Going out to the barn when I finish up here. It's a cooler overcast morning, but I do believe the weatherman is forecasting into the mid-eighties for later today. I want to get my ride in before it gets to hot. Meant to go yesterday, but that didn't work out. Monday I spent at the beach so didn't ride that day either. Sunday I did ride and things went quite well.
I am a big fan of the way Jane Savoie teaches. I have books and cds and dvds by her and listen to them a lot. I bought her "Happy Horse" series a few years ago and I've been working through it. When I said I was going back to basics with Boo in my last post Jane's series was what I was using for my guidelines. Sunday I worked on getting Boo in front of the leg, then supple, then seeking contact, then connection, and finally transitions while still on the bit. I will be working on that again today. I also use a book a friend of mine gave me called "101 Dressage Exercises for Horse and Rider." It has exercises for warm up, looseness, straightness, rider position, lateral work, improving the canter, building suspension, flying changes, developing lightness, lengthening the strides, and even a chapter of the importance of horsey fitness.
When I ride I try to evaluate where the problem areas are. Then I use the above tools to try and work on those problem areas. I try to plan ahead and know what I'm going to be working on. Afterwards I write down in a riding journal how it went. That way I can jog my memory on what the next step is or if I have to drop back and keep working on something else. Periodically I take a lesson or a clinic and get feedback from eyes on the ground. It's not a fast track but it's progression and I'll settle for that.
It's been a busy summer. I can't believe its half over already. I still haven't been on a single trail ride. It's not going to happen this weekend either because DH and I are going to be painting my mothers living room for her. I did get some time to go to Dressage at Devonwood this past week, and I also spent a day at the beach. I've had a few beers with the DH sitting in the two red adirondack chairs we put in the far corner of the yard. I'll post a picture of those today. I get to do a little reading there too. that's been nice.