I can hardly believe it’s already April! So far, this year has been terrifying and wonderful and oh so busy, but I love what I do so much that I don’t mind. I am quite happy with the universe because each day I grow more aware of how I walk hand in scarred Hand with the King.
So, let’s have a look at our goals.
- Get her fit – A work in progress, but I’m happy with the progress. She survived the 2125m, 17-effort course at Le Godimo, albeit with a stack of time penalties, despite the horrific heat. At the moment, our most intense workout was 9.9km at an average speed of 22.9km/h (380mpm), our top speed 59kph (980mpm). We’re not event fit yet, but making good progress.
Build her upper neck muscle– A resounding success. I really, really like her musculature now. She looks strong without being butch. She just needs to lose weight, but those neck muscles are where I want them.
- School Elementary Medium successfully – This one will take a while. We’ve been working on collected trot, counter-canter, medium trot, shoulder-ins and more difficult leg-yields. We also got a flying change yesterday, more or less by fluke, and the Mutterer is drilling us in lessons, which is exactly what we need.
- Introduce scary-looking jumps – Haven’t done a lot on this one, except at shows and clinics. She’s been as brave as the day there.
Have her go through water more easily– Done. We did have a look at the Le Godimo water complex but she didn’t stop or even walk. Just trot, peek, and jump in. Super happy with that.
- Show graded in EV70 – Not yet, but we’ve done EV60 at a graded show, and will do unaffiliated EV70 at the end of May.
Complete advanced halter training– Done. We can now trot, stand squarely, walk on a loose lead, turn on the forehand, and turn on the haunches in hand. Also no standing on top of people or dragging them around. This is a big one, so it’s just about all we accomplished so far, but it’s the basis for everything else.
- Leading over, through and under scary things
- Leading away from his group
- Bathing – Started on this but he still doesn’t like water to be on his bottom.
- Desensitisation to noise and sight
- Loading preparation
- Be gelded
Lowering of the head when requested by pressure on the halter – Total win. You barely have to breathe on his halter and you have ears around your knees. Also he keeps his head down while I switch halter and fly mask.
- Basic lunging with a halter and long line only
- Wearing a roller
- Lunging over poles
- Wearing boots
- Preparation for clipping
Improve fitness– Win. He’s a thoroughbred. He was basically born fit. He can canter around an 80cm course without being breathless, which is all I need from him right now.
- Tie up – Eh, more or less. He ties up just fine until he gets a huge fright, and then he’ll still break his lead.
Load– Done. Self-loads now, sweet creature.
- School Novice – Work in progress; he still flips his head in transitions and sometimes in the canter. Lengthenings are good, simple changes are good, leg-yields are getting there.
- Survive a hack – Nothing yet, but it’s in the pipeline.
Be confident at 80cm– Done! Okay, so I’m not confident, but the height is not a problem for me at 80cm with him. We’re schooling 90cm at the moment with success.
- Show graded at 70cm showjumping – Showed ungraded at 60cm, and would have showed ungraded 70cm this weekend, but he came up mysteriously lame. Maybe God’s just saying we need another couple weeks.
Fix his mild tendency to get in your space– He doesn’t do it with me anymore. With submissive or timid people he does still stand over you but never with malicious intent and he knows he’s not allowed to move anyone’s feet. Get him to stand dead still for a bath– I didn’t bath him, but I hosed him off alone, and he stood like a stone.
- Introduce flying changes
- Improve on sliding stops, spins and rein backs
- Log as many trail miles as possible
As for the old warrior Queen, she’s as happy as a bird, fat, healthy, and tries to throw me off on a regular basis just to remind me who’s the Queen around here. And that’s all she needs to do.