Thursday, June 14, 2012


I realized that it's been a really long time since I sat down and wrote out some new goals, now that my old ones are sadly out of date.  I achieved some of them, others were harder than I thought they would be and a few just kind of got forgotten about.  Like training for harness work - I think I can hold off on that until she's really solid for riding.  Obviously I didn't canter either, we're still waiting for that one (although I think it'll be any day now).  I know I'm being a little chicken about this, but just the other day she halfway fell down AGAIN during yet another ugly canter transition on the longe line due to a big scary child rustling in the bushes and as far as I'm concerned if she can't do it right on the longe I don't want to try it ridden.

So on the one hand I feel a little lame for making goals which I then fail to meet, but I think it's important to keep doing since each time I'll get just a little more realistic about them.  It also feels really good to look back at them and think "Oh, yeah, I was so worried about THAT!" about something that she now does really well - walk to trot transitions anyone?  Anyhow here goes!

Next week:
Mount up at the mounting block instead of inside the arena.
Be able to work at a walk and trot for at least 15 minutes on the scary side of the arena without spooking.
Ride all the way around the stableyard including the parking lot and the woody part at the end.
Get three consecutive steps of sideways or leg yield.
Get Starbuck to swing her head around and kick at flies less and focus on me more.

Next month:
Do a mounted trot-to-canter transition (on purpose).
Take a short ride outside the stable as far as the paved road and back.
Be able to leg yield in a straight line facing the arena wall for one full side of the arena.
Be able to take three consecutive sideways steps off the wall.
Be able to open the arena gate while on Starbuck.
Be able to ride a full lesson on the scary side of the arena.
Get Starbuck to use her hocks more and her forehand less, thus working correctly through her back.

Within 3 months:
Take a 2 or 3 hour trail ride.
Be able to walk, trot and canter in any part of the arena with minimal spooking.
Start training shoulder-in.
Be able to do sideways and leg yield fluently and correctly.
Get Starbuck working round and balanced.
Maintain gait and speed without nagging.
Wear and tie up to a hobble.

Within 6 months:
Take a 4-6 hour trail ride.
Leg yield at a trot.
Be able to do shoulder-in fluently and correctly.
Get Starbuck mostly soft, round and balanced with relaxation and rhythm in all gaits.
Teach Starbuck to trailer load calmly and take her on her first short trip.

1 year:
Be able to take Starbuck on all day trail rides.
Make small jumps and be able to do training level dressage tests correctly.

2 years: 
Take Starbuck on the Camino de Santiago or to Gredos for a five day ride.
Ride Starbuck in some kind of show.

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