Monday, January 22, 2024

Next on the Agenda

Since we skipped a December Wrap Up in leiu of the 2023 Wrap Up, let's look ahead a bit to the spring season. I'm going to speak in very general terms because I added a whole unnecessary level of stress to my life for a week by deciding Goggles needed to be doing XX level by XX date. I had managed to NOT do that for the whole first year of having him, so I was about due for that, yes? 

Goals for this spring: 
  • Get Goggles solid at loading and trailering. Unfortunately the increased frequency of trips from his new farm for farrier, chiro, lessons made for some back sliding, not forward progress as I'd hoped. He is more chill IN the trailer now, but has gotten a bit worse at loading. It makes my life VASTLY less complicated if he is a single person loader, so we're working towards that. My husband is on board and is definitely enjoying the process of thinking like a horse, so it is a pretty fun project. He's also providing the push to hook up the trailer, drive it to the farm, put the horse on it, and then NOT go anywhere. 
Skeptical faces, we got 'em

  • Do SOMETHING with each horse each week, MOST weeks. Examples include dressage lesson, jump lesson, XC school, trailering Goggles to the GY's and going for a hack, hacking Goggles off property from our home barn. etc etc. When I had my frenzied week of backwards goal setting, I was trying to cram too many things into each week in order to be ready by a certain date. Doing things with two horses is already hitting my max enjoyment of horsey-ness and that kind of planning was pushing me over the edge into treating this like another full time job with the same level of enjoyment that goes with a job. Now, I do really enjoy my job, but it's still a job, y'know? And I don't want horses to feel that same way. So long as we are doing SOMETHING other than trot or canter circles at home, we're making forward progress, and that is all I'm looking for. He'll be ready when he's ready. (Not that trot and canter circles at home aren't beneficial, but y'know what I mean? Something other than our baseline creeping forward progress towards consistency in the bridle etc etc)
  • Take Ben Ben on at least two off property trail rides with a friend. I've given up on him ever being fun to solo trail ride, but Ms. GY and I had such a great time at San Felasco, I am making it a goal to do that at least twice more before the weather and yellow flies become unbearable in late May/early June. 
  • Get Ben confident with down banks. I'm already putting half a check mark next to this one. We plan to do two more XC schools before his next show, but we've already made great progress towards restoring his confidence. 
That's it. That's all I'm putting down in writing. It's a short post. I do have a few shows marked on the calendar for Ben, but I feel like verbalizing my goal of AECs with him last year made it all the harder to take when our spring season fell apart. So these are my reasonable goals for both kids - focusing on trailer loading with Goggles, and two off property hacks with Ben, and then a weekly thing for both of them. If anyone decides to go lame, that's fine, we can adapt from there. And a lame Goggles could certainly still work on loading, so that one sticks no matter what! We'll reassess at the end of spring and see how it went. 

Forever sprinkling the xpress foto package pics throughout posts... this isn't my fave because you can't see his face completely, but look at those knees! 


  1. i feel like trailer loading is one of those things that just .... takes a lot longer and is a lot harder than people expect. like sure, it can be easy... except for when it absolutely is NOT easy LOL. good luck with smoothing out the rough edges!! i see a lot of that in our future with doozy too, bc she's also seeming likely to experiment with whether "no, thanks!" is an option haha sigh....

    1. Yes, I was ignoring it as an issue while he lived at JT's, which is when I should have been doing slow steady practice. Honestly the trips alone seem to be the biggest problem for him and make him much more reluctant to load the next time. Not sure how I'm going to remedy that one. Practice, practice, practice!