Setting a Summer Schedule

Ahhhhhh, sweet summertime! Summer is finally here in the northland!...The weather is warm, the days are long, and gone are the hassles of winter, like layers of clothes and freezing fingers and snow. I have been enjoying some nice, lazy days out at the barn, taking my sweet time with grooming and riding my horse, appreciating not having to rush through brushing or be careful to keep my ride short so my horse doesn't get too sweaty. It's so nice!

But summer comes and goes in a flash, and it is packed full of shows and clinics that I need to be prepared for, so every day out at the barn can't be spend idly admiring my pony's cuteness. I need to get actual work done, too. In an attempt to keep myself on track and progressing, I came up with a weekly schedule for myself.

I really recommend you make a schedule, too, to help you accomplish your goals this summer. It can be as detailed as you want, including things your trainers say to you and detailed exercises you are working on with your horse, or it can just be a general "to-do" list to help you structure your week.

Mine is fairly general, and can be adjusted or fine tuned each week as needed (for example, if it's going to pour rain on Thursday, I might swap out Monday's ground work/lunging for that day instead of riding. Or if Saturday is just absolutely a perfect day for trail riding, I might opt to do so and take Sunday as my rest day.)

In-hand flexion exercises
Lunge with side-reins
Detailed grooming session & mini massage
Practice the things my pony needs work on: clippers, baths/spray bottles, ground manners

Arena work: Warm up, stretchy walk, medium walk, collected walk, serpentines, turn on the forehand, flex and counter flex down the long rails (walk and trot), leg yields (walk and trot), transitions, stretchy trot on 20 meter circle, canter. Cool down with lots of stretching.

Arena work: Warm up, run dressage test(s). Have someone read test, and video if possible.

Arena work: Pick apart the weak spots of test(s), practice them. Run test(s) entirely at the end.

Mix it up: Trail ride, hack in field, jump, trot poles, etc.

Rest day. Read some Classical Dressage literature/educate myself further.

Tack TLC: Clean tack and boots, organize gear in tack room, wash sheets/blankets/saddle pads if needed, etc.
Repeat Tuesday's general ride with attention to any "sticky" spots that were discovered in the past week.

With limited summer days, we need to make the most of each and every day. I hope this example helps you to create your own schedule, and path to success!