(Note: Picture taken from the Groton House website - this is not me!)
With the new-found confidence and focus that CrossFit and a more consistent riding program this season has given me, I've started thinking about some actual riding goals, beyond just the training goals I always have in mind for Ruby. This weekend is the Groton House Horse Trials, so it got me to thinking, 'wouldn't that be an awesome goal for next year?' The more I thought about it, the more I started to like the idea.
I talked to my trainer, Alison, about my idea on Thursday and she seemed to think that it was a good and, more importantly, reasonable goal. So it is starting to shape up into a plan. It gives me a year to really work towards something significant. The thing about Groton House is, it starts at Novice (2'11" jumps), so there is no falling back to BN if I'm not ready. I can do it, I did it at UNH a couple of years ago, I can do it at Groton House. Here are my goals to get there:
- Continue in CrossFit, minimum 3x a week.
- (Sub-goal to CF) Get fit, get strong, develop great endurance/stamina.
- Continue our forward progress in Dressage. Reach next Spring able to put Ruby on the aids more consistently. More easily forward and quick off the leg, straighter with more harmony and relaxation. Balanced canter!
- (Related to Dressage) Come up with a great warm-up plan to accomplish the above in any ride.
- Develop and stick to a conditioning plan. Ride hills, trot sets, canter sets, etc. with regularity.
- JUMP! Jump every week, one way or another. Jump what the trainer says. Don't crap out and say that you want to finish on that last course if your trainer wants you to jump some more. Don't complain. Don't whine about jump height.
- (Related to Jump) On your own, work on balance and "Dressage" in between the fences. Do your circle-jump-circle exercise. Try other exercises that will promote balance and better rhythm on jump courses.
- Start off the Season next year fit, fit, fit!
- Have fun and have a great attitude.
Post Script: Looking at the results from cross-country day at Groton House today, I wonder how smart this goal is after all. There are a LOT of rider falls and eliminations in all divisions. Yikes.