I've spent a big part of my day thinking about Siaga, my current long term goal, and how the heck I'm going to get there.
Long term goal:
Transfer to the University of Findlay for an Associates of Arts in Equestrian Studies with an emphasis on English riding/ training via the Dressage Program. I fully plan to take Siaga with me.
I have to submit a 5-minute long video of Siaga doing dressage, at the very least walk, trot, and canter both directions, and anything else he can do, by June 1st. It seems like a long way off now, but it's really not, especially when you consider that with winter coming on, there will be very little riding actually happening unless I can get him to an indoor arena.
This is a big thing, a big, huge, not so easy to reach long term goal. It's stumping. So I'm going to break it down, because my thoughts must be organized.
Goal 1: Score lessons in exchange for work, waiting on a reply, if I don't have a reply from the lady by Sunday, I have to call her or find someone else.
Goal 2: Take back everything I learn in my lessons to Siaga. Whatever I'm learning, he can be learning, too, whether or not there is a trainer around to help.
But for now, until I get those lessons, I have to start working these things myself. Next time we go for a ride, my goal is:
Get one ear.
That one ear back to me saying "I hear you, I'm paying attention to you." and the swiveling ear saying "I'm also paying attention to my surroundings." That is what I want. Normally his ears are both forward or to the sides, swiveling around paying no attention to me, though he generally obeys what I ask him to do. To accomplish this, our first lesson will probably be riding up and down the road at a walk until we achieve that relaxed, long and low, swinging back, easy going walk. Then back to the yard to do a lot of walk/halt/walk/halt/backup/walk/etc transitions and direction changes, while trying to maintain that long and low form.
We may attempt a rising trot, if I feel that my balance is good enough for it and if I feel that he isn't going to go hog wild and throw me. Even if we achieve only a couple paces or so of the trot, before we switch back to a walk, it would be good for me, and for him, and I'm glad that he has trotted with me before, though I don't remember if we have gone faster than a walk since my bad fall. (Shin still hurts from that when pressed, and the skin there is numb still, though all memory functions have returned to normal.)
Anyways... we have a long road ahead of us.