Monday, January 2, 2017

Equilutions 2017

Equilutions 2017

Happy New Year!

For background on  Equilutions, start with Equilutions #1 - 2009You can also use the search bar to find all Equilutions entries.   

2016 was the first year since losing Junior that I'd felt like making goals.  I made four goals and was able to accomplish 3, but I have a plan to get the third one accomplished soon.

I spent New Years Day at the barn.  I cleaned stalls and rode out in the field with Luke. Then we went on the trails and even into the creek.  It was a lovely day with plenty of sunshine and I think it was about 45 degrees!

Late 2015 and all of 2016 was full of unexpected injuries. Here's your recap:
December '15 - Facial Laceration - Stitches
April '16 - Leg Laceration RF - Staples, Infection
April - Nasty Leg scrape RH - Sore
June - SI injections
June-August - Rehab
September - Cuts and scrapes on all 4 legs after an apparent tangle with a fence panel. - I still need to blog about that one....

At this moment Huck is not bleeding or lame.  (I shouldn't even say that out loud)  He is soft and responsive and not stupid - though we still have some issues with the sound of ropes and whips moving through the air.  We are continuing to work with a Chiropractor and I will be getting a consultation with the vet in a few months to see if more injections are prescribed.  I don't want to do them if I don't need to, but I also don't want to lose half a show season again.

We ended the show season on a very high note, but because of all the injuries (especially the SI stuff) we only made it to one year-end Top 3 in our club - 3rd in Ranch Conformation.

Needless to say I have some goals for next year.  Let's first review the 2016 Goals:

2016 #1: Solve my noisy saddle dee's.  ACHIEVED!  Not only did I achieve the goal with my training saddle, I found the exact saddle I was looking for at a reasonable price so I upgraded to a whole new saddle! - Should probably post about that...

2016 #2: Get rid of the clutter.  ACHIEVED! I sold a bunch of stuff at a tack swap in February, and when my mom visited in August we purged a bunch of domestic clutter. My tack area at the barn, and my tack storage at home is much easier to manage now. There is breathing room.

2016 #3: Learn to tool leather.  Honestly I had forgotten I made this one, but this fall I started to ponder my upcoming sabbatical and I included learning leather working as professional development. So I've got a plan to accomplish that one in 2017.

And for 2017?

1. CONGRESS. I am planning to show in the Ranch Riding class at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in October.  I debated putting this here in writing.  Posting it here means I'm committing to it publicly.  Yikes. It's a Bucket List thing to go "play with the big kids" at the largest single-breed horse show in the world - over 21,000 entries in the month-long show.  When I moved to Columbus, Ohio I was thrilled I was moving to the city where The Congress is held.  I've gone every year to watch/shop and for the past four years I've bought the Exhibitors pass so I could go as much as I wanted to watch classes or demos or shop or eat Bourbon Chicken and ribbon fries.  The fairgrounds is so big and there are SO many people/horses that I was very intimidated and thought I'd never be able to show there. But being there this year helping a friend show in Ranch Riding and the Freestyle Reining was really helpful.  I have a grasp of what it takes to show there and it's totally doable.  With my hopefully upcoming fall sabbatical, I aim to take advantage of not having to halt summer training for the insanely busy first half of the fall semester.  I'll be able to show all summer, assess at the end of August (entries are due August 25th) and continue training all through our class at the Congress in mid October.    It'll be seven years before I get another chance at a sabbatical so I've decided this is the year to aim for Congress.  I don't expect to place, I think there was over 60 in the Amateur class last year, but we aren't terrible and will try our best, and you can watch it live online! 😬

Watching Luke show Ranch Riding at the 2016 Congress.

2. Keep Huck injury-free.  If I could actually control this I would have, but it's a true goal for us anyway.  All I can really do is cross my fingers and hope there aren't any more mystery injuries.  He's in a safe environment, none of the other horses have this many injuries.  I'm pretty tired of getting a phone call saying my horse is bleeding and I'm REALLY tired of the vet bills!  I did the math and 2016 was a horse-savings-account train wreck.  If we have another year of injuries like last year there will be no Congress.

3. Win a Year-end championship.  In 2016 we managed in the top 10 in every class we showed, even with only showing three of five shows (and one of them was a wreck), but I know we can do better if we have a full season without setbacks.  I admit winning my first buckle in 2015 with Kevin was like first blood.  I want another buckle, and I want to win it on my own horse.

Heading out to join Luke in the field.
4. BE BRAVE: Ride alone on the trails. The barn has the indoor arena, an outdoor obstacle course (just outside the arena), then down the hill is a large grass riding area, a big hay field, and trails.  I want to overcome my fear of taking a horse out alone.  I will reach that goal by riding outside more and more while we're alone.  We have ridden in the obstacle course and the area just outside the arena and the lower grass area alone, but we've not tried the trails alone yet.  I'll ride outside alone more and more and start taking little trail rides, like just off the riding area and back, then progressing to taking more and more of the trails.  It makes ME nervous because I anticipate a spook at any second, especially while we're alone.   So far I've ridden every one of his spooks because they're really not that big, but because I've come off on the trail twice with Junior and had so many Arabs spook/teleport to the other side of the world, I get a bit anxious.  I just need to be more confident and take baby step after baby step until we can go out alone without worry.  This is partially a goal because I want it, and partially because I show RANCH horse and a RANCH horse and rider need to ride out alone.

I wish you all a lovely and successful New Year!!!

Do you have Equilutions for 2017?