Monday, December 14, 2009

It is time to get organized.

Our riding schedule has always been a bit lackadaisical, which has worked well for my little baby as my main focus was to keep the riding light, and fun but educational.

Now that Bodhi is starting to show his maturity (new found jumping ability, lead changes etc) I think it is time to a bit more organized in our training. First of all the work is getting harder. I want to be sure to not over work him in any one area, I also want to keep things fresh. Since the work is getting more technical I don't want either of us to burn out. The other reason is if I want to continue to progress we both need to be in better shape. Bodhi is a hard horse to condition, he looks at food and gains weight and he is an energy conservationist by design.

My plan of attack is going to focus on diversity in work. It will keep his muscles and his mind guessing, and hopefully keep him interested. He loves to learn but he hates to practice. He loves to explore and interact so I hope to continue and work off of this. I have not decided on which days I am going to do which exercise but my general idea is this.
Hacking out-This includes trail, and work in the several larger fields on the property. We will start with a sustained working trot work, with canter transitions work mixed in---working up to sustained canter work and some galloping. The little man needs to learn the joys of a good gallop though right now lacks the balance or forward to enjoy it.(Once a week)

Over fences-Work on building his confidence over fences and developing some course work, gymnastics etc to improve his general agility and athleticism. So far he enjoys jumping as a break from other work, but since I want to keep it that way and since he is so young I will keep it low (2ft and lower) and brief.(Once a week)

Dressage-This work has always been our bread and butter. The more technical flat work like lead changes, lateral work, etc... I would like to get to a few schooling shows this year at training level so we have to practice sometime!(2 times per week)

Fun time/Other- I like to spend at least one day trying something new and/or fun with Bodhi. Like riding without a bridle. Riding a dressage test bareback, or not even riding at all. Work on some ground work, or practice with the clicker. (1 time a week)

So that would be 5 days a week. I am thinking, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and then the weekends.
It is going to be difficult to stay consistent and focused but hopefully with a plan it will help.
Any insights to which days to put which activity?


  1. I like your thought process here! Very smart and its something I will look back to when its time to start my big man (April). I think I will run across some of the same sort of things. If I were you, I would consider putting the things you enjoy where they will most help you in your schedule. Hes a horse and doesnt know the weekend from a Monday, but you want to look forward to your time in the saddle too, so perhaps consider your favorite activities on your most difficult "life" days, so it will give you something to look forward to and an outlet through which to relax!

    Good Luck-- Keep us updated!

  2. Sounds like a good plan - I wish I could get to the barn 5 days a week! I'm sure Bodhi will do well on a nice consistent schedule...

    I agree with Rachel - horses don't know what day of the week it is, so fit in the rides that work best for you. Maybe it is easier to hack out on the weekends when there is more light? I guess a bit of flexibility is still important even when trying to create a schedule! :-)

  3. Yesterday we went for a nice trot/canter around the field. You guys are right what a nice cure for the Mondays!

    Laura-- I am being optimistic for five days! Hopefully that will be the case!

  4. I'm back. That cookie was indeed a Haflinger. My friend Tina lost her horse three weeks ago to colic. He too was a Haflinger and the loss was devastating to her. He was only 14 and beautiful.
    She has been making those cookies for years and they are DELICIOUS!

  5. awwww that is so sad. I am sorry to hear that. The cookies are amazing though.

  6. You've got a good plan to keep it interesting. If the work feels like fun it will be for both of you. I always plan on working which ever horse comes out the day I'm riding. If we need to go out and play in the fields or the trails then that's what we do. Same goes for working in the arenas, they usually let me know by their attitude what we're doing on any given day, and the weather has some input too. Have fun!