Since it doesn't look like I'm going to be doing a huge amount of riding in the next few days, I thought I'd do my end of March goal analysis now before I forgot in the rush of starting up school again. Here we go:
-- Feel comfortable in Intermediate coursework on Ringo any time, any place
Not a bit. I'm not sure I feel comfortable at Novice coursework at the moment!
-- SITTING TROT HAMMERED OUT!
YES! I was riding James the other day, and while his trot is hardly difficult, I was thinking about how far the sitting trot has come in the past winter, and even in the past month. It's one of the few things I can be proud of in March.
-- Get a "7" on Rider on a USEA dressage test
Nope. I felt a little hard done by in my Beginner Novice Test with Kiki, as I know that I rode her pretty darn well, but oh well. I can still dream.
-- Hammer out Intermediate Tests A and B, counter canter and simple changes especially!
Yes! The dressage was something I really felt like I've improved on with Ringo in leaps and bounds. Our test at Three Day was hardly perfect, but man did it not suck.
-- Do at least one "me" thing a week (really this time)
Yes; I'm not sure it worked out exactly week to week, but I did very well. I had Pa out for a whole week which was gangbusters, and later I went to the beach and got out photo-ing. I even went down Highway 1 and had fun in Big Sur.
-- Keep improving the balance of Kiki's canter
Yes! She's been improving by leaps and bounds.
-- Be able to trot into a line of fences on Kiki without a meltdown
Sort of. It's more of a yes, conditionally, at this point, because she really is getting quite good, but she does have the odd "bee in her bonnet" day too, for sure.
-- Be able to do a good 3' course on Kiki
Yes! The coursework is getting really fun on her as we figure each other out.
-- Move Ringo up to Intermediate at Three Day Ranch
-- Debut on Kiki at Three Day Ranch!!
YES!!! AND SHE WAS AMAZING!!
-- Move Kiki up to Novice at Galway
No, but she was very ready to go. I just wasn't in the mental place to take her!
-- Finalize all pertinent registrations and ownership info for Ringo
No; Kate, you're a bad girl.
-- Find a place to live in Palo Alto for Spring Quarter
Yes! I'm sitting in my new dorm room now, where I miraculously got randomly paired up with my roommate from fall quarter who is also one of my best friends (and we are both now not in the dorm we were in in the fall... very very lucky match up!).
-- Find accommodations for Ringo and Kiki in Palo Alto
Yes! Kiki is all settled into her new home in the Mare Motel (the pipe corrals at Stanford) and Ringo will move up to the Student barn on Monday.
-- Find instruction for Ringo and Kiki in Palo Alto
Not really. At the moment, I don't care as much. I just want to get them back with me in a mental state where we are enjoying our time together and having fun. There are many good options up here; I just haven't nailed one down as my "coach" at this point in time.
-- Sort spring schedule and enroll for classes
Yes! My schedule is pretty heavy at the moment, and I'll probably end up dropping a class, but I'm legitimately interested in every class I'm signed up for, so I'm quite excited. I didn't end up getting my goal schedule (classes only on Tuesday and Thursday) but I still don't have class on Friday. Sweet.
Wow. That wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It's hard for me to believe based on what a negative feeling I've had toward the past few weeks, but I did actually manage to get some s*** done this month. Kiki, for sure, has improved beyond all speculation. If I look back to the start of March, I was so nervous about taking her Beginner Novice, and now I'm certain that she would have gone Novice like a champ! My situation with Ringo is much shakier (and there were fewer Ringo-related goals to show that), but if I'm looking positively I did really achieve my goal of getting my Intermediate tests and sitting trot nailed to the floor. It doesn't really help to have an Intermediate dressage test mastered when you're looking at going Training for the next few shows, but it will definitely come in handy some day =).
I also got an incredible amount done in terms of sorting out the next steps in my own life; I only found out I was coming back to Stanford in the last few days of February, and in that time moved out of one house, into another, found another place to live, moved in there, got re-enrolled, signed up for classes, found housing for my horses, got one of my horses up to said new housing with the other coming up before the month is out, and am really happy with all the situations I finally came to. Plus, as an added badge of how much moving and shaking I've been doing, I realized yesterday that in the past 14 days I've put over 2200 miles on my car, and I did probably as much driving in the first 14 days of the month as in the last. With probably around 4500 miles on my car this month alone, I could have gone all the way home to Massachusetts and about half way back again, and did it all within the boundaries of California state. Impressive.
So, here are this month's goals:
--By the end of the month feel happy and confident jumping Ringo on any given day, height not important
--Get a "7" on a USEA/USDF Dressage test!
--Get more consistency in Kiki's trot fences (or rather, her ability to cope with them)
--Take my first dressage lesson with Kiki!
--Take Kiki foxhunting
--Feel confident over 3' courses on Kiki on any given day
--Perform Novice A on Kiki, at home or in competition, with smoothness and obedience (No fit pitching!)
--Continue to improve Ringo's acceptance of leg, suppleness and elasticity
--Improve Ringo's Medium Trot!
--Have a fun competitive outing, either at Twin or Weatherford or both or somewhere else completely as long as its fun!
--Really, I'd love to think that by the end of the month Ringo and I will be back on track and ready to move up to Intermediate again. I'll put that down as a goal, though at this point in time its more of a dream. We'll see.
--Find an instructor/coach and have a blast!
--Get back into the groove at Stanford, being upfront with all professors about possible horse-related absences throughout the quarter and scheduling make up time for said absences
All right. It's another big month, but we can do it! Let's go =)
(Further proof of the improvement in the dressage I've had recently: here's me and Dually in 2008, doing a CIC* dressage test in a Stubben jump saddle!! Good memories haha)