November Progress & December Goals

I’m really liking this idea of setting goals and evaluating how well I did on them.  If only it worked so well for progress on my thesis.

So, how did I do in November?

Murray Goals

Adjustability — I definitely worked on adjustability this month. Trot poles, canter poles.  By no means is Murray completely adjustable, but we are on the way.

Trotting jumps — I trotted almost no jumps this month. Back on the list it goes.

Nicole Goals

Quiet my legs — I sorta worked on this, but the thing that has really helped was my discovery/instruction that I ride crooked (twisted left) which makes everything coming from the right and involving right bend harder for M to process. So now I’m working on that.

December Goals
December is going to be tough because I’m going out of town this weekend and in about three weeks time I’ll be gone through the new year. I really want to keep working on Murray’s goals, but have to make sure I don’t set myself up to fail here, or slide back too much when I return. Obviously there will be some slide back, but if I can minimize it, that would be great.


Trotting jumps — still M’s most hated jumping thing, and still something we need to work on.  I really only jump two days a week, so I’ll have to make sure to trot jumps on those two days.  Say… start with 10 jumps each school, and work up to trotting 2’6″ fences (which will be very hard for Mr. Princess).

Bending — since my discovery about my own crooked riding, I’ve uncovered some weaknesses in Murray’s bending, especially right!  So I’m going to keep stretching out and limbering his left side, and asking him for true bend (without bending his neck) to the right, as well as to the left.

Renvers/Travers — this is almost the next most logical step in my dressage adventures with M, and a couple of attempts at this at the walk this morning elucidated some big holes in my riding!  So I’m going to plug in a little haunches left/right at the walk during each dressage ride to encourage M to listen to my leg to move his haunches around.

Nicole Goals

Straighten out my body — ok, so I ride twisted left and I really need to fix that. My whole right side, from the shoulder to the hip, seems to kinda collapse forward and down.  It’s subtle — I don’t feel any muscle differences or weakness from trying to hold myself straight and correctly lately, which suggests that it’s not a HUGE thing — but it’s enough to make a sensitive horse twist himself up the wrong way.  So that I must fix.

Finish Chapter 1 Analysis — COULD IT BE THAT I AM MAKING A THESIS GOAL ON MY HORSE BLOG?  Seems that the only way I can keep myself accountable is with horses, so here it is, out in the world. By the end of December, I want to be all done with the analysis on chapter 1 of my thesis (or at least have the analysis planned out and ready to go, in case I need help from my lab mates to get the code done).  There are a ton of little goals that will go into making this happen, but it is completely doable.  If I do not complete this, I need some kind of major punishment in January.  Like, maybe, not going to the schooling show at the end of the month that I really want to.

Get pictures and video of M and I riding — as I’m the one with the camera, I am rarely ever the one who has pictures taken of them. And I’m sick of it!  I’m going to bribe some children and my friends into taking pictures and video of me.  What will I bribe them with?  Pictures of themselves!!

Because posting without pictures makes me sad, here’s one of my boxer mix Ellie giving her new kitten baby brother a kiss.


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