Thursday, April 3, 2014

End of March Analysis; April Goals! (Sort of.)

Is it really the end of March already?? Seriously, the older I get, the faster time goes. Wasn't it just Christmas?

March was an interesting month, and it went pretty well all things considered. I had some triumphs and some fails, some deep thoughts and some interesting introspection. And I celebrated my birthday AND celebrated having this crazy little red horse in my life for a whole year now!


O-Ren March Goals:
1) Dressage work - back to walk-trot, and add in canter gradually! Get to it!! High priority!!
We didn't do *nearly* as much dressage work as I had wanted to, but near the end of the month we buckled down and got to it. I've gotten some very nice canterwork in - some of the best we've had - but it has been at the expense of the trotwork. If we don't canter EVER, then we can do trotwork. But if we canter at all, any day of the week, all she wants to do is canter during everything that we do. It's very, very hard. She wants to run hard, and fast, and all day long... or she wants to mosey on a long rein at the walk. She doesn't have much in-between and that makes things very difficult. It is hard to make something so frustrating (for both of us) a high priority.

2) Attend one or two more open XC schooling days! Spend time as well putting cavalleti/jump work in on the calendar as the canter improves!
This did not go according to plan at all - one schooling got totally rained out, I opted to go foxhunting instead of go to the second schooling (which I don't regret one bit), and the third schooling got moved to next month. Oh well, that's how it goes!

3) Install Easyshoes and see how they go! 
Another fail - I went to install and discovered that she had sized up since I last measured her (which is great! But also, a pain in the butt.) I just reordered them in the next size up, so we'll see how it goes when they get here. They are freaking expensive.... I'm sure EasyCare will be rolling in the dough after the preliminary rush to get them.

4) Consider 'what else' we want to try and figure out how to fit it into the schedule - keep doing endurance? Try roping? Barrels? Driving?
 We've been doing a little bit of everything as of late! I did rope desensitization with her this month as well as practiced on the dummy myself, did some more work on the barrels (and ran her, and won a check in the 4D!), and did more endurance type conditioning. There were no locally close endurance rides this month, so I didn't go to any, but there are some April ones upcoming. At this point, I think we need to be done with LDs, they're not doing either of us any favors. We'll be aiming at 50s - SLOW 50s - next. I have no interest in speeding through 50s!
5) Look at show/ride schedule - what will we be doing in the next few months?
Well, looked it over, got ideas, scrapped the ideas, looked more ideas over, and scrapped those ideas too. I'd say this goal didn't exactly get accomplished!


O-Ren April Goals:
1) BAH. Give me a few days to think about this. I keep changing my mind on all of my goals and can't come up with a solid set of them.


I know, I know, that was extremely anticlimactic. But I keep changing my mind over and over on what I *really* want to do with her. I want to event! Well, no I don't, too much money and dressage is a mental challenge. I want to do endurance and get to Tevis one day! Well, how am I supposed to make this horse a real endurance horse when she is such a spoiled picky eater and drinker? (Good eater, who is on every ulcer preventative that I can think of... but if there is stuff to look at, she'd rather look at things than eat. She doesn't eat on the trailer, EVER, and if the hay in front of her isn't perfectly to her liking, forget it, she looks at you and talks to you like she is starving but she won't eat it. I feel like endurance horses need to be garbage disposals, and she's just not. About the only thing I can solidly think of having her do long term that she'll be good at is run barrels, and I kind of feel like any idiot monkey with a hot horse can run barrels. It doesn't feel like it takes any particularly strong skill set to do it, which is why you see so many goobers doing it I suppose. It doesn't give me that "yeah, we can do this complicated thing because we are awesome!" kind of feeling.

She will probably be pretty good at it though, admittedly, once she gets faster and tighter:

 She is SO BEEF. It's almost all muscle, and she has short thin little legs.... it makes her look a bit like a pork roast up on toothpicks. Seriously though, she looks like one of those old school bulldogging type QHs - even though she's a warmblood! The mohawk is the cherry on top... it makes her neck look EXTRA freakishly huge. Most of this is sprinting type muscle... we've been doing lots of short burst of speed lately, just to give her brain a break. I clocked her top speed at 38.5mph the other day... yes, 38.5mph. THAT IS SERIOUSLY FAST.

 I have lots to write about, but am tired and feeling a little funky today. Lots of things to think about though, lots of things indeed.


  1. 38.5 is awesomely fast!! I love me a beefy QH. Especially a redheaded one :)

  2. I feel your woes on hot little mares. Sometimes I think we are "Stuck" and are never going past /this point/ but at some point we have a breakthrough and run into new challenges. Have you thought about maybe doing some sort of Dressage and/or Eventing clinic (with someone you respect) and getting an outside opinion? I find the greatest progress I make with my hot and opinionated mare is in a clinic because it gives me new tools for the toolbox from someone who isn't totally involved in our training process as opposed to the ones my trainer and I have been using previously.

    Also she looks fabulous! Love a little mare with chrome! ;)

  3. As always, a favorite red mare!!

    Have you thought about doing some kind of clinic with O to see what a professional thinks? Not that I think you aren't a professional, but maybe you could get other ideas?

  4. Dang that is fast. No wonder she's good at barrels LOL! Have you thought about just doing jumpers while you work on the dressage? Then when the dressage is good you could do eventing. Maybe? Just a thought. I don't know how many jumper shows there are in your area. Or I guess there is hunters... ;)

    I'm looking forward to reading about your first fifty. I think with some time she will adjust to the travelling and get better about eating. She ate and drank much better on the second on didn't she? I think she'll be awesome at fifties once she learns it not a race hehe. Don't give up! You'll find what it is you both love to do. :)

  5. How did you clock it? With the trail riding app? I think it is so awesome that she rocks so many different things. Which do you think are her favorites?