With the crazy holiday season, and our recent breakthroughs, I feel like this week was a good week to take some time off. Bijou's been getting a bit girthy lately, which I don't think has to do with saddle fit problems, but I'm hoping that giving her a week off will help with her sourness. She was getting the tiniest bit huffy with me when I'd start to ask for real work, and I think that a lot of that has to do with her finally learning to carry herself properly in all 3 gaits and it making her sore.
This week I've only ridden twice, and both times were bareback. First we did just some walking/bending and trotting, then today we tried some walk/canter transitions. These were a little messy since I was off balance and cautious without a saddle, but they worked, which is more than I could say about our walk/canter transitions before, since we couldn't even do them!
I'm using this time off to clean up around the house a little (what? me?! CLEAN!?!?) and reorganize my thoughts about what my goals with Bijou are. This is pretty perfect since we're starting a whole new year, just in time for new years resolutions :)
My horsey resolutions are:
1) Have short, frequent rides. I've learned that Bijou really works best if I just warm her up walking/trotting on a loose rein, and then do about 15 minutes of work-work, rather than futzing around for 45 minutes.
2) I will show this year. I don't care if my tall boots don't fit, or I can't find my hairnet, or we just do a walk/trot class, I will show. I'm not going for rated shows or even recognized shows. Even if I just make it to one show that my barn is hosting, I will call this one good.
3) Keep my tack clean. I'm horrible at this. All the pony clubbers would cringe at the layer of sweaty, grassy, slimy grime on everything.
4) Ride dressage tests. I've had plenty of practice remembering courses, but dressage tests are still really hard for me to remember. I think this will also be good practice for me to ride correct geometry and learn more about dressage in general too.
5) Don't accumulate unnecessary horsey accessories/downsize the current stash. I have 3 brand new bridles sitting in storage because they were such a good deal... but I never use them. I have two lavendar color saddle pads because I want lavendar, black, and white to be my eventing colors... but why two pads (in addition to 4-5 other saddle pads)? I have unidentifyable leather pieces in the bottom of my tack box that could have been reins, side reins, long reins, draw reins, but have lost their pair because I never use them. Maybe I'll sell some of my stuff on here like Eventer76 did over at We are Flying Solo?
I think 5 is a nice round and still manageable number.