Sunday, August 31, 2014

End of August Analysis; September Goals!

August definitely flew by! It was hit and miss in some ways, but if we're exclusively talking about horse-related things, it was a great month. O came SO far with her driving training!


O-Ren August Goals:

1) Continue self-education - learning about driving, parts, carriages/carts, different sports, terminology, etc!
Success! I have had SO much fun with this. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on, watching videos, talking to people, and even going through sale ads on Facebook pages, trying to guess what type of vehicle is pictured in each ad. I'm getting pretty good at it! I love to read, and god knows it is HOT outside and I have NO interest in being out in it for any longer than I have to be, so it is a great excuse to snuggle up to my pets inside catch up on my reading. Thanfully the temp will be dropping soon as fall approaches.... then I can go back to spending ALL my time outdoors again!
2) Start looking at possible training carts for myself (and possibly a harness upgrade)
Success! I have already been through my training cart (good ol' Janky), which has already been passed on to another newbie breaking her Pasos to drive. I upgraded to a new harness and cart, which all came together as a package deal (and sold my training harness for more than I paid for it.... apparently the people bidding on Ebay thought it was worth way more than I did!). There is of course a part of me that is still oogling over much fancier harnesses, carts, and carriages, but we're totally fine with what we have right now. Someday when I'm rich.... rich enough to buy carriages worth thousands of dollars.... and rich enough to buy bigger trucks and huge trailers to transport both them and my horses at the same time.... someday.
3) Continue doing groundwork, long lining, work in harness etc. 
Success! We have been doing a fair amount of lunging/long lining/work on the ground in order to work on suppling her, especially to the left. There definitely will be a lot of that in our future!

4) Continue doing drags with tires/PVC 
 Well technically we didn't do this... but it was because we didn't need to! I hooked her right at the start of the month, and off she went with nary a problem. No need for drags anymore!
5) If all goes well - hopefully she will be hooked by the end of the month!
 BIG success - because she was hooked at the BEGINNING of the month! She obviously took the whole thing in stride - never had so much as a moment of hesitation. She just jumped right in, picked it up, and went on with her bad self! We got SO much farther than I ever dreamed we would in our first month - we're even doing rudimentary dressage work and fitness work, and going around leetle wee obstacle, just for fun. I thought we'd just be getting her used to the cart and learning how to steer and stop, but we're already working through the complexities of contact, proper bend, and hind end engagement. Not bad!!

Pangea August Goals:

1) Walk hacks 2-3x per week (just short ones, soundness pending)
I wasn't able to get more than a few walk hacks in. I did a few very light lunges, and some walk hacks in the beginning of the month, but the old girl is just not sound. She has an impressive stone bruise right now, tucked up right on the side of the lateral bar on her left foot, from our last rain - it poured, soaked the ground and her feet, and then she went galloping around on the rocks in her pen like a moron. Cue bruise.... poor thing. She had her grainfoods cut in half, like O, because she has been ballooning on our very nice hay, which is not helping her soundness either. Not like she was getting much grainfood to begin with, but now she only gets 1/2lb of hay pellets and a tiny handful of Healthy Glo (plus her supplements) 2x a day.... it takes her about 30 seconds to vacuum it up. It's a totally negligible amount of food - so I blame our really nice hay!
2) First rhino shot!
Success! And she did not have a reaction, spontaneous abortion, or die because of it, hooray! (She's a very sensitive critter so you never know.) She did, however, develop some bumps and itchies in the past month - any assault on her immune system is hard on her, and it shows. Hopefully it will cool off soon... that will definitely help her.


 O-Ren September Goals:
1) Look at upcoming show schedules - see what I can go to and volunteer/learn! (Just me... not O!)
2) Continue to do suppling exercises (esp to the left) to help with our dressage work
3) Fitness! She got a bit fat during her training (even with rations cut in half!) - so now that she is further along we need to get back to some fitness work!
4) Set up our schedule - pick days for dressage work/obstacle work/fitness work/etc
5) Continue to do self-education - and keep looking for a local trainer!

Pangea September Goals:
1) Possible casting/changing joint supplements to help her out - she has a hard time when it rains and gets muddy
2) Go on some more walks hacks if sound - just play it by ear


BOOM! It's fitness time for the blubber butt! We did a quick jaunt up the road with S as our passenger the other day. This was only her second time with a passenger, and she was great for it. S discovered that there is no way to sit idle in a 2-wheel vehicle - she had to sit slightly forward, or else the cart bounced. O was feeling very fresh, and zoomed along at a good clip for the entire trip. We logged around 6-7 miles at a brisk trot, although I'm not totally sure how far we went, as my GPS pooped out on me partway through.It was very hot and she was very sweaty when we arrived home, but she was not even winded, so we have not lost any of our former fitness... just packed on some pounds while we were focusing on simple training instead of fitness work. Considering just how many miles we were logging prior to her starting her training, it's not surprising to see her gain a little weight, despite halving her grainfood rations a month ago. Now we just have to peel the weight off!


  1. What an awesome month! It's amazing how much progress you can make when your horse actually likes what she's doing and wants to play along. :)

  2. she's really taken to this driving idea! do you think you'll ever do competitive driving?

  3. 6-7 miles sounds pretty bomber. And I bet that it's even greater exercise for summer for you since you're sitting on a cart that won't radiate MORE heat back at you as riding a horse does! Horse gets exercise without human dying of heat stroke in process.

  4. You had a fantastic month!! I'm glad the rhino shot went well. That stuff always makes me nervous. I hope you can figure out her lameness issues so she can start hacking again.