Sunday, 11 June 2017

Holding Gains

When I sat down and created my goals list back in January of this year, I had a picture in my head of how I hoped the year would unfold.


I had a plan laid out before me with lessons to teach Savvy to jump and a few shows to test the process. Now at the half-way mark (how is it possible the year is half over?) it feels like a good time to take stock and perhaps reevaluate things.

Back when we started in the winter, this little cross rail was such a big deal.

Savvy has exceeded my expectations in every way so far. With all of this work towards something so challenging as eventing, our courage and trust in each other has truly blossomed. Really, it could have been a train wreck. Nervous rider + uneducated pony usually does not equal bounding success. I think the key part of this whole thing actually working so well thus far has come down to one simple thing: the making of a plan with gradual, logical steps. Oh ya, and a very forgiving horse. :)

Three months into our jumping training and first show of the year.
I am at a point right now that I can saddle up and head out for a gallop out through the neighbour's back field with both of us relaxed and happy. (Actually truly galloping without soiling my big-girl panties!)

I can bop around any new jump I set up in my arena and feel comfortable at 2'3". (Still some pre-jump nerves in the idea of jumping, but not at all in the approach to jumps, FTW!)

So now that Savvy is a jumping pony/XC derby eating machine (because one derby means we are pros now, right? haha!) I feel like I have ran the course of my previous plans and now need to sort things out. I almost feel like I could lose some of what has been gained if I don't stay on top of things right now. Sure, Savvy is figuring things out and I am in a great place, confidence-wise, but it feels too new and nothing is set in stone.


Galloping off into the sunset. :)

On top of simple maintenance of where we are at, we certainly have plenty of new problems to work on as well; Savvy's jumping confidence has increased and we have 'graduated' to the new issue of rushing at fences. To tackle this, I am taking a bit of advice from Doug Payne's book "The Riding Horse Repair Manual". I will be working on grids to improve myself and the simple small vertical on a circle for Savvy. We also have a lot of work to do with adjustability of her canter in flat work which should really help. I am not too worried about the rushing at this point. Her new-found commitment to jump the jump will be rewarded and my goal is to work with the speed regulation in a way that does not punish her on the approach in any way.

So for the remainder of the summer I will create my own little lesson plans as I am going sans coach for a few months. Flat work will be transitions, adjustability and straightness. Jumping will be grids and all exercises that google will find me for pace regulation.

Can't wait to be back here!
Our next derby is in a week and for the days left between now and then, I will be mostly working on our dressage test while also conditioning with our daily gallops. It is nice to feel like jumping does not need to be the focus right now. I know Savvy can handle what we will see at the derby and I can think more about what happens between the xc jumps this time.

8 comments:

  1. It feels so sweet to reach goals. Congratulations to you and Savvy!

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    1. Thank you! I'm so glad I gave the whole idea of getting Savvy jumping a shot.

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  2. That's such a good feeling! Sometimes I feel like maybe I'm thinking too deeply about things when I try to map out goals and timelines and expectations into the future - but then again nothing beats that feeling of accomplishing them, often more easily than expected. Savvy has been so fun to watch as she develops - can't wait to see how you continue to build her up and shape her into the little bad ass we all know she can be!!!

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    1. She is so bad ass! Ugh yes, overthinking goals and having expectations can be a tricky rabbit hole. I have struggled in the past with a big end goal I could never reach with no real doable plan organized to get there. With Savvy I really put on the blinders and focused on one little goal at a time. I think that fact that I didn't really think she would ever actually jump well helped me never be too disappointed along the way when issues came up, too!

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  3. Well done! My nervous rider/uneducated horse plan is not going very well right now haha! You should be very proud of yourself and your steed :)

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    1. I'm so sorry you are hard time with Henry right now!:( But he sounds like a good boy and hopefully you will get back on track asap. :)

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  4. Stay the course! Tackle each new challenge as they come while keeping your eye on your goals!

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    1. Absolutely! There is so much more to learn and I'm kind of loving being in a place of growth.

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