Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fire and Ice Dressage Challenge

I created a winter activity that I hope some of you might participate in, to help us all stay motivated over the winter. I created in conjunction with our business, Five Fires Equestrian Centre, but you can participate from anywhere and it costs nothing. It's explained in detail here. In a nutshell, you create three sets of date sensitive goals (dates below), post them in the comments here or on the Facebook group page I created (later preferred, so that non bloggers can participate too) and report back on results. Tell us what's working and not working, how you're training to meet the goals, etc.
I coordinate the communication. At the end I enter all those who complete the challenge and meet their goals in a draw for a $100.00 auditor pass for the Arthur Kottas clinic we're hosting in May.
Obviously it will be a little too far for most of you to attend, but maybe I can come up with a prize for those participating from far away - hmmm, okay I've got it - a $25.00 gift certificate towards an equine related book. Of course if anyone wanted to be entered in the clinic draw after completing their goals, and come  to Nova Scotia for the clinic, that would be wonderful!
Dates are:
  • December 29, 2013 (or close)
  • February 2, 2014
  • March 9, 2014
So come on, help me stay motivated, and share your winter training plans and goals. They can be anything from ground work and fitness to specific dressage figures and movements.
Here are my goals as an example:

Weekend # 1 Goals
  • Comfortably sit medium trot, with good position, relaxation and balance, riding one long side and short side
  • Build fitness (we’re coming back from time off) so that we can do an hour session with consistent performance in all Training Level and Level One work
  • Legs – toes in, heels down, knees relaxed (not gripping)
Weekend # 2 Goals
  •  Smooth and effortless, repeating trot / canter / trot transitions on a 20 m circle – no anticipation or tension
  • Forward canter with good hind quarter engagement
  • Relaxation – straight and marching free walk; an ’8′ stretchy trot circle
Weekend # 3 Goals
  • Comfortably sit medium trot, with good position, relaxation and balance, riding a 20m figure 8 and across the diagonal
  • Trot shoulder in, a full long side with forwardness and good rhythm
  • Exceptional :) collected to medium to collected canter
Bonus Goal (I couldn’t resist)
  • Ride Level 2, Test 1 with a score of at least 60% – I know this isn’t an appropriate show goal, but this is a developmental exercise to help me pinpoint where I am and set my next goals.

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