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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

October 18, 2009

Strategy Going Forward

I've had all summer to moan and groan and rehab my Phebes. She is on a Magnesium Supplement, Vitamin E supplement, Fat supplement, Vitamins, forage, and Cool Command (a low starch, high fat feed). Since we increased the Vitamin E her muscle tone is looking much better, nice and jiggly except over the croup which though soft to the touch is not jiggly (yes, I am a fountain of equine terminology). Doug has been trying to get her heels down to the max that her hoof will allow, and her angles are not so steep on front. Last time I had them on her the Easyboot Gloves fit her fronts reasonably well. They also fit her hinds, so we can boot all the way around if we want. We've taken a few lessons, which I enjoyed more than any equine activity I've participated in. Lessons are HARD, and I love any activity that involves intense focus. My lessons are over for the year since my instructor only has an outdoor facility, and weather is too unpredictable this time of year to schedule anything. We have enough in the lesson plan that I can work on many things here at home and continue to get myself more balanced, and Phebes more relaxed and responsive with just a little creativity.

So what next? The ride season is pretty much shot. There will be a couple of Indiana rides then the season will close. I'm giving consideration to entering one with a mindset of:

#1. Go slow.

#2. Experience the trail, the sights, and ridecamp activities.

#3. Shoot for the slowest possible completion and if we are overtime...then we are overtime. I would see it as a "lesson" for Phebes, rather than a competition. Seeking rather that she rate where I put her, and if she doesn't we spend the time for training, so that she understands the ride is our ride, that we are not following the herd.

Goals for the remainder of the year?

Goal #1 Weekly session at home with lessons on -- Bending and softening especially to the left and on a counter clockwise circle. Less reliance on rein, and more focus on yeilding off of my leg. Trotting over logs on a straight line, and pattern. For myself riding some in the oval pen with the reins attached to saddle and getting the posting trot without stirrups (and without falling off *LOL*).

Goal #2 Weekly session on training trail "B" at the park. Not sure yet if we will do 2 laps or 3. I'll use the Garmin and gradually try to increase our speed over this same course, understanding that there will be some variance due to trail conditions. The actual idea will be to get her riding solo without the worry or support of another horse and to get her pretty ho-hum about this trail. We need to connect and partner up, and she needs to rely more on me and less on instinct. When I think of last year at this time vs. the here and now, my little filly has done really well, and I'm proud of her.

Goal #3 Weekly session on our local training loop. This loop is the one behind our place. The loop is .75 mile and is comprised of a flat logging road through a field, into the woods, up a steep grade to a ridgeline which flattens to a gradual grade, then a steep decent down to the creek. The walk back there will be our warm up, then we will shimmy down the hill, trot the flat, canter the hill, trot the grade, and again walk down the hill. Repeating laps until we meet that weeks mileage goal. Probably won't work on time out there because we are moving into wet sloggy footing again. So we will just take the trail as safely as it warrants. If it is slow going that will be a good time to work on body position at the trot.

Goal # 4 Is to meet once a month with one of my riding buddies (Lida? Chris? whoever is game for cold weather riding) for a nice long slow ride (4-6 mph). This one just keeping the distance up to 10 miles +, no real hurry to get there.

That should keep up moving throughout the winter months barring ice or snow. ~E.G.

1 comment:

  1. I'm up for goal #4. I was thinking the same thing - once a month through the winter would be nice. My other goal is to get my Parelli level 2 completed. Should have done it years ago, but moving and life kept getting in the way. :-)