I have lived my entire life on an academic schedule, so the beginning of Summer — not always June, since the first half of my life was spent in a Southern Hemisphere school — has always meant a break from the normal routine for me. This plan typically starts with the firm assertion that I will have no plans, and will do whatever I want, and that what I want includes
ellie’s summer list: wallow, wallow, chase squirrels, wallow
- sleep for 12 hours per day
- ride my pony
- ride all the ponies!
- craftsy things
- road trip
- read all the books!
- play with my friends
- go swimming
- read by the pool
- read in the pool
- lay in the sun
- go to the beach
- swim with my pony
- go berry picking
- go to friends weddings (San Diego!!!)
- visit the East Coast
- develop an app to make me independently wealthy
Unshockingly, I do about four of the things on the list (and somehow, sleep 12 hours per day is rarely one of them) and then September arrives and it’s back to the grind.
And really, there isn’t much no-plans-Summer to go around, especially if I stick to the current plan of heading to Camelot for an August 19-20 debut at Novice. That’s basically eight weeks out. Eight weeks!! Lucky for Nicole and Murray, there’s not terribly much to prep for Novice. We already know how to:
- walk, trot, and canter in a variety of straight line and circle patterns — more or less obediently
- course 2’11” stadium
- jump all of the Novice elements on the Camelot XC course
So in terms of technicality, we will be fine. There are quite a few things I would like to finesse in my riding this Summer though. You know, less drunk-monkey-ing, more active riding. Improving myself so that Murray and I can tackle some more big horsey learning goals.
murray: canter down centerline? got it
Sitting trot – This
stupid skill has been on my goal list for literal years. Time to make it happen.
Turn my toes in – My toes point out. And I use the back of my leg instead of the inside of my leg. These are not, I have heard, the things I am supposed to do.
Following hands – I’m still wavering back and forth between my hands too high and grabby, and loose, floppy reins.
Strengthen my two-point – the position I think is an appropriately forward two-point is not appropriately forward. I need to lower my seat to the saddle and close my hip angle a little more, which should help with the above.
All of these will only get better with deliberate practice (have I talked about deliberate practice before? I’m kinda obsessed with the concept). I have some plans. For example, I plan to increase the number of sitting trot circles I do by one each week. I did two (one each direction) on Tuesday this week, and if I can squeeze in two more before the end of the week that will be good. Turning my toes in will require constant, conscious adjustment. As will following hands. And the crowning jewel of all of it is that I need to keep Murray put together all at the same time. That is the real challenge.
what, what, what is your left hand doing?!
But I have fun plans too! For example, swim with my pony! I think Murray will love swimming. He will also love the beach. He may love it so much that I never see him again… will have to be careful with that one. Go off property more! I hope to have/plan for lots of XC schooling on my horizon (see goals 3 and 4), and lots more truck and trailer driving practice.
So, you know. A nice, relaxed summer “plan”. Any exciting summer plans for you? Anything I should add to my list — riding my horse backward on the beach, maybe?