Monday, February 14, 2011

A greater maturity (ahahahaha!!!)

Gabe will be six on Thursday. Which technically means he should start growing a brain and not behave like a silly, naughty little juvenile quite so often.

One can always dream, right? I don't think he'll EVER grow out of that wonderfully curious, into everything, can I help?, nosy, playful personality and I'm glad for that.

SIX! Wow. I feel like we should be so much further along than we are. I had expected to have hunted him at least one season by now, maybe started popping over some 3' fences at the very least and become at least moderately consistent in our dressage work.

Nope. Seems that time gets away from me faster than I imagined it could.

But somehow, that's okay. We're rolling up quickly into regular riding season again and I'm going to (once again) attempt to keep some semblance of a riding/training journal. The last time I tried I managed to record my riding sessions a grand total of three times. It would be so helpful to know exactly how each ride went, what worked, what didn't and what we really need to focus on for the next ride. I'm getting older, and with it, my brain, which means as much as I could count on remembering the details of the last ride a few years ago, I think I really need to write it down as a reference from now on.

Goals for this year:
• Work on Gabe's sensitivity...something I never imagined I'd say with a Thoroughbred! He can be infuriatingly dead-sided when he just doesn't feel like doing it. Which leads naturally to:
• Forwardness and energy
• Better, steady rhythm at the trot and canter
• Circles!
• Lateral movement/shoulder-in/shoulder-out
• Jumping higher than a paltry 18" on a course/ditches/small drops/spreads
• Simple lead changes
• More out and alone rides to build the confidence
• Greater adjustability within each gait

Seems like a short enough list, but knowing Gabe like I know him, this will be one gargantuan task! I'm planning to ride at least four days a week, preferably five, and not every ride a "work" ride, but plenty of just out and about trail rides. I will have to really tighten up my work/school/farm/home schedule to fit those rides in, but I'll figure it out, even if I have to get up at 4 a.m. to beat the afternoon heat and ride with a headlamp.

I've been working on improving my own fitness all winter (since I haven't been in the saddle much), and I've not only gotten stronger and more flexible, but I've also managed to lose 37 pounds (so far!) with a few more to go. Before you know it, Gabe and I will BOTH be fit and sexy.


  1. 37 pounds! Congratulations, that's a huge accomplishment. Looking forward to hearing about your progress with Gabe this summer.

  2. Grats on losing weight! Hifive.

    If anyone asks you why Gabe isn't further along at his age, you can sniff dismissively and inform them that you were letting his bones fully mature. ;)

  3. Wow - great job on the fitness work! Just imagine how much improved your riding will be already. Looking forward to your training journal :)

  4. Congrats on the 'new you'!
    I love your goals for Gabe - I could simply copy and paste them for my guys!

  5. Happy Birthday to the big boy! Keeping a riding journal is a great idea. And congratulations on your fitness & weight loss. You used the wintertime to your advantage.

  6. I keep waiting for that maturity thing... Bar will be eleven (11!) this year and we're not sure maturity has been achieved.

    Some days yes, some days no. But it's all good.

  7. That is GREAT! What stuff have you been doing to increase your strength? I am a puny weakling.

    Rosso is 8 and seems to be settling down... nice! Happy birthday to Gabe!

  8. Loosing weight, that's awesome and a birthday for Gabe is pretty cool too. Sounds like he has that kind of personality I like in a horse.