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NEJA Two-Phase - May 31, 2020

Of course, none of us had any idea if we would be able to compete in 2020. I will say that my big goals for the year (which were sitting in an unpublished post from January 2020!) were to keep my horses healthy, happy, sound, to move up to BN with Ellie, and to complete one recognized horse trial at BN. And despite all of the COVID-19 protocols and cancellations over the year, we did meet our goals (mostly). Many of the local barns here in Maine took on the challenge of bringing us safe competitions in 2020. Ellie and I started the year by competing in a little schooling 2-phase and debuting at BN. It went well and it got me excited about the year's possibilities.  We had a great dressage test (placed second in our division) and then had one rail in our show jump course. The rail was totally my fault and for our first ever BN outing, I was pretty excited! We ended up fourth in a mid-sized division. And because I do not remember much else for specifics, here's a big old photo du

Spring Conditioning!

So apparently posting for 30 days straight made me avoid my blog for almost two weeks!  LOL!  Not only was I tired of writing so much, life has been super busy.  Thankfully I have been able to stick with Dreamy's seven week conditioning schedule fairly well despite so many things going on.  She is coming along well and I am pleased with her progress so far.  If only the rest of the snow would melt and the rain would stop long enough for everything to dry up.  My riding "field" is still not quite ready for riding so I have been making use of the driveway and road...not the best situation, but it works!

It always bothers me when owners pull their horses out of that pasture in the spring after a winter off and don't bother to spend time legging up the horse.  Especially as horses age, they need active work to get back into riding/showing shape.  I try to be very diligent and realistic with my horses.  I write everything down and make a plan ahead of time. 

Week 1:  March 13 – 19
We spent the week walking for 20 minutes each day.  It was thrilling!  LOL!  I rode her six times, with one day off.

Week 2: March 20-26
We worked up to 30 minutes of walking.  She had one day off (it snowed!).  I added in hill work twice and a little bit of lateral work.  We really established some good contact practice...medium walk, working walk, free walk, etc.

Week 3: March 27 – April 2
We had three days off because of my responsibilities at work, but began trotting.  All were 30 minute rides walk/trot, one day of hills, and a little bit of canter (2-3 strides at a time).

Week 4: April 3 - 9
We had two days off, once from the rain and once because she got shoes!  All rides were 30-35 minutes walk/trot, small bits of canter (hard to do in a straight line in the driveway),

Week 5: April 10- 16
The plan is to ride five times, since I have had two nights of responsibilities at school.   We went to the beach on Sunday (YAY! Will post about that later...) and rode for an hour, mostly walking with some trot and one canter.  Monday was a good 45 minute walk/trot/lateral work ride.  The last two nights were too busy for riding, but I plan to ride Thursday through Saturday...adding in the canter as much as I can!  Hopefully the field footing will dry out so I can canter for real, not just in straight lines for a few strides in the driveway.  Oh what I would give to have a real ring and/or an indoor!  

Weeks 6 and 7 will be building up to an hour of walk/trot/canter.  My instructor's ring is almost ready to ride in, so I hope to have a lesson before the end of the month.  Next week is school vacation (YAY!!!!) so I hope to ride 6 days.

I started riding Reva a few weeks ago, but she had something going on with her teeth.  The vet was out this past Monday morning for spring shots and also floated Reva's teeth.  She should be all set to start riding now!  I hope to get much more consistent training with her and maybe show her this year.

So far, so good!  Shows are just around the corner......  :-D