Thursday, 4 December 2014

General Horse Plan + November Goal Recap & December Goals

I get asked a lot when I’m starting my young horses (in real life and online!). I have a general idea of the timeline and I thought I would share.

This is what I have in mind:

Summer 2015 
- Apollo competes in starter level horse trial
- Kate takes driving lessons
- Mystic practices obstacle training and halter routine

 Fall 2015 
- Apollo retires to a non-jumping life (but still does trail rides, dressage and other fun things)
- Mystic learns to ground drive and other pre-saddle training work

Winter 2015/2016 
- Henry learns to ground drive and other pre-saddle training work
- Mystic learns to pull a cart of some sort

Spring 2016 
- Mystic (now 4 years old) is started under saddle

Summer 2016
 - Henry (now 4 years old) is started under saddle

After M&H are both going under saddle I will make a plan from there as to what discipline we want to focus on. I don’t plan to jump either of them until their 5th year. Perhaps one or both of them will be up to a starter level event by late summer or fall of 2017.

In the grand scheme of things:

I hope Mystic will be up for lower level eventing, dressage, cowboy challenge/obstacle work, and driving.

I hope Henry will be up for eventing, dressage, distance trail rides, and maybe some hunter and/or jumper shows.

I’m really up for trying anything and hopefully the horses feel the same way.... :) In 2016/2017 my blog should be really interesting! I’m waiting to start the youngsters under saddle until age 4 for various reasons. One of the big reasons is limited resources (time and money). Right now I am focusing my resources on Apollo because we are *fingers crossed* going to try a few events this year. I also want to give the young horses time to grow up. Mystic was orphaned at a month old and Henry had a rough start too. I’m not in any kind of a rush so I figure letting them develop as much as possible before starting them isn’t a bad thing. I don’t judge anyone who chooses to start their horses earlier or take a different path. This is what I feel is best for my herd and who knows, my plan might change drastically!

I really hope I am able to balance being a good horse mom to three horses.  If I can't I am open to leasing/selling down the road.

Here’s my little goal recap for November and December plan:
1) Find a job for Mystic. I have decided Mystic and I will work towards competing in a local show in halter and in-hand trail. I added our July show date to the sidebar. :) I’m also seeking a driving coach. First to teach me and then to start her under harness in late summer. 

2) Figure out a herd routine. Actually probably just a general routine for my life would be good. I still suck at this. Being a grown up is no fun. Balancing work/horse/dog/husband/friends/cleaning seems to be an insurmountable task at this point.

3) Book dressage lessons at the dressage barn. I did do this! Because of Apollo’s soundness issues I will be riding on a lesson horse instead. I will be riding at 6pm on Fridays for December (except on Boxing Day). Perhaps in January my pony will be my ride instead. I’m also still taking Apollo’s lesson at my barn timeslot for two lessons in December on a lesson horse.

4) Start saving for Back on Track stuff. Well...I started doing this. And then I had to pay for a lameness exam and injections. I’m hoping to place my order on my next payday which is December 10th. With Christmas coming up I don’t think I’ll be able to get everything I want but if I could get the royal blue fleece cooler with neck I would be a happy camper. I’ve been doing a lot of hand-walking, either pre-ride or just to get him moving around and then we do stretches. A spiffy BOT cooler would be a big help for him on days where other people are riding so we can’t hand-walk first. By this Friday I should have an idea of if the injections were a success or not (leaning towards yes). If no they were not a success we will have to make a new plan.

December Goals 
1) Slowly increase Recovery EQ to full dosage by December 15th. 
2) Mystic needs to go to groundwork bootcamp. Sassy pony is sassy. 
3) Henry dewormed with QuestPlus then followed by a probiotic. 
4) Hand-walk and/or ride Apollo every day to keep him moving in this chilly weather (pending success of injections).


  1. i like that your long-term plan is specific enough to see if things are on track - but also provides enough leeway to tweak things according to each horse's needs. also - very glad the injections seem to be working so far!

  2. It's always good to have a plan. I think working with the horses on the ground is so important before riding them. It gives them and you a chance to form a working relationship and a bond. In my opinion slow and steady wins the race.