We’ve put in lots of work – let’s see how it’s paying off.
- Get points for Elementary Medium. One-fifth of the way there; we have 2 points and we need 10. Of course, it would help if we could score better than 59, which I know we can – and we did, at the Nooitie show – so here’s hoping the next show goes better. I know she can do it.
Don’t mess up a show riding/show hack class.We absolutely did this in the general breed show hack at HOY. While we didn’t get a ribbon, when they lined us up, we were just out of the placings in fifth out of a big strong class full of fancy things. She was foot perfect, and I am beyond chuffed. Jump a graded 80cm round. I’m calling it done because while technically it wasn’t graded, it wasn’t training, either – she jumped the 80cm at the Gauteng Nooitie show with one rider-error pole down. Also cash is a short commodity right now, so coughing up more registration fees for showjumping isn’t gonna happen.
- Do some cross-country lessons and/or go drag hunting. Still in the pipeline – we’ll get to this once the SANESA qualifiers have calmed down a bit.
My brave little partner and I continue to put in the hours and the sweaty numnahs, and it continues to work because Arwen always gives back. Good dragon.
Continued improvement on injections. We actually haven’t had to poke many needles into the beast yet. In fact, it took me a second to remember that he had his flu shot in February, because it must have been super uneventful. Whoop! He even let the vet measure him, too, although he did try to bite the chiro (brat). Show in-hand without rearing.We did this. Twice!! He did rear once, but that wasn’t in the show ring – he spooked at the stables, leapt forward, trampled my heel, got a massive hiding and reared in protest. Fair enough. He never even tried to rear, bite, chop, or kick anyone and I am very happy.
- Hack. Even if it’s just to the big gate and back. Sigh. I haven’t even been on it since it tried to kill me in February. However, the Mutterer has been riding him and they did a mini-hack – from the small lunge ring to the dressage arena – without any drama.
- By June, have 3 gaits. I admitted defeat long before June and palmed him off on the Mutterer in February. They’re still walking.
- Around his fourth birthday, attend a few training shows at walk/trot and Prelim. If he can behave at home, I know he’s the same at shows as he is at home, so he’ll be OK. He just needs to start going somewhere now.
- Ultimate goal: be solid at Prelim by the end of the year.
The groundwork goals are working out and he has become quite a pleasure on the ground, really, so that’s my job. Now he and the Mutterer just have to hold up their end of the deal, and so far, it’s working. He’s quit rearing, anyway, so that’s good.
- Hack alone and in company. Half-done. He hacks alone nicely (although we’re still working on the cow phobia), so I don’t expect any trouble in company.
Be quiet at shows.Resounding check! He’s angelic in the stable and very sweet to ride, although he can still have the odd whinny, but it doesn’t escalate and decreases with every show. Vastrap’s kid rode him at the last one without any trouble.
- Compete up to 70cm showjumping at training shows. He’s jumping 60cm without batting an eye and we’ll be doing higher fences later on. I know he can, I just don’t want to push those baby joints too hard right now. After SANESA season.
Compete up to Prelim at training shows.Absolutely check! With good scores in the high 60’s, too.
- Compete at the Nooitie shows. We did Pre-HOY, HOY and Gauteng, which leaves Nationals and Spring Show. Spring Show will depend on if we still have him.
- Go cross-country schooling. Not yet, but we will, after the SANESA qualifiers.
Every day I get more and more impressed by this pony – he’s really something special. Rather top-class if you ask me. It’s no surprise that he consistently achieves what we set out to do.
Stand for grooming and farrier. – Both check, both with ease. The farrier wasn’t perfect, but it’ll improve as she grows up. She LOVES the grooming. Lead and tie up.
- Box well. – Still need to get to this.
Be good to bath.Done; she’s not Arwen, but you can bath her. Be good to catch.
- Show in-hand. I have my doubts about this one; mentally and physically she could do it and win, but she has grown a coat like a yak, and I’m not shaving it off for one showing class, so we’ll see how she looks by Spring Show.
- In spring, lunge.
- In November/December, do the groundwork and have a rider on, just sitting.
With this girl’s temperament, it’s no surprise that she’s right on track.
The next few horses didn’t have goals set for them at the beginning of the year, so there’s no time like the present, right?
- Hack reliably in company. An apparently lofty goal considering he broke his child on a hack, but he’s been OK on little walk hacks in good company, so I think he can do it. He hasn’t dared to buck with me.
- School Novice dressage. This has been a sticky point. We get really good connection… for a week, and then it’s gone. It was never introduced in his early training and his flatwork is taking a lot of remedial fixing. But if this chap wants to last, he’s going to have to work over his back and carry himself.
- Jump 90cm graded. I am scared out of my socks, but I have to get Module 5 somehow and even if that’s in next year, we need to make a start and start climbing up the levels somehow.
This is my last year riding Lancey; I hand him over to Z-kid in December and I want him to be an absolute, ceaseless pleasure for her.
- Reliably do long hacks alone, in company, and wherever without any drama his kid won’t laugh off. No kid wants a horse that won’t hack, right? He’s been very good on little hacks alone and in company, so we can do this.
- Do a training show or two at Prelim dressage. Z-kid is in need of some classical training and Zorro certainly isn’t coming down the centreline anytime soon. Lancey is a bit of a baby when it comes to flatwork but Prelim is well within reach.
- Consistently jump graded at 70cm, preferably clear. I’m not going to push this big muppet to jump higher. He’s still very much a baby in his own mind, but this much he can definitely do.
The aim is for Trooper to do the next SANESA season under a kid; the smaller and more clueless the kid, the better, because that’s what he’s here for. So with that in mind:
- Do training showjumping shows, up to about 60cm. I’m producing this as a first pony, so he doesn’t need to jump any higher than that.
- Do training dressage shows, up to Prelim. Doing jumping and dressage sets him up for pretty much all the SANESA disciplines.
- Be as safe as a house on hacks, mostly in company. I don’t think this is going to be awfully hard, although he might be a little nappy at first.
- Be as safe as a house on the ground. Pretty much there, we just need to go over boxing again.
- Be fully quiet at shows. I want him so that a three-year-old could lead him around!
Of course, none of the horses, nor the yard belong to me, so my plans are small and secondary. I lay it all down for my King Jesus.
Glory to the King.