If you’re getting deja vu… it’s because I managed to crash my new site within 72 hours of launching it… and then had to restore it to a previous version. Yay!
I guess the off season this year kind of hit me with a bang. In past years with May, we have kind of fizzled out as the temperature went down. We had moved to KY in October 2016, then I got married in August 2017, and then moving in mid-Summer 2018 put us behind the 8 ball.
This year, however, we got to end out our season with a solid recognized event outing. This has done two things:
- It really helped flesh out an off season plan
- It made me really thankful for the off season.
Let me start with the first point. It became pretty clear at our show that there was plenty of work to be done in the Dressage arena. While May has gotten stronger and more connected, I think it is time to start putting a bit more pressure on her to give me an ounce more everywhere. I definitely want to spend the winter focusing on the strength/adjust-ability of the canter work.
The second part of that is just being thankful for the off season. In previous years, it felt like the season got away from me and that we never really got going before it ended. This season, even with only 2 shows on our schedule, I still felt a bit of burnout. I am not the rider than can ride 6 days a week for years on end. In fact, just a few weeks of that is enough to make me wonder if it is worth it.
I also don’t own a horse that I think really loves working 5 – 6 days a week. Four days is more her sweet spot. And honestly, after some really relaxed rides post horse trial, she was really feeling even better than she had.
So what have our rides been? Sunday – we did some trot and canter sets in the field. The focus was more on ride-ability than fitness. Can I go from a gallop to a halt and then stand there? Can I move her body around? Etc Etc. It was fun and relaxing and good to work on skills that we probably don’t practice much in the field.
Last night? Well…. the temperature dropped from mid 50s to low 30s by the time I got to the barn…. and freezing rain was coming down… sideways. After riding for 10 minutes in our covered (but not indoor) arena… I was done. My thighs were solid blocks of ice (since I didn’t wear the right pants) and both May and I were getting soaked.
Today? Our lesson is cancelled as temps hover down in the teens and snow covers the ground. Ugh.
So… in short… while I am excited to get to work on some stuff in the off season. I am just as excited to feed my pony a cookie after 10 minutes of work and call it a night!