Monday, January 02, 2012


Just A Thought

I don't, as a rule, make New Year's resolutions.

I am not a "far into the future" planner and never have been, usually letting life kind of take its course as it comes.

All that being said, when I was competing my horses, I did plan, especially for eventing. I knew then that my horse's fitness was an essential ingredient to both success and safety.  And, back then, even if I were not eventing, I assured my horses' fitness by riding a varied program 5-6 days a week.

I still have to laugh about the time I attended a jumping clinic with a prominent trainer. My horse, PJ, was a bulky Thoroughbred and the trainer began his group clinic with a lecture about how most amateur hunter/jumper riders never really had their horses fit enough for competition. He railed on about that for a moment, then walked over to PJ to poke his shoulder muscle to prove his point, planning to demonstrate just how "soft" my horse was.

He almost broke his finger on PJ's solid, well developed muscle. "Well, I'm not talking about this horse," he said, finally.

That was then. This is now. I have not ridden my Boys since last Spring--except for the ill-fated after surgery week before I took my tumble.  They are far from fit, but do benefit from 24-7 turnout with lots of playtime. (As their sheets and my poor fence prove.)

I plan on riding, of course, so that means I need to give my Boys some basic fitness.

For that, I do need a bit of a plan.  Trouble is, January in New Jersey is not exactly the time or place to start a fitness regimen for horses when you don't have an indoor.

But, I can think a bit about some training goals.  I'm not at all sure about what Tucker can do since he has shown some chronic soreness in his hocks. Still, I would think that we could master flying changes this year. So, once I get him in shape, that's a plan.

Chance just needs a good solid foundation in all the basics. I'd like to have him trainer to at least first level competence, with, perhaps some flying changes as well. The first level competence is not a problem but the changes might be a bit much, depending on how he progresses.

Toby? Hard to say. He deserves his retirement, but I think being ridden now and then is good for him. He's definitely a "take it as it comes," fellow at this point. He can be very obvious about not wanting to get caught sometimes, so I guess I can just let him tell me what he wants to do.

Nothing grand here.  There may be an opportunity for a "despooking" clinic in the Spring that would be decided fun for Chance and there is the outside chance I may decide to show him a little.  I really don't have any ambition in that direction, though.  Shows have gotten super expensive and there don't seem to be too many fun little schooling competitions around any more. We'll see.

So, that's it. No real resolutions, per se, but some goals.  I am hopeful that my new knees might spark some more ideas once they are fully recovered.  And I also hope that new legs will help me get myself more fit and even lose some weight.

Only time will tell.


  1. Anonymous7:18 PM

    Goals to work towards are good - sounds like a reasonable plan to me. Someday you'll have to post some videos . . .

  2. I think your plan is a solid one. Once the horses are fit it's easy to decide what they are capable of and then decide what you want to do. It's too bad there are no fun little schooling shows by you. There are none here either. So I'm not thinking we'll be doing any showing either and I don't know if I would want to anymore.

  3. Have fun with your Boys.
    If Tucker does flying changes in the field he should be able to do them undersaddle? No?
    It is where western riders do not bother with a high level of colletion, their horses change without problem. Have a look on google to see if their method is similar than yours.
    They precise that it has to be done in STRAIGHT line.

    I am sure the depsooking clinic will be great with Chance ^-^ That sounds really good fun.

    I wish you a brilliant year with your spanking new knees.
    You will be running soon.