Thursday, August 2, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

August has arrived and with it: Sun and Heat. I am thrilled about the Sun because at least it's not raining (as much). But the heat can be severe and I have to be careful and not overwork Brego. He tends to run hot, being a big-muscled and dark-colored horse, so I have to be even more vigilant.

Luckily, I have plenty to do which does not involve canter sets or other wind conditioning programs, which are on hold at least for this month due to the heat. I had decided after our last successful cross-country schooling in July that I would not jump Brego again until I had spent some time on dressage and getting him stronger and more balanced. I want him to learn to jump correctly, using his back, and not just canter over fences as they get larger. So far so good, the plan is working.

Since my last dressage lesson, I have had two excellent rides working on Brego moving off my leg and being balanced in shoulder-fore. It's really crazy how fast he learns because when he stands around with that droopy lip, he really doesn't look all that smart. Each ride, however, brings progress... noticeable progress, so I think he's really smarter than he looks!

Anyway, I intend to "stay the course" with nothing but flatwork for August (with more dressage lessons scheduled) and then reintroduce jumping using a free jump chute in early September. I hope to get him balanced and fit enough so that he can free jump up to 3'. Then, I want to be schooling 2'9" with me in the saddle regularly with him before we attempt our first Beginner Novice event (max jump height for Beginner Novice is 2'7").

And speaking of showing, Indian Creek has not posted their September schooling show schedule yet, but I hope to go to one of their schooling shows before tackling a recognized USEA show. I need to know we will not get Eliminated before I shell out the entry fees for the big time. After my next dressage lesson, I also want to try for a small dressage schooling show just to get some miles on Brego. He's been camping, schooling, and some play-day type shows, but he needs to get used to the hustle and bustle of a real show, especially if I expect him to listen to me enough to canter a 20m circle!

But it hasn't been all work... my Dad stopped by for a visit last weekend and Brego got lots of deserved attention. My dad has been taking me to lessons since I was five years old and has always been part of my horsey life. Although he doesn't quite understand why I would ever want to jump Brego, he is at least starting to admit that he's handsome! Progress!

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