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Jan 01

CalgaryDressage.com…2014 resolutions for the New Year

Usually there are many things that come to mind when making New Years resolutions. I am choosing to keep it simple this year.

Stay neutral, open and observant in each ride. That’s my mantra for 2014.

I have gone through stages focusing  on technique, and micro-management.

I must now let my horse do his job.

I can be there for him when he needs me, but I cannot carry him.

I cannot focus on perfection only strive for it.

By staying neutral and observant I can improve my feel.

I’ve noticed a certain impatience to my warm up.

My expectations of how long it should take to get ready to work  have no impact on the horse’s readiness.

Patientce is a virtue…so I will choose to stay open and neutral.

I’ll ride correctly and let the patterns and exercises work for me and my horse. I realize that some things you  can’t hurry.

The virtue is in the comming together of the horse in a good frame on his own. I’v been guilty of “framing” the horse….before he was ready to yield.  I think it now better to ride an extra 15 minutes or so and have the horse come into you.

I also realize that having a talented horse that may give you 20% effort on any day must be asked to perform, demanding his attention leads to resistance. Some horses must be brought into work with more finesse, I will try to be more open to that.

The neutrality means not to judge the horse as lazy or unwilling to give over the back. I think some horses need convincing that the work will be fun and challenging. I believe giving the horse something to look at or something to ride over (cavalletti) may stimulate him and improve his work ethic. I enjoy fun new things and challenges, why not our horses.

Observant means not to overface or  overstimulate…there is a balance of what is fun and what is scary…don’t judge…be observant and creative in problem solving. A good observer can monitor feedback from the horse more effectively. Good riding is working through that infinite feedback loop.

I hope you find my musings interesting.

Happy New Year…from Kimberly Cox and Roderick

Here’s to a great 2014 full of hope, success and growth through CalgaryDressage.com