Well, it's official: in exactly two weeks time, I will be home (starting my first day of summer school -- woooooo), ready to have my first ride back and start heading into summer! Pa and I will technically get back Sunday night, but Ringo and Kiki will be up in Vermont with Suzi and so I won't get to see them until we go up to get them on Monday afternoon. Fourteen days. I've waited over two months... I can make it two more weeks, right?
(Me and the ponies a year ago today in Salt Lake City, UT, coming home for the summer - I can't wait to see them again!!)
Ever since my birthday last week, I've been trying to formulate goals, both big (where do I want to see myself in a year's time? Attending my college commencement, still competing, hopefully fresh off a trip to IDA Nationals (fingers crossed! We're going to do it this year!), but most importantly I want to be healthy, fit, and happy and have healthy, fit and happy horses) and small. I stopped doing month by month goals last fall, when it became obvious that any schedule had been thrown out the window. I enjoyed that time, but am also eager to try to get back to some more structured training and improvement. So, it's goal time!
I think my primary goal for my first month + week (I'm counting the tail of June into July just for simplicity's sake, and will refer to the whole as "July+") will be around personal fitness. I know I ride best when I'm in better shape than I am now (because despite the running, going out four times a week just isn't the same as a few hours of physical activity every single day), so to be fair to my horses and myself and give ourselves the best shot of succeeding, I know I need to make that top priority. So my goals are:
Personal Fitness Goals
-Continue with marathon training, now aiming for the Top of Utah Marathon (17 Sept)-
-Ride without stirrups for at least 30 minutes, twice a week-
-Ride in two point for ALL conditioning work, including trot warmups (at least once a week)-
-Continue with plank exercises, getting to 1:45 by end of July-
-Start doing morning/evening feeding again-
-Help David and Gallagher out in the garden at least once a week-
Phew! I think if I get all that done, I may be fitter by summer's end than I ever have been! The goals above mention two things I've neglected to bring up before. First, that I've found a new marathon to aim for! I'd love to complete the marathon before school begins just because I know realistically how difficult it will be to keep training with a full course load, extracurriculars, senior year shenanigans (I finally got assigned to a great house with my good friend, and we're making the most of it!), two horses, polo, and dressage team. So, I'm hoping to utilize the three weeks that I'll be in California before school begins to finish up training and make the dream a reality! I've chosen the Top of Utah marathon, which is supposed to be both incredibly beautiful and almost entirely downhill. I can get behind both of those things!
Second is my brother and his girlfriend's gardening/farming project. They both recently moved home from Brooklyn and have decided to give organic farming a try. They have chickens (both meat and egg), piggies, and ducks, as well as several big fields of produce. They're also blogging, and their exploits can be found here. I hate pigs and am deathly afraid of ducks, but I'm excited to do some help in the gardening area. Looks like it's going to be hard work, but a lot of fun.
Now, on to the horses. They're a bit tougher because since I haven't been riding them I don't really know what they need, so I'll focus on what I think I need to do as a rider to get back to piloting them as best as I can.
-Stay calm, steady, and relaxed in both flat and jumping-
-Bring out the dressage saddle again (Suzi doesn't use one) and start getting reacquainted-
-Take a lesson a week, either jumping or flat, to help guide progress-
-Work trot/canter and walk/canter transitions to improve strength-
-hack out every day on hills in addition to ride to improve strength-
-Do conditioning work 1x/week-
-Practice drops into water, ditches, etc-
-Feel comfortable jumping 3'3" courses by end of July-
-Having good competitive outings at Huntington and GMHA, meaning obedient on the flat and polite and rideable in the jumping, with me riding appropriately-
-Stay calm and steady as well-
-Practice sitting trot as much as possible without driving him nuts-
-Get 1st level fit by GMHA-
-Practice tests 1x/week-
-Have a happy, calm, fun return to competition after 13 months off at GMHA!!-
-Start jumping again??-
-Take out hacking every day on hills to improve strength-
-Check legs daily to monitor soundness (I do this anyway, but why not make it official)-
Given that I'm going to be in the city from 8 to 2 every day with school, it's going to be a very busy month! Fortunately my summer class only goes until second week August, so by the time I get to the end of July the end will be in sight. I've made it through producing 6000+ words a week of originally researched material in two completely different subjects for six months now, so I'm hoping/thinking I can handle the seven weeks of interdisciplinary craziness that's about to unfold. Bring it on!!!