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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Looking Back One Year

                                                                   September 2010

First of all, I am very bad at keeping up at taking pictures of Riva.  I tried to find a pic from December of 2010, and September was the closest I came.

December of 2010 - I had Riva at my previous trainer's barn from mid-Oct. to mid-Nov. of 2010.  So in December, we were trying to maintain the progress gained while away at training.  I was finally able to lunge Riva on my own, and she was responding to body language and softer voice cues.  Riding,,,,still issues.

October 2011

December of 2011 - When I look back one year, I can see all the advances we (mostly I) have made.

*   Riva is a pro at lunging now.  I can lunge her in our indoor alone, or with another horse lunging and another being ridden.  I have control of her and she respects and responds very well on the lunge. 

*  Ground manners are much improved.  Her pushyness is almost 100% gone - but she will try it with a handler that isn't used to her.

*  Riding gets better every ride and I could not be happier with this.  I am once again having fun on my horse.  I know my husband is happier, since I don't break done in tears every other ride!  My confidence in my ability has increased 200% or more over the past year.  I can now encourage Riva with a dressage whip - I no longer ride in spurs - and she is responding.  The very few times she balks, I can handle it and get Riva moving out with energy. 

I have several people to thank for the progress this past year:

* First of all, my lovely, talented ,soon to be 18 year old daughter!  When Riva got dangerous early this summer - ie, rearing, bucking, twisting - all at the same time bit - Alexis got on and worked Riva thru the issue.  Every time Alexis gets on Riva now, which is rare, with her being a working student, I see how a good rider can get Riva looking like a dressage prospects.

*  My new trainer - for putting me on a schoolmaster dressage mare, a gaited horse, and a very opinionated draft cross, and teaching me how to ride all over again.  I was doing so many things wrong, and she patiently helped me thru each and every one.  I have learned so much from her in the short time I have switched to taking lessons with her.

*  My husband - who has talked me thru being on the verge of giving up on ever being able to ride Riva, many times.  Who has reminded me countless times that I am green, Riva is green, and we will get better.  He is the the one who tells me to look back at our progress and remember how far we have come. 

I can't wait to see what 2012 brings...and there will be pictures!


Emme said...

What a great idea it is to look back and see how far you have come. And you sure have made progress. Good for you!!!!!
I may have to follow suit and post my own year end progress report.

achieve1dream said...

Aww this post makes me so happy!! Congrats on all that you have accomplished! We're proud of you! Oh and Rive is GORGEOUS as always. :D