IN Vienna.
  11. Get around a USHJA Hunter Derby Course.
  12. Go riding on the beach!
  13. Ride sidesaddle (there’s a theme starting here).
    Did this one in a lesson demo as part of the Maryland Horse World Expo!
  14. Learn to jump sidesaddle.
  15. FOXHUNT.
  16. FOXHUNT SIDESADDLE.
  17. FOXHUNT SIDESADDLE IN ENGLAND. PRETEND I’M ON DOWNTON ABBEY. COMPLETE LIFE AND DIE HAPPILY.

Photo “Searching low” by beaucon