|November 18, 2010||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
For 2011 my focus is changing – some sort of schooling is in my future and as a result my income and the way my single life is set up is going to radically change. Change isn’t bad…..but it will….well…change things, including the type of goals I have for me and Farley.
In case you think this post comes a bit early….the ride season for most of the organizations I belong too ends in November, so I tend to think of my “horse year” as November to November!
My endurance goals are simple –
- Go to rides I’ve never been to before and have fun
- Farley is 120 miles from her 1,000 mile mark – get her there happy and sound
- Complete all 3 of the Nevada “Triple Crown” Endurance rides – The Nevada Derby 50, NASTR 75, Virginia City 100. I’ve never been to any of the 3 rides, and the total mileage exceeds 120, so this fulfills my first 2 goals.
I won’t go to as many rides this year. Tevis is not in the plan – I had so much fun at the Patriot’s 100, I’ll return there in July and give Farley, myself, and my crew a break. I’m sure I’ll miss the Tevis – there’s something magical about that ride – in fact I miss it already. Farley had a busy year and we will both be enjoying more down time.
Dressage, Jumping, & Eventing
The first 6 months of 2011 will potentially be the last time I will take regular lessons for a long time. Lessons are a commitment in time and money, two commodities that might look very different for the next 5-6 years.
- I have made some sacrifices and moved items around to allow for 2 lessons a week – a dressage lesson, and a jump lesson – through at least April.
- I firmly believe dressage is the secret to longevity in the horse, through both work done on horse and rider. By the time I enter school, I want to be firmly schooling at first level and have enough “tools in the tool box” to continue reinforcing correct work in Farley, and if I get another horse, start basic correct dressage with the new one. The focus will be less on showing dressage this year, which will leave more $$ for lessons and learning.
- Continuing in my promise to Farley to do something “new and fun” for the next couple of months, I’ve committed to an extra lesson a week, jumping. Farley enjoys it and it’s a skill we should both have. You should see her ears perk up when she realizes we are going to jump instead of do dressage on lesson days! We won’t be stellar in 6 months, but hopefully proficient.
- Do a 3 day event. Besides a few local schooling “fun” shows, this 3 day event will probably be one of the few “real” shows I do this year. The focus will be on having fun, being technically correct, and expanding my knowledge base about horses, conditioning, and biomechanics.
Overall Horse Goals
- Stay barefoot. I have had tremendous success this year and in part it was due to being barefoot. Not necessarily because she wasn’t wearing steel, but because having a barefoot performance horse forced me to be extra attentive to those small details – which in turn made a large difference in overall performance.
- Invest in knowledge. Meaning, spend my $$ this year in lessons and clinics and other activities that will help me advance my knowledge base. Spend less on tack, saddles, gadgets, and “stuff”. Realistically, I have everything I need to ride and enjoy my horse. Try to make do (where I can safely) rather than buy new.
- Expand my website, www.bootsandsaddles4mel.com, into an endurance resource that is useful for the new rider, and provides continuing education for the more experienced rider.
What does 2011 look like for you? Any radical changes expected? Are you picking up a new sport? Starting a new horse? Doing something completely different?