Saturday, January 26, 2013

Reality checks

I love you guys!  I know I have never met most of you though the ones I have met have been instant friends I know that I can come on here and ask, and you guys have the greatest advice.  And the very first comment immediately brought me back to reality and made me think realistically about the entire situation.  Jenj said the same exact things that I would have said to someone else considering this, she was not being unsupported or mean she was just laying the facts and cons of the situation out.  She was spot on and it was what I needed to hear.  I have discussed it with my husband and thought a lot about my motivation for wanting to do it and I realized that my goals, dreams and life would not be the most conducive to that situation.  I realized that I have quite an easy life.  Yes there are things that I would like to add/change but not very many.  Over all I have the family I dreamed of, a Husband who loves me(not without it's struggles as you all well know) a house, land, truck, trailer, my horses in my back yard and I even get to train and compete in the most awesome sport on the entire plant.  I don't have to work 40-50 hours a week why would I want to?  Once I thought it through I know that after cleaning 30 stalls and caring for 30 horses daily not to mention all the business end of it all I would barely have enough energy to take care of my 3 young children let alone ride, train and compete myself.  Then I had to ask myself would I be willing to give up or at least put on hold my riding and personal goals to make this happen?  I just don't believe I am at that place.  I know what it takes to have a farm and even a small one with a few horses and other animals is a shit ton of work.  My whole life would have to change and I would have to give up many many things that are important to me in order to make it happen.  All of that has helped me see that it is just not the right choice or situation for me right now.

Is there still that voice in the back of my head saying but think of all the things you could do with a place like that!  But though this opportunity is not the right one for me it's not say that the right one is not in my future.  Chances are it would not be in such a massive capacity as a 40 stall barn but I would much rather do a smaller operation and do it right than a huge one and not be able to keep up.  Oh but the clinics and developing a cross country course over tome then down the road hold schooling events.  I am imagining what LAZ has done with Come Again Farm and the eventing Mecca it has become in the Indy area.  But those are the love smitten ideas that in reality if I talked to LAZ she would probably scare me off of it quickly because I know how much she works and how long she has had to work to make it what it is and I am not afraid of hard work but that woman goes beyond hard work.  Could I be LAZ?  No.  So to make what she has is just not a realistic goal for me but I am ok with that and that is yhe most important thing that I came away with over the whole thing.  Not all hope is lost in that though there are is something out there for me just not this.  Thanks friends, I truly appreciate each of you inputs.

In other news I went and rode in a clinic today with Nadeem Noon that was held only 10 minutes from my house.  That is the coolest thing ever!!  A clinic with that quality instructor that close to my house!!   There is hope for living in this area after all.  Most of us can appreciate the awesomeness of a clinic that close.  Unless you live in the few areas of the country that are horse country paradise then you are probably, like me, driving several hours to get great quality instruction. 

The clinic for Steady and I was pretty much shit and I feared that coming into it.  I actually had visions of being hauled off in an ambulance from the facility, seriously I did.  The reason I knew what it would be like is because I know this horse and no matter how much I dislike it, if he is not in solid minimum of 3 days a week work and combined with cold weather he turns into a loon.  He started off hot, quick and reactive.  Nad said it perfect when he used the word "volatile" that was precisely what he was being.  He would rush at my leg then overreact to my hand.  It got the worst when he told us to canter.  Then it turned into him spinning, hopping, scooching and flipping his head in every which direction.  I nearly came off twice.  You know it is not the best clinic when you get off and the people watching say, "I was really impressed that you stayed on".  Um yeah kinda hoping to get more out of $75 lesson than reassurance that I can sit a psychotic fit by my horse.  But after getting off switching bits, to the eggbutt snaffle(probably the best help).  I had him in the pelham because I thought he would be strong but what he really needed was a strong had to go into with all of his wound up, tense, energy and the pelham made it an unsafe place for him to push his energy into.  I lunged him for a few minutes each direction and got back on and he was much better.  Not perfect but better.  I could do the exercise at a trot and even got a canter in both directions without any psychotic episodes.  He was heavy in my hands and evading using his hind end but he was not dangerously reactive anymore and it felt really good to be able to have had such a horrific start and to have been able to find a way to work through it and end positively.  It was my first time riding with Nad and I really like him.  He encouraged me push through and gave me the correct instruction to get through it and I was quite pleased with him as a clinician and would definitely ride with him again.  Over all I ended the day happy and excited and frozen.  I am most excited about the idea that this is just the first of many more clinics at this facility of this caliber instructor!  I also made some really great connections and am quite excited about that as well.  All in all, good, good, good!

Friday, January 25, 2013

What would you do?

If you didn't have to work.  If all of your bills were paid?  You had a house, a car, a truck, your horses all paid for with no help on your part.  Your bills are paid but you would like a bit more income, you need a flexible schedule and you want to do something you love.  What would you do?

Would you consider purchasing this place?  They are asking $269,000, it would be 30 miles from your house.  It would not only provide you a dream place to have your horses and the facility to train but also make a small income( I inquired and they said it makes $7-9,000 over expenses).  Would you imagine doing it or would you actually consider going for it?

I can't help but think about it.  But it is also such a risk in any investment like that even one that is already functioning and generating an income though it be a small one.  Would you dream of turning it into an eventing facility that are few and far between around the area?

Would you consider it turining your hobby into a job?  Or a job getting to do something you love?  If your husband was supportive and the only thing standing in your way is your own reservations and fears of failing big time?

What would you do?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Through a child's eyes.

Horsey goals in the eyes of a 9 year old horse obsessed little girl.  Here is a post of a short 'interview' with my daughter.

Hi, my  name is Elaina.  I  am nine years old.  I have been riding since I was five.  My pony's name is Lilly, she is a halflinger pony.  She is five years old.  I have been riding Lilly for 8 months.  I started riding her when she was first being saddle trained.  I have been teaching her a lot of things while I was still learning myself.
What was it like when you first started riding Lilly?
It was fun and sometimes hard.  She sometimes would run off and I had to learn how to stop her.  Sometimes she would win but I figured it out. On the ground she was really pushy.  I worked with her and taughter how to move her hind quarters, shoulders and how to back.  I did this better than my mom because I had more patience.

What things are you learning now and teaching your pony?
Right now I am learning how to jump.  I am trying to teach her to canter but she still gets off balance.  I am learning how to turn her with my legs and seat and not my reins.  I am trying to learn how to get her to stretch.

What is your favorite riding memory?
My first year as a 4-her I won the walk/trot equitaion class!

What do you want to learn this year?
I want to learn how to do a dressage test.  I also want to jump cross country again.  So some day I can do 3 day event. 
Do you want to show this year?  If so what shows are you most excited to do?
Yes!  I want to show a combined test at the Heartland regional horse show.  It would be my first combined test.
I love riding.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's a delicate balance.

Though I do not particularly care to write about this, for the sake of documenting and transparent honesty I must push through and put it out there.

I got BUCKED off of Steady a couple weeks ago.  Haven't been bucked off of a horse in nearly two decades.  I have some theories in the works as to what is going on with Steady but I know I need to get to the bottom of it.  I am working on it, more on that later.  He was tense, jumpy and irritated the moment I got on his back.  I tried to keep his feet moving and his mind working by doing turns on the forehand, figure 8's over poles etc.  It would seem to help slightly but he was still a ball of tense energy that all culminated with an out of the blue massive buck that sent me flying to his neck.  I think when you have fallen off of horses as many time as I have(though only 3 times in adulthood but as a kid I was a very "brave" rider and would get on anything, anytime, anywhere, doing anything) my mind has the ability to thoroughly think through the split seconds that feel like a stand still in time as you are in the process of falling to the ground.  Here are the series of events.  We were walking.  My daughter was bareback on Lily.  Lily was being silly and put her foot on a flower box jump and knocked it over.  Steady spooked(barely) we were stopped.  I looked over to see what she was doing and before I knew it he threw in a HUGE buck.  I came so far out of the saddle and hit his neck.  My right foot came out of my stirrup and as I was falling forward I knew I was going to come off and I immediately thought about my left foot still being in the stirrup and I was flying forward(not a good combo).  I had the clarity of mind to think through how I could get my foot out.  I quickly kicked my foot back as well as I could as I he continued to spin and buck then bolt.  As I was coming off and pushed away as much as I could I rolled and landed on my side.  I am grateful I walked away with only whiplash in my neck to show for it.  Especially since my husband was 1000 miles away at the time.  And I have to say I am grateful for all that unplanned dismount practice I recieved as a child because now flying off a horse is a quite, calm and thoughtful experience.

I felt the fast and hard jerk in my neck during the buck.  I landed in a pile of snow on my side.  The snow definitely helped cusion my fall.    Steady hopped about 3 steps and stopped, turned and looked at me.  I wanted to get up and kill him but since he stopped and waited for me I decided to reinforce that behavior (not the bucking but the standing and waiting when I come off).  I calmly walked up to him grabbed the reins as my daughter ran to get the lunge line.  I hopped right back on and could feel round two coming so I emergency dismounted and decided to work through this on the ground and save my neck.  I lunged him and he was out of control.  Doing anything and everything to evade me.  The footing was terrible and that was adding to his behavior because he does not like to slip around on unsure footing.  I hated to do it but the way he was acting had to be handled.  We fought for about 30 minutes until he could go around remotely polite.  He was hot and sweaty.  It was a bad day.  The next day I was equally sore in my upper body from tug-o-war lunging as I was from the whiplash.

I have ridden a couple times since then and he has not offered to buck since so I am hoping that means it is not going to become a thing.  The cause?  I am starting to strongly consider ulcers.  As soon as I am done paying my last vet bill I am going to get some ulcer medication to keep on hand.  He seems like he can be two totally different horses at times and ulcers is the only thing that I can think of that can come on quick, without much notice and cause his 'symptoms'.  It may also be an explination as to turning into a firebreathing dragon at shows.  Any ulcer insight out there?  Could these things be connected?  Pre-bucking incident he had been on banmine and an antibiotic for a couple weeks.  He started refusing his food.  I could only get him to finish one feeding a day and he seemed extra jumpy about everything.  These same things happen within about 12 hours at a show.  Do ulcers come on that quickly?  I would love to pick any brains out there that have experience with this.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The simple pleasures.

Mr. Sassy pants
Before we get to the bucking off incident I must share much cuter and fun news.  But first, we had a big scare with our little Hank last week.  My daughter was playing with him and accidentally stepped on him very hard as she was running.  He got under her feet and there was nothing she could do.  We thought we might loose him.  He wouldn't move for about 20 minutes acting completely paralyzed and once he did take a few steps we had a few seconds before he started vomiting blood.  It took about 3 days but he made a full recovery!  So he is back to his adorable puppy self and we have never been more thankful for a puppy to chew on everything in sight.  Once the chewing began we knew he would be ok.  Here is a mass photo and video dump of cute puppies and horses playing in the snow.

I think there is a common misconception that horse ownership is for the rich and glamorous.  Haha, if you think this is 'glamorous'

My barn gloves have seen better days.

Corgi Love!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Can't see the forrest for the trees.

There is SO much that I need to write about but I just have not had the time to sit down and do it.  I have a few posts started but only time will tell when I can get to them all.  The order is going to be completely out of whack at this point but I am going to write out of chronological order not that it really matters.  Though I am sure some may be interested in hearing the story of me getting bucked off by Steady last week but for now it will have to wait.  Since this topic is circling around in my brain and I can't seem to shake it so I need to get it out.  I will divide the situation into parts.
This post is a doozy but it is kind of interesting.

The Opportunity:
I was introduced to a very nice woman last Saturday.  I knew very little about her except that she had horses and that she started giving my friends daughter riding lessons.  My friend wanted me to meet her so I decided to head over during her daughters lesson.  It was intersting because while I was there I met a nice mother and daughter  that the daughter had previously been in pony club.  The recently moved to the area and are very interested in joining Pony Club again.  So I gained a PC member.  Then through conversation the lady that owned the barn said that she would LOVE for me to come help her with her farm and in return I could use her indoor arena.  It would be nice to have a place to ride indoors.  Though the arena is very small.  Maybe 20x40 meters, so small.  We could do some light flat work in there.  Which if I had on my property would be awesome but to trailer to a few days a week I don't know how often I would utilize.  It is only about a 15 minute drive it has more to do with the amount of time and work it would be to load up my tack, hook up the trailer, load, drive, unload, ride, reload, drive, unload, unhook trailer and put my tack back away.  Would I really do that a few times a week to ride 20 meter circles?  I just don't know.  She also said I am welcome to give lessons at her place but as of right now I have no lesson kids.  So it is a nice opportunity and has potential to offer some benefits for me.  Only time will tell how much benefit though.

The Obstacles:
In return for using her facility she wants me to help her with her horses.  I have a had a few conversations with this very nice lady to try to gather what her experience with horses is and what her goals are with her farm/horses.  Here is my assesment.  She has 8 horses.  1 lesson/safe horse, 1 ooold pature pet, 1 green broke gelding(30 days saddle training), 1 said to be previously broke trail horse but has only been riding once in the last at least 3 years(most likely more) and that was a bad experience with said farm owner getting off in fear and never getting back on her, 1 untouched broodmare age 15+, a 1 yr old, a 2 yr old and a 3 yr old all unbroke.  And 3 of these horses are possibly in foal.  Nice lady, NL(what we will call her) purchased this farm along with many of these horses 2 1/2 years ago.  She came from a subdivision and having owned and boarded her own horse for a few years.  NL had a dream of having a farm and breeding, breaking and selling horses.  NL went to 2-3 Clinton Anderson clinics and felt she was ready to set on this dream of hers.  2 1/2 years in she has 8 horses none of whom she has been able to saddle train herself and is continuing to breed her mares.  I asked her what her goals were, if she wanted to sell any of these horses and her answer was, "well if someone that I knew and trusted wanted to buy one, though it would be very hard for me I would probably sell one".  In my mind that was a no she did not intend to sell any horses.  Her husband is fed up with it because he thought some of these horses would have moved along by now.  He even attended a Clinton Anderson clinic so that he could help out with this "training" thing to help move some horses.  I asked her what she wanted from me.  She said she wanted me to work with her horses and teach her along the way.  In return I am aloud to use her very small arena in any way I would like.

She is a very nice lady and I would love to be able to help out of the goodness of my heart but I just cannot for the life of me find a way that I am even breaking even in this deal.  So I am risking my neck working with young and old untrained horses alike in order to use this small indoor arena.  She is SO excited for me to come along side her and help her and I am quite sure that is because she is completely overwhelmed and wants for the life of her to make this all work.   If I was single with no need for a job sure that sound like it might work.  But I have 3 kids, work part time and my family expects me to feed them and keep the house so they can at least walk through it.  I have a full farm of my own and a horse that I keep in full time work and compete and a green haflinger of my own that I need to put more hours on for my kids.  I have 3 daughters that need regular lessons from me.  I am the leader of Pony Club and a 4-h club I mean the list goes on.  I don't pretend to be any more busy than anyone else in the world, all I am saying is MY PLATE IS FULL.

I can't help but feel there is some opportunity in there somewhere hidden under all the overwhelming mess that this NL has created.  Am I missing something?  I want to help her and intend to sit down with her and her husband and have a conversation about how their dreams are going to be lost of they don't focus their efforts and make some hard choices.  They can take it or leave it but I do feel I should at least offer my advice because she has made it very clear she so desperately wants my help.  I cannot help someone who is not willing to help themself.

The horses are all well cared for and well fed.  These folks are quite well off though the equine accumulation is starting to take it's toll on them.  They are well educated and very intellegent people.  I think they got just enough education on horses to be dangerous.

Yesterday I spent about 40 minutes with the "former trail horse" I was just working with her on the ground.  I wanted to get to know her a bit and see what she knew.  I have never been to a Clinton Anderson clinic but I have heard and seen many similar trainers and their methods.  There is a loooong list of names, everyone has their favorites.  But I don't have to know anything about Clinton Anderson to know what he teaches at his clinics that she attended just by working with this horse.  I think it is a safe guess that he shows you how to "round pen" a horse.  i.e. drive them in a circle using pressure then step in front of their half line and they turn to lock onto you then reverse and repeat.  Then he must instruct them to move the horses hind quarters.  Making sure the horse is always focused on you and as you move they must move their hindquarters away from you.  And then the clinic ends because time ran out.  Not because training was done and the horse is complete but because you can only teach so much at one time.  So I will let you guess the ONLY thing I could get this horse to do.  I mean 40 minutes using as many ways as I could to help this horse understand I wanted her to move her front feet I could NOT get anything except the hindquarters to spin.  She pivoted perfectly on her front foot but that is the only thing this horse knew how to do on the ground.  So in the 2 1/2 years NL has had to work with this horse that is all she has done with this horse.  I don't know Clinton but I would have to guess that he has many many steps beyond getting a horse to move it's hindquarters.  This mare was sweet and though she could not for the life of her figure out why I was not happy with her, she kept trying over and over but it was the only thing she knew how to do.  It had been so ingrained in her it is going to take a LOT to help her past it.  And this one of 8! and the one with the most experience.  How would I ever find time to even get through one of them but 8!  It is overwhelming for me I can't imagine how NL feels.  So give me your thoughts.  Any Clinton Anderson enthusiasts out there?  We need Clinton rehab over here.  Nothing against him I am sure it is great what he does but for someone to get a false sense of ability by attending a clinic is so sad.  Now there is this mess and she wants my help.  My help, yet no pay just use of her arena.  Did I mention it was small?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Two lives collide, 13 years in the making.

March 28, 2000 You were foaled in British Columbia Canada  Dam- Song and a Smile Sire-Repletion
Me-I was in my freshman year in college. I had been dating Ryan for just a couple months.

September 18, 2000 You were sold to Rob Maybin and stayed in Canada.
Me: I was starting my 2nd year of college and starting to get serious with my boyfriend Ryan.

Sept 16, 2002 You ran your first race coming in 2nd place and Hasting Racetrack in BC, Canada
Me: Live in South Bend, IN in a cute little house in the city.  I got married just 7 months earlier and just found out I was pregnant with my first baby.

June 14, 2003 You broke your maiden!  That was the start of a HUGE year for you.  Running in Stakes races, Derby's and Cup's winning 3 times and only once finishing worst than top 3.
Me: Just had my first baby, it is a girl!  My world is consumed with her.  I become a stay at home mom.

Oct 31, 2004 4 years old!  Won your second race this year and more than earning your keep.  You ran a lot this year in some big races.
Me: I had just bought our home on 15 acres of land.  There was a small barn and no fencing but in my mind it was just perfect.  Though I didn't know you yet it was all for you.  To one day bring you home.  I also was 5 months pregnant with my 2nd child and had 17 month old baby.

Sep. 25, 2005 You won the only race you would win this year.  You were still running against solid competition in stakes races just not as many wins.
Me: I was eyeball deep in babies and dirty diapers.  Though all the steps I had taken for many years now were heading me in the direction of horse ownership at that time I couldn't see past the post partum depression and all the struggles life was throwing me at such a young age. 

Oct. 15, 2006  British Columbia's Premier's Handicap it was your last big race.  You placed 4th and I am guessing that season was when the Maybin's decided to pull out of the stakes races with you.  You won them A LOT of money and proved your heart.
Me: I had just given birth 5 days earlier to another little girl.  That was 3 babies in 3 years and though all of it was not in our life plan things started to get a little easier.  Don't get me wrong having a 3 yr old, one yr old and a new born was far from easy but life seemed to have settled some.  I was able to put life into a bit better perspective and now that the babies were done cooking it was time I could start cooking up a plan to find that 'perfect' horse.

June 15, 2007  I am sure this was a big day for you.  Up until  now you had been with the same people at the same racetrack doing the same job for 5 years and today your world changed.  You were claimed by Tucci Stables and moved to Toronto Canada.  It seems you didn't like the change.  You only won one race after this and you slowly but surely were put in lower and lower claiming races.  I just 'met' (via Internet) someone from your past that knew you back then.  She said you were one of her favorite horses at the track but that you didn't want to race anymore.  You reared and smacked your nose on the starting gate pretty badly and were scratched from one of your last races at Woodbine.  And that you didn't know what a carrot or apple was but that she took the time to care and soon you would nicker your, "old man nicker" when she came to the barn.
Me: Being mom and dreaming of horses.  I was enjoying my children and knew that with three little ones, now was not the right time to add a horse into my life.  I would have not had the time needed to dedicate to one.

Oct 27, 2008 You were claimed again this time by an Elizabeth Cochrane and you made your way to the USA.  Pennsylvania to be precise.  You have been racing for 6 years now.  There is not one year that you didn't race many many times since you were a 2 year old.  You have changed hands, racetracks and countries.  I can't even imagine the things you saw and did.  The horses you raced, the wins the losses. 
Me: I am getting the farm ready a little each year.  Clearing brush, cleaning fence lines, tearing down the old and putting up new.  The kids are getting bigger now and they are all finally out of diapers!

May 9, 2009 You are claimed yet again and now you move to Cleveland, OH.  It seems you are slowly but surely making your way to me.  You win the last race that you will ever win on September 9th and though it is a small race you still prove you have the heart of a winner.  Over 8 years on the track now and you are still giving them your heart.
Me:  I am about to turn 29 the kids are getting more self sufficient and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel to bringing my horse home.  There is still work to do but it won't be long now.  I didn't know it at the time but I needed you more than I could have ever imagined.

Dec. 12, 2009- Jan. 9 2010 You changed hands 3 times in a month.  The details are not clear as to why or how but someone finally had an ounce of humanity and let you come off of the track sound.  There was talk of owners with no money and a trainer who didn't have the heart to make you keep racing.

Jan. 9, 2010 You raced your last race!  It was at Turfway park and you came in 9th. 
Me: I was lining up a fencing company to come out as soon as the ground thawed.  My dream was actually about to come true!  I was scouring the Internet for a cheap sound thoroughbred.

April 11, 2010  A family came to see you today.  You didn't know them and for all the people who have come and gone in your world you didn't think much of it.  You were skinny, hairy and still trying to figure out the pasture life.
Me: I was going to look at a horse today!  I didn't want to get my hopes up but who am I kidding I was driving with trailer and if it didn't try to kill me it was coming home with me!  I show up and saw a dirty, hairy, skinny, HUGE and most beautiful creature I have ever seen.  I loved you.  I didn't know you but I loved you.  I rode you and you indeed did not try to kill me so I made and offer of $850.  I really had no idea what I was getting myself into but I didn't really care, you were mine and you were perfect.

You didn't know that day how much your world was going to change, nor did I know how much you would change mine.  Since then through you have helped me learn that it is not only ok to take care of myself but necessary.  You helped me find myself again and rediscover my single strongest personal passion that through life's circumstances had not been lost but buried.  I became stronger physically, mentally and emotionally.  What we have accomplished together has given me confidence in myself like I have never had before and in that confidence you were able to find yours again.  Together we became strong and brave.  For me it wasn't just strength and bravery on your back but throughout my whole life.  You made me someone my girls could admire and helped me show them that it is possible and life changing to follow your dreams.  Our paths at times were worlds apart but when they collided we were both forever changed.  I don't know what our future holds but I do know that our worlds have been brightened by these years we have had together.

The day I met you.
Us at our first HT two years later!
You and me are just better together!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 plans for The Dude and I.

The Dude has been very unDude lately.  He has been kind of a prick.  He was especially awful for the farrier today, which has never happened before.  We had to have more than a few pressure and release session.

I like the word 'plan' most of all when contemplating a new year.  It gives me a rough outline but applies very little pressure.  Resolutions seem so absolute.  Goals sounds like if I don't attain them I have failed somehow.  When in reality if I get to spend the next year loving, enjoying, playing and with any luck even progressing with a horse in my life then I have not failed in any way.

When I think of the next year and what it might hold a few things come to mind along with some questions.  There is always the unknown but we plan to move ahead, making progress the best we can and rolling with the surprises along the way.

Novice is a given.  Our first event entry will be a novice schooling show.  Then to be followed by a recognized horse trial at Novice.  Then start prepping for Training level.  Schooling all 3 phases at Training.  I don't plan to move up to training this season I wouldn't add that kind of pressure.  I would like to compete solidly at Novice.  I would like to compete competitively at Novice before moving up.  I would like to start schooling at Training level in all 3 phases by the end of the season.  A year ago I would have never considered that I would plan to move to Training ever but as we progress it just seems like an inevitable step in the process.  I have no reason to put a cap on our progression and until I have a good reason I will just go with it.
I also have a goal of getting an actual dressage saddle so I am on the look out!  I don't need fancy or expensive(actually can't afford expensive) but it needs to fit.
With my daughter coming along now I am also going to need to start making room for her riding goals and progress, both in the schedule and in the budget.  I will add in kid/pony club plans too.
The rough outline

January, February
  • Survive the tough winter months with no indoor that is the best we can hope for.  I have no pressure on myself to accomplish anything these months.  Except for keeping buckets thawed, stalls clean and horses happy and healthy.  If I get extra inspired and weather cooperates I could possibly seek out a dressage instructor for a lesson or two on another mount.
  • One thing to look forward to in February is the IEA banquet!
  • Pony Club meets once a week at my house to study for quiz rally.

  • Pray that the weather/footing will begin to cooperate this month.  If so I will start regular riding to work off some of the winter/spring edge from the good ole Thoroughbred.
  • Quiz rally 16th

  • If we end up with mud like a typical Indiana spring we will focus on long and low at the walk and trot.
  • Daughter wants to compete at Heartland CT.  It would be her first CT!  My hear flutters thinking about it but since they are adding a step over class if nothing else I think my nerves could handle that.  Most likely she will be in a low X rail class.
  • See you at Rolex!!

  • Emerge from the farm and shake off the winter funk at Dorothy Crowell's farm in Frankfort, KY for a long weekend of training.  Instead of a clinic I am opting to travel and take personal lessons with one of my favorites. 
  • Novice schooling event

  • If I don't get to the schooling event in May, June will be the month for that.  Otherwise I will be focusing on working on what we were giving from Dorothy and the areas that shows inevitably bring to light.
  • Pony Club Camp
  • Fair is this month so there will be  much focus on the kiddos.
  • Pony Club Show Jump Rally and Dressage Rally

  • Pony Club D camp
  • Due to swealtering heat take it back a notch in work.
  • Recognized Horse Trial? 

  • OCTOBERFEST!!!   CT, Dressage and Hunter/Jumper show!  Such a fun show.  Who knows I may actually enter a class in the dressage show?  Plans to take the kid and Lily along to compete also!

  • CAF derby and fun show!