Have you ever had one of those rides that seemingly went great and yet left you feeling... less, disappointed, sad or just something you can't put your finger on? That's the kind of rides I've had over the last two days. I think the trouble is the knowledge that we are still struggling with the same things we've been struggling with since I've been home.
The other thing, I think, is yesterday my trainer said to me, "don't take this the wrong way but you guys looked better last week." Going backwards was so NOT on my to do list. So we worked on it today and it was better but still lots of room for improvement.
The issue I am talking about is Loki's lack of adjustability and his preference for running around on his forehand. It's so easy for me to get lazy and comfortable and let him get away with it but hopefully we "lit a fire under my arse" to start working harder and being faithful to ride correctly each ride, each stride. (Look at that I made a rhyme :D )
So in that vein I made my own SWOT which I first saw over on Viva Carlos. I'm hoping I can motivate myself, to see the good with the bad, etc. So here goes:
- I love my horse. I know that sounds silly, but really I really love my horse. I love riding him and working with him even when we have a "bad" ride/day.
- Loki is sound, has good conformation and physically capable of doing the things I ask. He is a pretty good jumper when he uses himself and could really do well in dressage with more training.
- Time: I have lots of time to ride right now and spend practicing and getting things right. Plus we don't have to be in a hurry to meet any goals. Loki is only 6 there should be plenty of time.
- Loki has excellent ground manners and can load/clip/stand with the best of 'em.
- Loki is not spooky and typically settles into new places/situations pretty easily.
- I have a great support network between my husband, sister, friends and trainer.
- Adjustability! We need to do lots of transitions between and within the gaits and just continue to work on this.
- Downward transitions! It sometimes just feels like we have mushy brakes. We do stop or slow down but there is some short circuitry in the way sometimes. This goes along with the whole adjustability thing.
- Getting Loki more consistently off his forehand. He can do it but he really doesn't want to do it and will take the easy way out if I don't demand it.
- Tack: I still could use a new saddle but it just isn't in the budget right now so we are making do.
- I haven't run since we got back from Japan and it is starting to show. I need to get back to a regular workout schedule.
- I don't have a trailer.
- I can't seem to keep my shoulders back consistently when I ride whether it is jumping or working on the flat my trainer is constantly telling me to get my shoulders back.
- Right now I have the ability to ride several different horses as much as I can fit it into my schedule. This will hopefully help make me a stronger rider.
- My sister is letting me borrow her trailer. This has been wonderful as trailering fees with my trainer have all been raised and my budget hasn't.
- Once we move into our house, which will be very soon, I should be able to get back to having a more consistent schedule which should include working out.
- New barn friends that like to trail ride. Nothing better for de-stressing from arena work like a nice hack in the woods!
- Finances. We are still adjusting to our new budget that comes with being back in the states. I can't complain b/c I still do more than most but I am going to have to seriously cut back on lessons/shows/clinics/new saddles/etc.
- I could potentially need to find a new barn. Nothing to state publicly but the possibility is there and I really don't like it.
- Fear or dwelling on the what if's. I am bad about this and need to work on focusing on the present.