I'm having way more trouble than I should writing up some goals for Betty and myself. I've been a little stuck in our training because I want everything to be perfect. I haven't had a horse all to myself in a while... a horse that's always as I left it... one there are no excuses for screwing up. Even though I know it's ridiculous to think I won't screw up, I just want what every crazy horse person wants right? I want the dream! So, to get it out of the way
Unrealistic goal: I want to train Betty perfectly all by myself and be awesome at everything we do and have a more famous video than Stacy Westfall.
There, I admitted it. I'm a crazy horse owner. On a more serious note, I did join this horsemanship challenge to stay on track preparing for the Les Vogt clinic in June.
Goal 1: Proficiency at 5 Pieces. Timeline: Completed by the beginning of June
We are well on the way with this goal. The 5 Pieces is a series of exercises that will help with teaching Betty body control by focusing first on the head and neck, then the shoulders, ribs, and hips. The fifth exercise, backing in a circle, tests the ability to shape the whole body. By the time of the clinic, I hope to have Betty relaxed and controlled through all five of these exercises. The first three pieces are at least understood and gaining ground quickly. Pieces four and five have been introduced and just need to be developed further.
Personal Goal: Strive for 100% attentiveness when I am riding. This mare is so sensitive, I owe it to her not to let my mind wander while I ride. She rewards my focus with amazing work, but when I let my mind wander here and there she gets confused. On a related note, I need to remember to always ride her the same. When riding so many horses, it's easy to be inconsistent in the way I ask for certain things.
Not really a goal: I want us to feel together. Like she is an extension on my legs. In order to get there, we need to work on clarifying our communication first. Strengthening her body second. And smoothing out the edges last. Prerequisite to all of this, though, is that I get my act together as a rider. Betty's small size makes her agile and maneuverable which is paramount in a cow horse. I need to learn to stay out of her way so that she can work properly.