Friday, January 3, 2014

Reflections of 2013

Better late than never... Happy New Year, everyone!

I am inspired by Laura to compose my own "Year in Review". On my riding anniversary on October 4th, I composed a short post about where I was, relative to the goals of the Equine Canada requirements for English Riders; but in addition, some major milestones happened this year. In January, my other half ADW joined my classes to start riding with me and it totally paid off because in March, we got on a plane and flew to Iceland for a week; one of the activities was riding the tolt on the Icelandic horses for a full day through the lava fields.

An Icelandic pony and me!
We also went on a weekend long escape from the city to a country bed and breakfast with our riding partners NR and KF (check out the Trip Advisor page too). It was another opportunity to ride and further improve our riding and get the opportunity to ride outdoors without any boarders in a cross-country setting; I was happily saddle sore after the trip!

We've also made the switch from our previous stable to a new stable where the indoor arena is HUGE and our instructor has over 100 acres available to us for hacking. It's an incredible facility and I hope that we might have the opportunity to go out for a hack this spring/summer. We've also both realized that we're unfit and need to inject fitness to our busy schedules in order to both ride better and feel physically happier, overall.

In terms of personal milestones and bests, I have conquered the canter where I am able to initiate it and ride it confidently; I am far from being a whiz but that sure beats some of my initial attempts. Learning to bend the horse, simple half halts through reins and introducing flexion to straighten them out are new tools to my arsenal. I also noticed that I have been caught with incorrect diagonal a lot during lessons and in order to "train it out of me", I started a 'diagonal jar' where I count the number of times I'm corrected for an incorrect diagonal, per lesson. After a year of counting, the money will go to a local horse rescue to help them with whatever items they need.

I'd say that a lot of good things have come together this year and I hope that I'll be able to continue to plod along and improve my riding to a more intentional skill level. Perhaps I'll be able to cross off those things I was still short on, for the EC level 2 or maybe I'll enroll in a schooling show at the new stable. Anything's possible this 2014!

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