April In a nutshell… Have to make time to post more!

Chief gettin down on some grass

Chief gettin down on some grass

So being that it is late in the month, I am going to rewind and post about the experiences I have had this month, but also post about how I am feeling right now.  Being that I kind of use this page as a working diary, I like to scroll back and look at where Chief and I have come from.  And newly, I have been writing down a list of goals I would like us to work on and hopefully meet in due time.

So in terms of exercise this month:

  • Saturday April 4th- groundwork.  1 hr
  • Weds April 8th- groundwork 1 hr
  • Sat April 11th- groundwork 1.5 hr
  • Sunday April 12th- groundwork 1.5 hrs and light riding (walk, trot, turns) 35 mins
  • Monday April 13th- Groundwork under saddle- He was great until I saddled him.  Weather was cold and windy.  I tightened his girth without gradually increasing tightness and he was instantly more hyper, nervous and apt to trot/run in his groundwork exercises than normal.  Hmmm I think I figured out one of his glitches. We usually go up hole by hole, but this time  I took it to three as soon as I saddled him.  no dice.  It took me about an hour and a half of simple ground work and flag work to get him totally calm.  Astrid told me she was going to send out a search party for me lol.
  • Weds April 15th- Crappy weather, just a brush and a visit
  • Sat April 18th- Groundwork 1 hr, rode for 25 mins.  Easy riding with Astrid watching, walk, trot,easy turns. Just trying to get myself comfortable more than anything else.  But he was really calm and just relaxed.
  • Sun April 19th- Groundwork for about 1.5 hrs and then a 35 minute lesson.  The weather was cold and windy, so I was a little nervous that he may not be totally comfortable, but I think after the repetition of the groundwork he was really good.  He stood nice to mount.  He has been funny about me bridling him the last two times I rode him, so I am going to work with him on that this weekend.  We walked, and trotted.  Worked on leg yield and turn on the forehand.  I am not really good at either of these things so I definitely need work on them.  I wish when I was younger someone took the time to teach me these things…things other than just walk, trot canter, jump.  I feel like I don’t digest things as fast as I did when I was younger.  LOL it takes me longer for my mind to digest something before my body can do it.  And riding once a week really didn’t help much either, because by the time a week went by before my next lesson, so many things had happened I forgot what I learned!  But we did figure out that he goes better off my left leg than my right leg.  He gets a little stuck moving off the right side.  Astrid is going to teach me some stretches to help me with that.
  • Crappy weather this week and the one nice day I had an appointment I had to make.  Sometimes it sucks when life gets in the way of progress.

So my goals… Now that is is progressively getting nicer and we are moving out of April, I want to set some goals for myself in terms of riding and educating myself.

  • Ride 3 times a week to start.  I want to ride twice with Astrid officially… and one other time while she is at barn (maybe while feeding), I can practice exercises at the walk (turn on the forehand and leg yielding) while Astrid is feeding or Craig is there with me.  I don’t want to ride without anyone else being at barn, just for safety reasons… with our history and all.  And work myself up to bigger and better things.
  • Make a list of things I want to learn to do with my horse.  Maneuvers and such.
  • Eventually feel comfortable taking chief on the trail on nice days.  Build up to that.
  • Be at barn and work Chief an extra day on the ground.
  • Eventually do a fun trail show with Chief
  • Follow Stacy Westfall’s blog and order the final Buck Brannaman DVD
  • See Buck this summer at his Delaware clinic.

But how am I feeling?  Every time I go to ride I feel a little less nervous.  I listened to a great interactive talk on fear between Stacy Westfall and Barbara Schulte  where they answered some great questions and gave some great tips on how to get over fear, and deal with fear in life and in riding.  http://stacywestfallhorseblog.com/2015/04/22/free-download-stacy-westfall-and-barbra-schulte-discuss-overcoming-fear/

But overall I feel like I’m in a really good place where I have control over our future together.

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