December 16, 2012

Where we were and where we are going.

I am having so much fun with Rose in my dressage tack as of late. As much as I love jumping and recognize that my hunt tack is necessary for that, sitting in my dressage saddle feels like home to me. It's warm and cozy and I know where every inch of my seat and leg are. So, I'm happy to be focusing on our dressage work again, and will continue to jump her once a week until spring/summer when I can haul over to Livingston and take jumping lessons with Laura Love. At that point I'll start seriously focusing on her jumping.

For the winter though, I will be taking dressage lessons when I can from our barn trainer CR. Our next lesson will be on the last day of the year, and I cannot wait. Right now I'm taking a mental note of what I want to work on and where I want our riding to go. This will be the first lesson we've had in over a year, and she's actually come a very long way since then, even with the minimal amount she's been ridden. I imagine CR won't even recognize us.

Before I stopped riding at the end of 2011 we were working on:
  • Developing and even tempo (she used to rush, rush, rush, and fall on her forehand all the time).
  • Learning to properly half halt and halt through the seat.
  • Stand square.
  • Downward and upward transitions (she used to run into the canter from the trot). 
  • Simple changes.
  • Going through the people door. The garage door was not an option because she was scared of it if standing too close, and darn it I want her to walk through a scary little people door if I ask.
  • Asking her to look for and accept contact, rather than force it on her (she was behind the vertical a lot)
  • Jumping 2' courses.
 In 2012 we accomplished the following:
  • Maintain tempo at all gates.
  • Execute a square halt down from any gate, even the canter.
  • Halt/canter & canter/halt transitions.
  • Half halt.
  • Recently begun executing flying lead changes on cue.
  • Shoulder in.
  • Haunches in.
  • Half pass.
  • Wait for me to open the garage door while tacked up and being held (I gave up on the people door).
  • Stretches down looking for contact with the bit, staying just in front of the vertical.
  • Jumping 18" verticals and exes (yes...we went back to the start with jumping). No course work.
Dressage goals for 2013:
  • Work towards first level movements and tests.
  • Balance: Rose at times still falls-in noticeable at the canter.
  • Improve responsiveness to leg yields and half passes.
  • Collection/extension.
  • Improve flying lead changes.
  • Show training level to start, and move up to first level at at schooling shows and least one recognized show.
Jumping goals for 2013:
  • Schooling 2'9' by September if she's ready.
  • Take her over a cross country course at least once.
  • Jump logs on a trail ride.
  • Attend a hunt in the fall.
  • Jump a 2'6" course well at schooling shows and at least one recognized show.
That's all I can think of for now. I cannot wait until the 31st for my lesson. It will be nice to have some direction once again. Yea!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


  1. can't wait to hear how the lesson goes, i love the update and the goals that you have for 2013!

  2. Always nice to have a lesson to help lead you in the right direction.



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