Thursday, December 29, 2011


It's been a month or two since I last looked at my short- and long-term goals so I wanted to revisit them and see how I've done and it turns out that we're pretty much on track!  The only thing we haven't accomplished on time is riding at the canter, but considering that both of us had to take some days off due to clumsiness I think all in all we're doing fabulously.

Here are the new goals, you'll see that I've added two skills (hobbling and dragging an object) which I think will be good to know; at some point I'd like to learn to drive a sulky or small carriage.  And even if we never do, hobbling and dragging are still excellent skills for confidence building and so she doesn't freak out in case we get tangled up in something (wire, vines, twine, a lead rope, whatever) on the trail.

This week: 

  • To be able to maintain a walk with minimal "nagging"
  • Transition from walk to trot unassisted
  • Lift front legs to minimal pressure on rope (hobble training)

Next week: 

  • Canter in roundpen
  • Walk and trot in big arena
  • Hold front legs up to pressure on rope (hobble training)

This month:

  • Transition from trot to canter unassisted
  • Maintain walk and trot with minimal "nagging"
  • Lead from pressure to front legs on rope (hobble training)
  • Start learning to walk next to dragging objects

Next month;

  • Ride in Orange grove and around stable grounds
  • Wear and tie up to a hobble
  • Drag an object in hand while riding
  • Stand tied to halter for several hours

Next four months:

  • Take Starbuck on a two to three hour long trail ride
  • Ride calmly and correctly at a walk, trot and canter
  • Teach Starbuck to trailer load calmly and take her on her first short trip
  • Stand tied to hobble for several hours
  • Wear a harness and drag an object from it

1 year:

  • Make consistent 4s and 5s on the entire report card
  • Be able to take Starbuck on all day trail rides
  • Make small jumps and do basic dressage work

2 years: 

  • Take Starbuck on the Camino de Santiago, the Menorcan Camí de Cavalls or to Gredos for a five day trip
  • Ride Starbuck in some kind of show

In the meanwhile, these are some things we're not doing as well as I'd like that we can work on in our free time:

  • Head down cue (from ground and mounted)
  • Standing still and ground tying
  • Sidepasses from ground
  • Halterness leading
  • Sending through narrow spaces
  • Trailer loading
  • Bridling
  • Flexing at poll
  • Groundwork (driving, sending, bending, transitions, etc...) at the canter

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