Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

 Seems it’s that time of year again.  Out with the old and in with the new.  I’m not much for making the obligatory resolutions about losing weight, exercising more, eating healthful foods etc. because truthfully I never keep them.  This year I thought it might be better to set goals for the horses and myself.  It’s something that might actually work.
 When Dusty is well and able to be ridden again, we’ll start slowly with groundwork and either some light longeing or long lining until she’s in shape again and able to support a rider.  Then we’ll have a refresher course of all she’s learned.  Hopefully, this will be followed by new exercises and lots of trail rides.
 With Blue I think the main goal is to get him in shape; he’s a little on the chubby side right now and needs to muscle up a bit.  So we’ll be taking short hacks to start the New Year.  Blue needs work that interests him so we’ll do a different exercise each time.  We’ll aim for less structured conditioning rides of walking/trotting in the field (weather permitting) or indoor, interspersed with occasional cavelletti patterns and more advanced dressage moves here and there for variety.  Blue knows quite a lot already but he’s no schoolmaster by a long shot.  His whole career he’s mainly done hunter/jumper and he loves to jump.  We’re not up to that yet or should I say I’m not up to that yet and don’t know if I really want to jump anything substantial anymore.  I’ve given myself permission to not jump if I don’t feel the need.  I’m thinking in reality Blue may be in for dressage training if he’s agreeable to switching disciplines.  We’ll take it slow and see what happens.  I’m a fan of taking one day at a time and working with what my horse gives me that day.  Or to be honest what I feel like doing on any given day.  Doesn’t sound very organized, does it?  But the main goal is to ride and teach him there are many enjoyable exercises he can learn and that working isn’t all bad. 
The biggest goal I have this year is to have Donnie in consistent work and hopefully he will gain confidence in himself.  We’ll do lots of longeing, long-lining and interacting with him on the ground.  By the end of the year or perhaps sooner I’m hoping Donnie will feel comfortable enough to let us tighten his girth and even get on him.  He’s had major problems with this for years but now that his EPSM has finally been diagnosed and treated we’re hoping he’ll be confident enough to hold a rider again.  Anyone who’s familiar with Donnie’s problems from other posts will know this goal will be a major achievement for Donnie and for us. 

I’ll keep you posted on how everything is progressing with the horses.
I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Healthy New Year with lots of good rides.

Until next time

Quote for Today
To make a perfect horseman, three things are requisite. First, to know how and when to help your horse. Secondly, how and when to correct him. And thirdly, how and when to praise him and to make much of him.
    - Thomas Blundeville

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