Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter Long Weekend = Riding Time!

The weather is really starting to warm up now, and riding has begun in earnest.  I've set out my summer schedule as follows:

June 14-15 Cygnet Dressage Show in Grande Prairie
June 28-29 Valleyview Dressage Show (tentative)
July 5-6 Noel Clark Cross Country Clinic in Grande Prairie (tentative)
August 2-3 Alhambra Clinic in Red Deer
August 15-17 Alhambra Summer Horse Trials in Red Deer (tentative)
August 26-31 South Peace Clinic and Horse Trial in Grande Prairie 

Now, I know I won't be getting to everything, but the idea is to get Koda out there more, but still keep it within a type of budget and my available vacation days.  The plan is to get out as much as we can, get used to hauling and have a set schedule for how we handle our ride prep.  I'm starting to do something new with Koda when I first swing a leg over.  Since Koda works best after he's got his blood pumping and he is focused on what we're doing (or trying to do).  The minute I get myself settled in the saddle, we are off into a nice brisk forward trot.  Toss in a bit of change in rhythm and pace, perhaps a circle or two to bring him back to me if he drifts off, but constantly getting him moving and having him focus on what we're doing and not his surroundings.  

**Video will be posted soon!**

For the past few rides over the long weekend, this warm up has been working beautifully.  After a few laps in either direction, we'll go straight into work, be it transitions, lateral work, circles and serpentines, or whatever.  I'm also tossing in some canter work at the beginning as well to just open him up a bit before getting down to business.  The great thing is, once I have him, he's with me and there.  He'll toss in a bit of attitude with a swish of a tail, or a slight head shake, but with a quick admonishment from me (either voice or quick whip flick), he's back on the job and trying his heart out.  

**Video will be posted soon!**

The plan for the upcoming weeks is to build up our strength by focusing on dressage and road work for Koda, gym time for me.  As long as we don't get any big rain, the snow should be gone and ground should by dry by May which means I'll be able to ride in the yard again.  We'll introduce jumping in May once we get ourselves back into shape.  I've been lucky, Koda has come out of the winter not too out of shape, is just right to start building his muscle back on.  I want to try to keep up with his musculature changes with conformation photos as many of you do already.  

 Thanks to the Fiancé for coming out and taking some video for me.  I find it's the best way for me to critique myself and see what I need to fix in my riding.  After watching these, I NEED to get my lower leg under control and keep my contact consistent, particularly when asking for upward transitions.

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