Decisions, Decisions

Well, I've decided to bite the bullet and show USDF this year. We're tentatively planning to do three of the USDF shows in Indiana from June - September. In May, we're planning to hit a schooling show or two just to get a feel for showing again.

I really think the increased judge feedback and heavier competition are important for me to get out of showing what I put in. I believe in really training my horse. Unfortunately, the feedback at the local level just isn't as useful to me. Now, I'm busy trying to wade through all the applications for the USEF, USDF and the show bills. (Could they make this any harder to do in my limited time? I even took these on vacation with me last week. Still aren't done ... )

I've also been finessing Guinness' workout plan. He's a little out of shape, and we have some basics we need to get in order before I feel comfortable showing. In fact, the idea of showing is giving me butterflies. We've been doing our own thing for so long, it will be different to have rides organized for exacting purposes again!

Right now, I'm looking at a 4-5 ride a week schedule. I'm leaning towards four. GP is a thoroughbred, and keeps a lot of natural fitness. His arthritis makes me want to ride him less, to avoid stressing his joints. We aren't going to be working on anything completely new for a long time, so drilling isn't really something I see us needing to do. When we conquer more complicated things, I'll look at upping our rides.

Now, our ride schedule looks something like this:
  • Monday: Arena Schooling
  • Thursday: Poles / Strength Work
  • Saturday: Arena Schooling
  • Sunday: Long Hack / Fitness Work
Of course, the fact that my work schedule can change in a heartbeat (I work in marketing for a local university arts & athletics complex. Talk about lots of events!) means that the days of the week I head out to the barn may change. As Guinness builds up strength, these may need adjusting too. 

This week, weather affected our training the most. I came back from a beautiful ski trip (Yay! Honeymoon!) to find that the temperature in Indiana had shot up to a balmy (?) 80 some degrees. Holy Sh--! I'm not one for heat (thus I own Siberian Huskies and honeymoon in the snowy, snowy mountains!). My poor horse is trying his best to shed his winter coat, but workouts are short while he adjusts. The first day I rode him in the heat, he was just a horrid mess. We had NO impulsion and he ended up tired after about 20 min of trot work. Needless to say, we'll be starting off slow.

But anyway ... here's to a good show season! Hope to see some of you out there!

Gratuitous cute pony cell phone pictures, you're welcome!