Sunday, October 25, 2009

Getting and Staying Motivated

I hear banjos! Oh wait. Hubby is watching Hee Haw on RFD! Whew! I was worried there for a minute!

So it's been raining...deja vu? No. Alabama! Hopefully the rainy season is about over! Of course it's now deer season so that means limited trail riding. With all the rain, my lessons have been more of a miss than a hit and therefore my extra funds are non existent. Hydrabull practice on Wednesday nights is a distant memory! I miss it too!

With the rain,economy,lack of funds,and other life things that take a priority over riding,it's difficult to stay motivated to ride let alone focus on a goal! But there's hope!

I am fortunate to have 2 boarders that ride and want to better their horses. They don't know it but they keep me motivated to ride. It's nice to have folks to ride with! We have decided (although poor Jane hasn't been informed yet!) that we are going to try and keep each motivated through the fall and winter to not only ride but to make our horse better each time we ride. How are planning on doing this? We have a list and a chart! Lists/charts make the world go round right? Ours is a list on the dry erase board located in the hall way of my barn. On it we have obstacles,listed and 4 horses listed. (Hayden,Scout,Pari and Bullseye) After each obstacle is safely completed and the horse and rider feel super confident on it we can check it off!

What do we win? Well we haven't decided on a prize but we know for sure that our horses will be more broke for it and our confidence levels will have greatly risen as well! I think that's prize enough!

Today Lisa and I got SERIOUS! Even before "THE CHART" was made! She had a see-saw and brought it out to add to our bridge, back through L, serpentine, side pass log, drag, gate, car wash, and water/tarp obstacles. We also added a big scary tarp on the fence with (Carson behind it), a feed bag full of AIR to be drug, and a baseball on top of the cone, as well as a rain slicker to be taken off the post, put on and place back on post. In all we had a total of 11 obstacles to work!

We decided to start slow and go back to basics first. We started on the ground and instilled into the horses the WHOA!(Thanks KJ!)We introduced all the obstacles while on the ground first and really worked on them reacting in place! Seemed to work well! After 20-30 minutes of that we mounted up (Lisa even did it from the off side for the first time!) and started with the familiar obstacles first. All went great!

Hayden and I did have a tap or 2 on the back though L but we tried to make up for it by at least doing a decent turn on the haunches out of it! Other highlights for Hayden and I included walking though the serpentine without reins and using seat and leg cues only,successfully putting on and taking off the slicker for the first time, successfully picking up and placing ball on cone for the first time (Hayden is 15.2 so I though this was going to be difficult),traveling over the see-saw no problem! We did drag the log with no problem but Hayden still doesn't like the rope! So our home work is to do more rope work! (YAY!) Our other new obstacle, the "Bag Drag" is scary to Hayden so we will also be having play dates with it!

Lisa and Scout had a great day too! They're planning on competing in the ACTHA Competition at Blakeley in Nov. so I am trying to help her get ready for it. Scout did great on everything but just need more practice in side passing over a log and dragging the log. He did great with the "Bag Drag" but I think the weight of the log and the rope he's not real fond of.

After we rode and had the horses put up, Lisa and I went over "The Chart"! It was fun to check off some of the obstacles and make notes on the ones we need to work on. We also have a list of obstacles we need to make and some that we'll have to travel to a few different facilities to accomplish! Jane is going to be shocked when she sees "The Chart" tomorrow!("The Chart" is pictured below)

Speaking of tomorrow-I am finally going to be able to ride with my BFF! First time in FOREVER! We are going to Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve with a few others. I really want to ride Mr. Perfect aka Hayden but after looking at my logged hours and knowing that Bullseye has some wet blankets waiting with his name on them, I will probably take Bully. He has issues with entering creeks, and hills with erosion! He balks,refuses and turns for the hills! It's not fun to ride him when he's like that and I don't feel safe letting 6 yr. old Carson ride him on the trails with holes like that in his training. Of course I did actually look at my logged hours on him and Hayden and WOW what a difference! Hayden has 315 since 10/07 and Bullseye has maybe 100! Hmmm...who's my favorite? So it's not a wonder Bully has some holes in his training! I have been taking advantage of his good nature and expecting too much out of him when he hasn't had the same amount of time under saddle. Not fair of me at all! One of my goals for this fall and winter is to get more hours on him. That's not going to be easy since I so very much LOVE riding handsome Hayden but it's got to be done! I will have to think of it as a journey inside The Journey!

~Get that pony rode and I'll write again soon!~

Yesterday,Lisa,Jane and I rode at Historic Blakeley State Park. We saw this and had a good laugh.Bullseye was severely disappointed though as he was really hoping to finally get some privacy while going to the bathroom.

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