Getting Back to Practice

I ride most days, but I don’t practice games every time I ride.    I incorporate games into a riding session about three times a week when we are prepping for competition and about once a week in the winter off season.   Sometimes I run through races, and sometimes I just do drills and work on my skills.  Sometimes I focus specifically on something that Simon or I need to work on. 

We have a pretty lengthy break between competitions right now, with our last one two and a half weeks ago, and our next one not until the end of July.  This is a little strange for the middle of the season, but team Old School opted to skip MGAA Nationals in Ohio, which starts tomorrow, and I am going to skip the smaller one day Summer Sizzler competitions for now. 

With the break, I decided to give Simon and myself a good two weeks off from games all together.  We didn’t practice, we didn’t drill, we didn’t do anything even slightly games like at all.  I also had an unexpected last minute trip out of town come up that ended up with Simon getting nearly a full week off from riding all together. 

This Monday, I got Simon and I back into a riding program and we started with a full out individual practice.  Which means we ran through about a half dozen races repeatedly; Mug Shuffle, 2 Flag, Windsor Castle, Bottle Shuttle, Ball and Cone and Litter races.  With the exception of litter, we rocked.  Simon had his head into it, and was ready to pick up his hooves and show some speed.  Not to brag, but my skills were pretty hot too.  I accomplished all my picks and puts at a slightly faster than usual pace without a single miss. 

Our only nemesis was litter.  Which wasn’t bad per say, but that is a race we have been working on diligently (and I have blogged about three times already) with the goal being to teach Simon to keep moving around the turn while I lean over to pick the litter, without tossing his head or falling out of or into the turn.    We had just begun to continuously accomplish this at a working trot in practice, and with only a slight break into a forward walk in competition.   But we seem to have regressed a bit over the past two weeks.  We were moving at a steady walk, but Simon was tossing his head when pushing into the trot. 


I suppose litter will remain on our top priority list, along with the other skills I targeted in on during our last two competitions.  I suppose it’s nice to have goals and objectives to work on.

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