Usually, at the beginning of the year I have a new riding goal or two to work toward, but this year I don’t really have a new goal to go after. My goals in the past have been fairly simple, like “learn how to canter” or “canter my horse across an open field” (That one ended in a broken helmet, it wasn’t pretty), so probably not the types of riding goals that most people would have.
I’ve never been very competitive, so showing or going to grand competitions just doesn’t speak to me. Maybe if I’d started riding at a much younger age I would be more interested in shows and competitions, but I’m more interested in having fun with my horse and my horse friends.
That being said, there are a few riding items on my bucket list that I’d love to do!
Riding on the beach
One of my top riding ambitions is to go for a horseback ride on the beach someday. I love to watch videos of people cantering or galloping down the sand on a horse, with the waves crashing in the background, and it’s just so magical to me! So, one day I’d love to take my horse to the beach and have a nice good run down the sand. Maybe not as fast as a gallop, because that’s a bit scary to me, but definitely a nice canter down the beach would be lovely, especially if my horse friends are with me and we can share the experience!
Taking my horse on trail rides
I’m fortunate enough to live in an area with lots of great places to go for trail rides. I live in driving distance of Gettysburg, the C&O Canal, and many parks that have horse trails the public are allowed to use. I get bored riding in the same arena or fields all the time, so going on trail rides would be an amazing thing to do, and we have so many areas around here that are perfect for it! Unfortunately, we are currently without access to a horse trailer, so trailering anywhere for a ride isn’t in the cards at the moment. We are hoping that we can find an affordable trailer this year so that we can take advantage of some of the beautiful parks in the area before our horses get too old to ride the trails!
Learning more about Dressage
When I do need to ride in the arena, I like to ride with a purpose. I try to have a goal for most of my rides, even if that goal is just to not fall off the horse, or to just get one good trot to canter transition in each direction. The instructor I had when I first started learning to ride liked to use dressage patterns, and I always loved that! I feel like practicing even simple dressage tests can improve steering, riding accuracy, and riding gait transitions. I have a goal to make a set of dressage letters for our riding arena so that we can start doing dressage patterns. I have the wood, I just need to paint it. Hopefully, I can get that project done by Spring!
Try Bitless riding
Glory can be very sensitive in the mouth and she can be pretty picky about her bit. We use a very simple bit that she seems to love, but I’d really like to try a bitless bridle. I think that Glory would be happy without a bit, and she has enough “whoa” and less “go” than Raven, so she might be a great candidate for bitless riding.
Do lots of fun stuff on horseback!
I would also love to do more fun things on horseback, like obstacle course type things (opening/closing gates, picking up poles and moving them, moving balls around, etc) and I’d even like to try mounted archery! I might eventually take Glory to a fun schooling show, or go on a hunter pace with her, but mainly I just want to have fun with my horse and my friends. That’s the best thing about having a horse, if you ask me!
What are your riding ambitions?