As I wrote in the last post, I have been itching to ride again! So I did the next best thing, I sat down and thought about what my actual goals are for riding in 2010.
Assuming our son is born November 1st, he's healthy and I'm healthy and I take it easy and focus on family only for the first 6 weeks, here is what I've come up with:
December - work in hand
goals: 2-3 times per week, build rider fitness, enhance horse/rider communication after time off, establish familiarity with trail network around home (i.e., come up with some trails....)
January - work both in hand and under saddle
goals for in hand work: One day/week continue with December's goals
goals for under saddle work: arena work 2x/week, to reinforce riding basics of steering, stopping, rating at all three gaits, and to teach lateral moves (sidepass, pivots) This is when I want to set the foundation for riding on a loose rein bitless before I take her out on the trails.
February - work under saddle
goals: Ride outside 2-3 times per week, continuing to reinforce the basics out in the open, while gradually building horse (and rider) fitness through longer trotting periods (long, slow distance).
March - work under saddle
goals: Ride 2-3 times per week, building up intensity, possibly trailering out for a training ride or two towards the last half of the month.
April - work under saddle
goals: Ride 2-3 times per week, continuing to build trotting and intensity, more training rides, and if all has gone well, our first slow limited distance completion at Chicken Chase!
After that, we'll see how things are going, and re-evaluate (although I'd be lying if I didn't say that I truly hope to ride in every ride in Indiana in 2010) Maybe a slow LD multiday at Top of the Rock in May, conditioning in June, Salamonie in July, conditioning in August and September, then Spook Run in October, and just maybe, our first 50 in November (cooler weather, having had all season to condition, taking it easy)?
We'll see how it goes, take one month (or ride) at a time. 2009 certainly presented it's share of obstacles between tack issues, injury, pregnancy, and now the abscess - we may not even make it to our first endurance ride at all, but one can dream and hope and plan, can't they?