I’m on the plane for a business trip to Orlando, FL which is as close as I’ll get to Wellington this year but I’m anticipating my coming days will be pleasantly full of sunshine, co-workers, and learning. Of course, it won’t come close to Wellington, but I’ve already blocked off my calendar for next year.

Since I didn’t bring a book and I despise working on the plane, I’ve been through the last two issues of Dressage Today and I’ve already practiced Second Level Test 3 and Third Level Test 1 enough to maybe have them memorized. (I love the FEI iPad app that gives you an arena and ability to draw your test. So cool! Although my plane mates must think I’m drawing on an EtchASketch!) Anyway, I’ve been remiss in blogging lately and there’s a ton to share, but I thought I’d alert with my goals for 2016.

It’s been a busy winter riding and learning and practicing, practicing, practicing. Carter and I attempted and succeeded our first, intentional, flying lead change just recently. I was on cloud nine and am looking forward to many more….after I get my Second Level scores! He decided since I was game to get one…that all counter canter should now include at least one, if not two, attempts at our new-found movement.

As far as riding goals go, I’m setting my sights on qualifying for regionals at Second Level and continuing obtaining scores for my USDF Bronze Medal. That, in itself, is a big task. Of course anyone also on this journey know that’s a lot easier said than done…there are so many puzzle pieces to make it a complete picture.

Mastering the sitting trot. Mastering may be ambitious. I’d settle for perfecting the art of a sitting trot that doesn’t resemble me looking like …well, if you’ve been there you know! It’s definitely a work in progress and I’m getting there.

Canter lengthening. Maybe, I need to work on getting a really good collected canter depart into a thoughtful and apparent lengthening. My boy has some power that I’m just not quite ready to explore. I’ve ridden it. It’s awesome and would probably be worthy of at least an 8, however my somewhat tentative nature is still working up the courage. I need to embrace one of the best riding quotes I’ve heard. “Even if your heart isn’t brave enough, your leg must be.” So funny. So true.

Three loop serpentine. I’ve been practicing this for awhile and we’ were mastering it…before I decided, let’s try that lead change! Now, keeping the counter canter has been elusive. I have plenty of time to work on it. It, like the rest will come with practice and repetition.

I don’t just have three goals, but my focus is on these three for right now (well, and their counterparts…Bronze and Regional Finals) but they will have to wait until I am back in the saddle after this business trip which starts in four…three…two…landing…one!