Riding Goals for 2010
These are more or less the goals that I wrote up for a post last month on the Chronicle of the Horse (Eventing) Message Boards (with a tweak here or there):
I feel like I reached so many of my 2009 riding goals that I don't really want to be too greedy with my goals for 2010.
2009 was my first real year of competition of my "new" riding life. Previous competition experience was almost 30 yrs ago and never at the sanctioned level, that I can remember anyway. So just completing 3 sanctioned events last year happy, confident (with a happy & confident horse) and even placing in two of them was huge to me.
With that all said, here are some goals for me for 2010:
* 2009 my goals were to start competing, maybe accomplish one sanctioned event, don't get eliminated, don't scare myself or my horse too much. For 2010, I'd like to do more of the same, but I want to feel more confident and a little more driven & competitive.
* Improve my dressage. For most of 2009, I felt that I was terrible in all things dressage and it always overwhelmed me a bit. I need to work on balance and I need to have softer, more elastic hands. I have to be more decisive with my aids, but at the same time lighter. I need to take advantage of Dressage clinics and any opportunities that allow me to gain additional perspective and experience in this area.
* I think my jumping position and my ability to "ride" my horse through a course improved the most in 2009. I'd like to build on that, be braver, trust myself and my horse more and learn to let go.
* I need to be able to better recognize pace when jumping, especially in stadium. I need a better feel for when more forward vs. a check is needed. I don't always figure this out at the right time.
* I need to be better about keeping my horse balanced on jump courses.
* I had some time penalties at BN Level cross-country last season -- that is shameful! That needs to stop. Now.
* Review the Area I competition schedule in the Spring and plan out the season in advance with my trainer. Hopefully my training will have some good focus if I have my competition season all plotted out. I haven't decided how many events that I want to target yet. I will be competing in one when I'm down in Aiken in March, but I should probably try to do more than three for the Area I season.
* Listen to my trainer and don't whine, complain, or come up with excuses of why I can't do something. Trust her when she says I am capable of a (fence, a course, a new XC obstacle, a new height, a competition, a clinic, whatever) that I can do it. Don't question it, just do it.
* At least do some schooling of Level N. If it goes well and my trainer thinks that I'm ready, have the courage to enter N division at some point.
* Strive to ride 6x a week, but no less than 4 (not sure how that holds up for my on-call weeks, but I'll have to work something out).
* Improve fitness. Minimum of 3x a week of some non-riding work (running or spinning class or whatever). Work on being able to run at a tempo pace (for me, this probably means a 10 min. mile) for 4-6 mins intervals -- work up to 6 mins anyway. I feel that if I can run a strong (for me) pace for 6 mins, I will not be gasping for breath so much on XC 2/3 of the way through. Although, I guess I can't simulate the adrenalin factor.
These are the initial 2010 goals that I've been thinking of. I'm sure more will pop into my head, but these are a start.