Sorry to be a few days late with this; I'd been feeling a little internet over-saturated and so had put myself on a horsey news/websites ban. The ponies are seriously enjoying the awesome weather we've been having recently, and even though I don't mind the heat I'm certainly not complaining either! So here were my July goals:
Personal Fitness Goals
-Continue with marathon training, now aiming for the Top of Utah Marathon (17 Sept)-noo this has been the biggest fail of the month. I didn't properly take into account how crazy busy I was going to be, or how drained of energy. I'm still signed up for a half marathon that same day, but I haven't run any significant distance since coming home and so am feeling a little underwhelmed about the whole situation. I'm not really sure where to go on this one.
-Ride without stirrups for at least 30 minutes, twice a week-Sort of. I definitely did do some riding without stirrups, though I wouldn't say that it was 30 minutes, twice a week. About half way through the month both the horses felt totally dead, I think because I'd been trying so hard to get myself back into form with them, and so I purposefully let off the sitting trot and no stirrups work to try to let them recover. But, with Ringo's 2nd level debut getting closer, it's time to start sitting again!
-Ride in two point for ALL conditioning work, including trot warmups (at least once a week)-Yes, though I only did two canters this month instead of four. Again, Kiki was seeming a bit weary and we have been competing a ton, so I wanted to give her a chance to chill and recover whenever I could.
-Continue with plank exercises, getting to 1:45 by end of July-Nope. Bad girl. Bad bad bad.
-Start doing morning/evening feeding again-Yes, though I've been pretty light on chores because of my schedule. The get up at 6, work, go study in the city from 7:20-5, rider two horses, do homework, fall into bed, and start it all over again the next day routine doesn't leave a huge amount of wiggle room for other activities.
-Help David and Gallagher out in the garden at least once a week-Nope. When did I actually think I was going to have time to do this??
-Stay calm, steady, and relaxed in both flat and jumping-Yes for the most part - she's really seemed grown up in terms of her quietness, though I am a bit worried as to how flat and without sparkle she's seemed of late. I think we need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and both get refreshed.
-Bring out the dressage saddle again (Suzi doesn't use one) and start getting reacquainted-Yes! With much success! We even got a bronze medal score at a very respected dressage show!
-Take a lesson a week, either jumping or flat, to help guide progress-Not once a week, but we did get four total thanks to the two clinics we did, which were both remarkably helpful.
-Work trot/canter and walk/canter transitions to improve strength-Yes, though we can always do more. She was still being a little funny about picking up the correct lead at the Wofford clinic, which has been one of her evasions since Day 1 and is a clear sign that she's not straight and strong enough. We still have work to do!
-hack out every day on hills in addition to ride to improve strength-Yes, conditionally; I did this for the first few weeks until I felt like I'd absolutely drained her dry (the heat and humidity, and the fact that she has no shade in her paddock, certainly have not helped matters), but have laid off in the past few weeks to try to help her rejuvenate.
-Do conditioning work 1x/week-Well, pretty much. We did two canters, two cross country schools, and an event. I think that's more than adequate.
-Practice drops into water, ditches, etc-No drops into water, but we went through water, have popped a ditch, and have been out and about with her not batting an eye at anything (that's my girl!).
-Feel comfortable jumping 3'3" courses by end of July-No, which was my biggest twisting stomach reaction about the Jim Wofford clinic. The jumps were all around 2'9"-3', and they still looked big. It's going to take a little time yet.
-Having good competitive outings at Huntington and GMHA, meaning obedient on the flat and polite and rideable in the jumping, with me riding appropriately-Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!! She was a champ and I actually didn't ride horribly. Win.
-Stay calm and steady as well-Yes!! He's been so fantastically calm; I'd like to think he's happy to be back in work =)
-Practice sitting trot as much as possible without driving him nuts-Yes, though it hasn't been as much as I'd wanted. August will, hopefully, be the month of sitting trot!
-Get 1st level fit by GMHA-Yes! He was a bit tired on Sunday but still responded so well.
-Practice tests 1x/week-No, but I did do a better job than normal of practicing my test movements. It's hard to practice the tests when you don't have the right sized ring to practice them in! Hopefully this month I can get organized enough to practice my tests in my dressage lessons, and so get some feedback!
-Have a happy, calm, fun return to competition after 13 months off at GMHA!!-YES!! THE BIGGEST SUCCESS OF THE MONTH BY FAR AND AWAY!!
-Start jumping again??-Nope, but we have trotted some little poles. I'm ok with that =)
-Take out hacking every day on hills to improve strength-Pa has been Ringo's go-to hacking partner, and they've been great. It hasn't been every day, but they've gotten out a fair bit.
-Check legs daily to monitor soundness (I do this anyway, but why not make it official)-Yep. There have been some days where he's had some general thickening because of the heat, and I can definitely still feel where his injury was (though that's because I'm super paranoid about it - most people can't), but in general everything is looking good. Hopefully we're on a good trend!
So July was, all in all, a pretty successful month. I got back into riding with a bang and lived to tell the tale, and both the ponies are happy and well. I left July not quite as confident or prepared as I'd like for Training at GMHA in just over a week (yikes! Where has the time gone?) but I'm still feeling a lot less rusty than I did four weeks ago. I just have to remember that patience is my friend…
August is looking to be another busy month, but hopefully it will be a bit more relaxing on the day to day, as my summer school will be ending in a week (wahoo!). Here's what I'm hoping to get done:
-Get feeling prepared and ready for GMHA, using thoughtful jump schools to build confidence-
-Have a good outing at GMHA, meaning obedient dressage and non-frightening jumping-
-Keep sound and confident through to Richland-
-Improve on GMHA performance at Richland-
-Be able to do a shallow loop in counter canter by the end of the month-
-Practice sitting trot every day we do "up" work-
-improve shoulder ins and transitions in/out of shoulder in-
-go hacking at least once a week-
-ride out of the ring more often-
-improve simple changes and counter canter-
-Practice 2-3 at least twice!!-
I can't believe summer is almost over already! Best make the most of what we have left =)
(Ringo's back!! The biggest success of the month or even the year!!)