Finally! Phoebe is home and it’s time to set down some real tangible goals for us. I count the first year of owning her as more like, rehab/downtime she never got from the track. Then the four months of training that was, well, it was what it was. So now we are shifting gears to “Phoebe is/will be a riding horse in full work” and that’s what the focus is going forward.
By January 2018 I would like to accomplish the following:
Stand still at the mounting block-we were almost confirmed at this but it has been uninstalled during her time away.
Desensitizing ground work! Use Sheri’s son on the trampoline, riding his bike, throwing Frisbees, cones, pool noodles, tarps, etc. We live next to a park and Phoebe needs to just learn that various noises coming from a park/busy-ish road are no big deal and should be ignored.
Get off property-this doesn’t have to be under saddle trips, just want to get out and about and start learning that new places are boring and trailering is also boring.
Tie to the trailer-she may already know this one but it never hurts to confirm it.
Put my butt in the saddle 5-6 days a week-I am taking this one literally. If Phoebe is too up or I am just mentally not able to handle actually riding I won’t push it. But I WILL sit on her. Even if all I do is just mount, wait for a big calm breath, big pats, then dismount. It’s about the routine for both of us. The more often I can sit on her and have a positive experience the more we will learn to trust each other. So this is just about building those positive moments under saddle even if it’s just “good girl I sat on you and we stood there for a moment calmly”
Ride another horse once a week-Green horses can wreak havoc on your position, confidence, etc. So it’s important to me to make time for riding schooled horses. I have access to almost any horse at my lesson barn and can basically just text/call and either join in on a lesson or just hack around on my own. I also have Donny, Sheri’s older Conn/TB cross who I am able to ride literally any day or time I want. I’m lucky to have such easy access to trained horses and I need to take advantage of it.
I think that should keep me plenty busy for the next few months while staying achievable.