Holy crap, the year is halfway over… which is just crazy to me. 2014 has just absolutely flown by; and it’s been jam-packed with memories I will cherish forever. From figuring out my new horse to buying a boatload of tack and even jumping my first 2’9″ fence, my equestrian life had a ton of great stuff going on. And my personal life was just the same: I got married and my husband graduated from law school.
So even though my Q1 Review doesn’t seem that far removed from today, there’s been a lot going on. I remember feeling like I hadn’t accomplished very much [aside from spending a ton of money], so in the last three months I’ve made an effort to be more cognizant of my goals and take steps to achieve success. However, I also know I’ve been busy with many other things, and sometimes that means my goals have taken a lower priority [oops]. So now it’s the moment of truth–how far have I really come in the last six months? Let’s find out:
Tracy’s Riding Goals
- Increase flexibility (hamstrings, right ankle) In flat rides this year I’ve focused on sinking down into my heels evenly in both legs, and so far I’ve definitely improved. The same can be said for my hamstrings: I’m working on breaking over more at the hip, although I think some work outside of riding would really benefit me in this area. So before my next review, I’d like to be able to say I did some hamstring stretches at home.
- Increase Leg Strength Since I’ve been riding and jumping more lately, my leg strength has improved. But I’m disappointed in myself because I really haven’t dedicated any specific time to this. So I need to set aside some time to do two-point and no stirrup work over the next few months during my flat rides.
- Improve Flat Position, with a straight line from shoulders to hips to heels I’ve been more aware of how far forward my leg is, but I need to make a conscious effort to correct it, starting at the walk. That’s code for making absolutely no improvement in this area. Fail.
- Improve Jumping Position, with more break over at the hips As I said in my first goal, this has come a long way already! I don’t “stand up” in my irons over fences anymore, so that’s great progress. However, as I get tired, I get more stiff, and don’t break over as much; so I still need to perfect the consistency with which I do this.
- Consistently jump 2’6” in lessons I’m so close! I’ve been jumping bigger in lessons, but I don’t always get up to 2’6″.
- Show 2’6” Not yet… but maybe later this month or August?
- Improve lengthening and shortening within all 3 gaits Trot is 100 percent solid, but at the canter we have good days and bad days. If anyone has any good exercises to help work on this, I’m all ears!
- Improve balance, especially through tighter turns Our balance is so. much. better. We can do 15 meter circles like a boss now, although I’m still learning to be consistent with my outside aids to get the best turn possible.
- Increase stamina/power to the left This is a tough one, and we still kind of have good days and bad days. Although, once we start jumping, it seems to be right there. I think this might be something I always need to keep an eye on, and that Miles always struggles with [at least mildly].
Gain more muscling in neck and topline
- Stick to a workout plan Still sucking it up big time here; I need to get my ass in gear and start walking before work!
- Learn portion control I’ve made huge strides in portion control, so that’s a win! I no longer have to have seconds [although occasionally on Sundays I still do] and I’m also eating healthier. Go me!
- Increase core strength My core is stronger for sure, although that’s mostly because I’ve been focusing on it so much in my lessons. I’d really like to be able to say I’ve done some core workouts outside of riding before my next review.
- Lose 25 pounds I don’t want to talk about it. 🙁
- Create a more inclusive budget Heh. Other things seem to have taken precedence… which is NOT GOOD.
Win a blue ribbon with MilesWe won Limit Eq Over Fences at our First Show of 2014! Win a division champion with MilesWe won the Limit Equitation division at our June Show!
- Show in a 2’6″ Equitation Over Fences class
- Show in a Hunter Derby/Special Class
Go to an A-Rated showOur June show was A-Rated!
- Go to an overnight (for me) show
- Ride on the beach
- Trail ride with Sam
Wow, I can’t believe how many items I’ve already cross off my Bucket List so far this year! Almost all of my show-related goals have already been accomplished, with the exception of just a few. It feels fucking awesome to be having such a great show season so far!
Close contact saddle Stirrup leathers Shaped fleece pad that fits my new saddleBought an Ecogold Forward Flap Shaped Pad! Liquid Leather Spanish top Tall BootsBought a pair of Ariat Challenge Field Boots! Helmet with removable, machine wash liner
- Tailored Sportsman Breeches
New hunt coatI bought an Irideon Kismet coat in May!
Okay, so goal-wise it doesn’t look like I’ve accomplished very much more than I did back in April; however, I know I’ve made a lot of progress in the riding areas — I’m just lacking consistency. If I keep on keeping on, and add in a few extra exercises once a week, by the time Q3 rolls around, I think I’ll be able to cross a lot of these off. My personal goals category is where I need to up the ante the most; I’m seriously sucking on accomplishing most of those. Luckily I have another six months to cross a few of those off. These next few months I need to really focus on me, myself and I to start some new [better] lifestyle habits. So if anyone wants to help kick my ass into gear, let me know! And of course, my most successful category is the “Spend Tons of Money” one. Raise your hand if you saw that one coming; yeah, me too. Well, we’ve all gotta be good at something, right?!