This post is obviously late in coming, and it will probably be the last post for the next week-ish - we're currently in Orlando on vacation, thoroughly enjoying Disney/Universal/the beach! I was utterly desperate for a vacation and I am SO GLAD to be here, and so thankful that I have the ability to afford it. Admittedly, I hope the neighbors don't kill my horses while I am away...
Anyway, while I am resting my very tired feet from our first day at the parks, I figured I better finish my monthly write-up! O hasn't been worked hardly any all week - I was just too busy leading up to vacation time. We get back late on the 11th, and of COURSE the next driving show is on the 15th... I'll have 3 frantic days to show prep. Ahhh!
O-Ren October Goals:
1) Set and maintain a schedule - certain days for fitness, dressage, obstacles
I didn't do as well with this as I wanted. Between work and the waning daylight hours, I really had a hard time keeping any sort of proper schedule this past month, and I haven't had much time to work on her fitness at all. We have done a lot of dressage work, however, and since that is the basis for everything else, I don't think it is a lost cause at all, but I want to make sure we keep a better schedule next month.
2) Finessing dressage work - half-halts, work on really moving forward and compressing
Success! We did really well with this. She has built a lot of impulsion, and following her dental work, she is actually bending well to the left for the first time in, well, EVER. Unfortunately now she is not bending at all to the RIGHT, but I think that has more to do with her crooked SI area than anything else. (Old injury and asymmetrical SIs... with much purposeful work throughout each drive, this vastly improves, but I think it will forever be a thing we need to work on. Chiro, bodyworker, and vet can't find anything to fix in that area, so we face it as a training issue, although I highly suspect at some point we may need to pay some more attention to her stifles... I have a feeling they will be the area that gives us problems, if anything is going to.)
3) Self-education, as always!
Success! I continue to read everything I can get my hands on, and this month I was able to take not only one but two of the Coachman's Delight online classes, one of which was a Halt class and one of which was a Whip Aids class. The halt class was pretty much as self explanatory as I figured it would be, but it gave me some great exercises to work with. The whip aids class was awesome! I have been having trouble trying to figure out how exactly to introduce proper whip aids to her (or how to even execute them, really), but the class was SUPER helpful and I have a lot to work on. I also need to invest in a better whip... mine is a good starter whip but has a super short lash, and it doesn't touch her without also touching her with the shaft... also I really can't even reach her shoulder. Fail!
4) Look for some more fun shows in the future - what is next!
We have a show on the 15th! I have all of the patterns for it, and we're entered - I'll have more about it up when I get some time. There is another show the following weekend, but alas! I realized far too late that my Coggins is about to expire, and will be up before it. I won't have time to get a new one in time for that show, with us being on vacation and all. Oh well!
5) Planning ahead: harness and cart upgrades I might want to consider in the future as we get more seriously into this sport!
Oh man this is a painful one... I found not one but TWO absolutely awesome vehicles I'd LOVE to have in my barn, one 2-wheel and one 4-wheel. What's the problem? They are $$$$$$$$$$$$. And considering everything, they are both REALLY inexpensive when it comes to vehicles that are as high quality as they are. I just can't justify dropping $1500-$4000 randomly out of nowhere on a sport that is brand new to me. So I continue to drive with what I have, I continue to save money, and I continue to shop around, until something comes along that will suit AND that I can afford.
Pangea October Goals:
1) Possible casting as we get wetter - see how sound she is!
Haven't needed to do this... it hasn't rained in well over 2 months aside from one day of sprinkles!
2) Walk hacks if sound! But only if everything works out!
I haven't had time to do this more than a few times, but they are always enjoyable. She is starting to slow down a bit, so we probably won't do too much more of these, but I hope to keep squeezing them in here and there.
3) Second Rhino shot!
Success! She did get a bit of fungus following it - vaccines tend to wreak some havoc on her immune system, so it doesn't surprise me. It has cleared up, so no big deal.
O-Ren Novemeber Goals:
1) Successfully get through our SECOND SHOW!
2) Get on a better schedule - last month things got crazy and we didn't keep one very well. This month, once back from vacation, she needs to be driven 3 times a week with 1 lunging and 1 other training day, no exceptions!
3) Keep hunting for what kind of vehicle we'd like to upgrade to!
4) Get a new whip and work on whip training!
5) More work with the chambon... it's very helpful!
Pangea November Goals:
1) Watch her levels of comfort as we get into wetter weather
2) Her dietary needs will change in January... do more research on what she will need!
Girls getting ready for the chilly incoming weather - it has been raining for two days back at home (but sunny and nice here!) The peace sign sheet is really awesome, but she has been soaking wet and clammy cold under it three times now.... I think it is just SUPER unbreathable, and when she sweats she can't get dry (and it must be hot enough to not breath enough to not sweat). That won't do, so it has to go.
Also, is it just me, or is P looking REALLY REALLY pregnant so far? She's only at 6 months! No twins, so she is either carrying a really big baby or she is super stuffed with hay. (Hopefully the latter!)