Monday, September 10, 2012

Resolutions for 2013

Everyone is familiar with New Year Resolutions. That is when you decide to work out everyday, never eat candy again, read a new book every week, never leave dirty clothes on the floor, always be nice to your spouse in the morning..... all that stuff you forget about in a month. When it comes to horses I usually find myself thinking about goals in the fall. I am not sure why. Maybe it is because after the crazy activity of summer I start to feel more introspective as a way to balance myself. Some of it is the fact that show season starts to wrap up at the end of the summer so you look back over what you accomplished and think about where you want to go next year. Here in Oregon (and in Alaska) it is difficult to ride outside in the winter so we are often forced inside. Once inside it is nice to have some goals to look forward during those long dark days.

As you get to know me you will realize that I am against pushing young horses. They don't finish growing until 5 or 6 which means it is so easy to cause long term damage in those early years. When I round pen/lunge I keep it at 20 mins or less because all those circles aren't good on their maturing bones/ligaments. If I get on him before he is 3 it will be just to sit on him for a few minutes bareback. Once he is 3 he won't be worked very hard under saddle. I believe in short rides of 20 mins or so for those first 6 months. Slow and easy will give him a better chance at staying sound for a long time. However, I still have some goals for us! My goals for his first year under saddle won't include any statements about the quality of work I expect out of him such as "An energetic working trot, soft downward transitions, bend in the circles." I have no idea where his strengths/weaknesses will lie. And he is a baby. The only thing I expect out of him is go button, a stop button, and some level of steering. Other than that his first year will just be about experiences, not about how he performs. Soooo here are my resolutions for the next 12 months.........

1) Attend two shows before next summer. "Wait, wait" you say "He isn't even under saddle yet, are you nuts?" I am totally nuts for many reasons but not because I want to start showing him right away. We have tons of very low key schooling shows in the area. I am not worried about how he looks or what score we will get. As soon as I feel like he has go button, and brakes, I want to start taking him places. The more he can get used to showing now, the less stress it will be once I am actually a little more serious.

2) Participate in a combined training event next year at this time. Don't panic!! I won't be jumping him. There are trot a pole classes that won't require any thing that resembles a jump. He won't be jumping until he is five. It will just be a fun low key way to expose him to different types of events all in one show.

3) Ride in a clinic next summer. I have a few ideas about who I want to ride with. I am not looking for an intense clinician just yet. I would like to find someone who understands young horses. I plan to start auditing clinics this winter so I can make a good decision.

4) Go on at least two away trail rides. We have fantastic trails nearby and I can't imagine owning a horse who I can't trail ride. As comfortable as it would be just to take Bre on the rides I need to start working on the baby right away if he is to ever have a chance to live up to Bre's trail prowess.

If I find myself in one piece, with no broken bones, and a happy horse after accomplishing these goals I will feel like a winner. Ok, now to start my starvation diet so I can feel OK about white breeches. I will start right after I finish this pepsi..........




Bre's first show ten years ago when she was four. I hope Dickie is far less exciting than Bre was.


9 comments:

  1. I think with horses, goals are better to set in the fall, since we usually have all winter to work on stuff for the spring/summer/show season.

    I have a few goals I set for myself and Shy to complete over the winter.

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    1. We should check in once spring hits and see if we accomplished anything!!

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  2. I think those are very realistic goals. And I set goals for my self in the fall too, other wise I think I would loose focus over the winter.

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    1. The winter really does suck out your ambition if you don't focus. I need to gain a bunch of momentum in the fall so it can carry me through the darkness.

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  3. What fun goals! And a great idea to set goals in the fall. Maybe I should do fall and spring goals since I seem to lose steam about halfway through the year lol. Unfortunately I won't have the money to do anything fun until my husband is out of school so my goals are going to be pretty boring!

    Also thanks for the link about height prediction in young horses. I think I've read that before, but it was a couple of years ago so it was nice to read it again. According to their predictions I think he will end up 15.3 (and maybe half an inch). That's close enough to 16hh for me. :D I think I'll start to feel better about his height when he finally starts to get wider! He's soooo narrow right now he doesn't take up any leg on me. :)

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    1. 15.3 is plenty big. Bre is 15.3-16h depending on the day. She filled out so much after 4. Doesn't even look like the same horse. She really takes up my leg. Arabs have really well sprung ribs so even though he didn't get hieght from mom her build will make him feel bigger than he ends up. My mom's 14.3h arab feels as big as some 16h narrow TBs I have been on. There is no risk of your guy ending up narrow!!

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    2. Yeah with Chrome's two breeds I doubt there is any way he could end up narrow lol. I just hope he doesn't end up looking like a tank on toothpick legs LOL! He's so proportionate in looks right now, he just feels narrow. And yes I have been on some narrow TBs too. Oh my goodness, like riding a two by four lol. I don't think I look too horribly big on him right now. My foot does hang past his belly, but like you said when his barrel is bigger it will take up my leg. :) I think he's pretty perfect no matter how tall he turns out. He's the best horse I've ever worked with.

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  4. I agree with ~Allison, I think fall goals are a great idea, for both horse and rider. And your goals sound really fun. Well, except the starvation diet one. Personally I just got some shapewear and called it good lol.

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    1. Starvation diet ended promptly. I have been stuffing myself all day. I have lost over 10lbs since July but somehow along the way I picked up drinking pepsi. I can't get enough of the empty sugary calories. mmmmmmmm

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