Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy New Year!

2011, you are finally here.  Thank goodness.  While 2010 definetely held several good things for me, there was also a lot of bad, almost an unusual amount of bad.  This bad was concentrated around myself and my friends and I know that others out there experienced similar badness.  What was with 2010 anyway?

We lost some fabulous horses this year, had some horrific injuries to both horses and humans and well, personally I got sucked into a very negative financial vortex (totally by my own doing, not trying to shirk my responsibility here).  But now its 2011 and this year, this year will be a year to remember in a most positive and excellent way.  I guarentee it. 

Despite my lack of financial diligence, I really am, at heart, a planner.  I make big plans, whats the point of small plans? 

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars."
- Les Brown

I have to make the bigger plans so I at least get to do the almost as awesome and cool stuff.  This year, my resolution is to take the small parts of those plans into serious account so that the bigger parts come to fruition.  Focus.  Focus.  Focus. 

Bastian has been wonderful!  Since right around Christmas time, I've been back to riding him regularly, and I think that his happy to be back to work again, especially since that work has included two jumping sessions.  (Woot!)  But his canter has been feeling especially nice and aside from getting us both back into shape from our pseudo-break over the past month, he's been a gem.  We've been focusing on just steady steady steady.  Keeping the same correct rhythm, the same quiet head and neck, no fussing, quiet fluid transistions.  Just basic stuff, with a few leg yields or counter canters thrown in every now and then just for giggles.  I mean, I can only loop the arena so many times before we both need some mental stimulation.... :)

I'm trying very hard to be more aware of me also, where my body is, am I straight, am I balanced, did I ask for the transition right, did I cause him to bobble or is he just being a booger?  So well there isn't a "wow" moment of advancement, there is the quiet I know that I have to master the simple stuff before I move onto the tough stuff and I think that we are slowly and steadily conquering that. 

We've started jumping some cross-rails again, and he's taken to it like we never stopped jumping.  He doesn't take off to the fences, which is something that I like, I have to keep my leg on to a degree to keep him forward.  He's keen to jump, but he is a bit lazy so he just needs the leg more to say "yes we are going to jump," and not to "make" him jump.  I'm hoping that this is the year we get to have some more jumping time at some shows, hunter shows or schooling trials and events. 

Just today we trotted a 2' Verticle!!  He was soooooo good!!!!

Here is my show schedule as I have it planned out thus far:

Show One:
May 6, 7, and 8
Majestic Farm's Ride for the Roses I and II
(magically (I think it was meant to be) I have that Friday off from work, so it fits in perfectly with my plans) 

Show Two:
June 18, 19
Lake Erie College Dressage Derby

Show Three:
August 12-14
Hotter Than Blue Blazes I and II

Show Fouir:
September 22-25
Region 2 Championships

I chose the above shows based on dates and classes.  All of them offer Para-Equestrian Classes, and since I need to practice and ride those tests in competition, I'm a bit limited in which shows I can pick from.  Also, shows one and three are held at the same location as Regionals, so I thought it might be nice for Mr. Bastian to get a look-see at where he would be competing in the fall and have some positive experiences there.  Also, all the shows (except regionals) are two shows held over one weekend, so really its like going to six shows, six opportunities to get my qualifying scores for regionals.  This year I want to qualify at First Level as well.

I've figured out financially the approximate cost of entries, hotels, and trailering.  (see me taking those small steps to make the bigger ones happen!)  So with a bit of luck, I should be able to make it happen. 

I also am in need of a better dressage saddle.  Don't get me wrong, I do like my Isabella, but now that I am getting more serious about this, a saddle that isn't fraying and that can actually be really *cleaned* would be nice.  I'm hoping to start saddle shopping in February if all goes according to plan (which we all know it never  Mostly I just want to decide on what saddle I am aiming for so that I have a final goal in mind. 

So here's to the new year of fabulous opportunities and possibilities!