Saturday, January 1, 2011

Equilutions #3 - Happy 2011!

For background on our Equilutions, start with Equilutions #1 - 2009 and then Equilutions #2 - 2010.

First, how we did in 2010:

1. Start working on Showmanship.
Achieved! Not only did we start working on it, we competed in four showmanship classes, even winning 2 of them! This has also helped TREMENDOUSLY with his ground manners, which was a somewhat-unachieved goal of 2009.

2. Find a new western work pad that WORKS.
Achieved.... mostly! I still think I'll end up with a different one someday, but the neoprene/felt contour pad is doing the job WAY better than my thin old fleece one or that monster of a bald-patch maker. The only downside is that the wear "leathers" are vinyl and their adhesive is beginning to separate, but they're also sewn on so they're not actually going anywhere.

3. Have my work saddle taken in to have the buckles replaced and the seat replaced with soft pink suede instead of the icky brown slick leather.
NOT achieved, but only because I decided to sell my Circle Y show saddle and therefore am on a slow hunt for a western saddle that does everything I want it to. (see 2011- #1 below) Probably will be a post on this at some point, but I can't really move forward until the Circle Y is sold.... anybody want it?

4. Have all my tack bags monogrammed.
Achieved! My boot bag is not done because I haven't convinced myself it's worth wrestling it through my machine. I'm also trying to make a stencil out of the monogram so I can paint it onto my hat can, grooming box, etc.

5. Get Junior's weight stabilized.
Achieved! And boy what a difference. I was watching the video from showmanship practice and what a CHUNK! He looks so much better now and he seems so much more chill. Still a goof, thankfully, just more chill. I now estimate his BCS at a 5 instead of the 8 he was a year ago. Going through the process of analyzing his ration was very time consuming, sometimes frustrating, but in the end very rewarding. He has been pretty stable at this weight since last June, so it took about 6 months to get him down safely and he's maintained it for about that long.

I think 4 out of 5 goals is pretty good!

And on to 2011:

1. Solve the Western Saddle issue. I want ONE western saddle that's pretty enough to go to shows in, but workmanlike enough to do Cowboy Challenges, trail riding, and regular work in without having to baby it too much. This goal is dependent on several factors somewhat beyond my control including selling my show saddle before I can consider moving forward. There will be a post about this in the near future.

2. Work on jumping. It would be cool to do the Hunter Hack class at the shows next summer, but I'm not going to commit that as a goal after only ONE lesson. So for now my goal is to have a few more lessons, get a little stronger and better balanced and start to feel like I'm staying out of his way.

3. Learn to braid well enough to pass at a show. I still may opt to hire someone (probably KAT) to do it for an actual show to save myself some prep time, but I would like to see if I can learn to do pretty and consistent braids. I understand the mechanics and I've done the first step a few times, but I've yet to get out the yarn and latch-hook and really DO it.

4. Place in a cowboy challenge. I would like to say WIN one, but lets not get silly.

5. Trailer out and go trail riding. Junior is pretty great now about going into our woods around the farm, but I need to test him in woods he's never seen before.

7. Be able to do a fast and slow lope. I've pretty much given up on doing that gross WP head bobby navicular-looking lope and I didn't really want to do that anyway, but it's hard to place in a western pleasure class if you have to canter in a dressage frame to avoid looking like a (relative) runaway. I know I've made noise about not showing western anymore, but I do like riding western. I'm lazy and it's less physical. Just bein' honest. It seems the training we've done so far has plateaued though. So taking a page from the reining book, I'm looking at training steps to achieve both fast and slow lopes.

I just got back from a great trip home to Minnesota to visit family and friends. I was thrilled to go from 23 degrees this morning in Minneapolis to 57 degrees when we landed in Ohio. Tomorrow I head out to see the pony. I need some horse hugs!

Happy New Year!


  1. No. 5 is on my list too as soon as the weather breaks in the spring. No. 1 too - once Pie stops growing (with luck he'll just fill out and not get any taller!).

    Have a great 2011!

  2. Happy New Year to you and Junior! Sounds like you have big plans for him in 2011. Have you broken the news to him yet? LOL

    Good luck with all of them... sounds like a fun year!