More than any of the others, I’ve learned to make Magic’s goals flexible. Force isn’t an option with him, but he’s made so much progress nonetheless that just going with the flow seems to work for him. Nevertheless, we shall make a plan, if only so that we can do the exact opposite.
Magic’s 2015 Goals
- Improve fitness – Done. He gets and stays fit very easily, and has so much nervous energy anyway that he never tires out at shows.
- Tie up – Done, well enough. Magic will never be the type you can tie to whatever and forget about, because forgetting about Magic is just a dumb idea, but he no longer habitually flies back. One can tie him and groom him and all will be OK as long as nothing terrifies him.
- Load – Again, never going to be the type that just plods along in, but he loads in half a minute so no worries here.
- School Novice – Done. We’ve trained up to Novice 3, snaffle and all, completing all the figures and transitions obediently and in good rhythm, frame and straightness.
- Survive a hack – Well, we did this. But we’re not awfully likely to do this again. It’s just not something I need to deal with right now, and as a competing horse, hacking is a thing that should be done for relaxation and a change of scenery for the horse. For Magic, it’s a torture session. Not his thing.
- Be confident at 80cm – Done! He skips over 80cm like nobody’s business.
- Show graded at 70cm showjumping – Halfway done. He’s shown at 70-75cm in training shows five times now with all clear rounds, and he’s ready to go up. But his getting sick in September put the brakes on showing for the rest of the year, so we never registered for graded.
- Finish getting back the topline muscle he lost when he was sick. His butt and back are good again, but his neck still needs to develop all over again.
- School Novice 4, 5, and 6. He’s no dressage horse, but he needs these basics. Lateral work, counter canter, and medium canter can only help him.
- Make 90cm our comfort zone at home. 80cm is now where we’re happy. We do 90cm from time to time, but it’s kind of pushing my nerves. He has miles and miles of scope and guts to spare at this height, so if we can just ease into jumping this by the end of the year, we can keep on going up and up.
- Show graded at 70cm. We could do this really easily if he keeps his brain in his head at the next show. We’re doing another training show at 70cm this month, and if it goes well, we’ll sign up for graded.
- Show at 80cm, graded or training. This will more than likely be graded, but if I’m not up to that pressure, I’m not going to sweat it. Height has never been an issue for Magic so we can cope with this just fine.
Lord, not what I will, but what Thou wilt.