The past three days have been a mucky never-ending rain storm so I haven’t been able to do much riding so far this week. However, I did manage to get out of the house and get Shiloh some new stuff! I try to keep my horse shopping to a minimum and focus on actual needs (hoof trims, supplements, fly spray…) over wants (every item in the Dover Saddlery catalogue), but occasionally I splurge.
Shiloh and I do lots of in-hand work and trick training since he gets bored with routine and he will turn into a grumpy-pants if I get too repetitive. I’ve been looking for some heavy cotton long lines to do more advanced lunge work and start teaching Shiloh some lateral movements from the ground. I found these 25’ turquoise and black chevron long lines for sale at Orschelns and couldn’t pass it up. (Well, technically I could have, but the will power is not strong with this one.) I like their bright color because they will be easy to see and keep in position on his darker spots.
And lastly I found some new treats for him. I try to keep the treats flowing when I learn new tricks with the clicker. And he’s a treat connoisseur. He doesn’t like anything apple or oat flavored. Or anything too sweet, or fruity, or molassasy (is he an alien?). So just carrots, mints, and cinnamon stuff. Perhaps I’m anthropomorphizing his taste preferences or babying him too much?
And that brings us to Equestrian Goals! I love the saying that a goal is a dream with a deadline. I’ve started a tentative list of short term goals for my riding this year/summer.
- Find a new trainer and begin regular lessons.
- In effort to slowly ease back into horse showing (ie. make occasional, hopefully positive appearances at local dressage shows), resolve to attend at least one schooling show and ride training and first level tests.
- Go to one local clinic. There is an Aaron Wilson Dressage Clinic in my area at the end of August and a Cathy Zappe clinic farther away in September.
“Aaron Wilson is the founder of Nationwide Equestrian and has developed an innovative riding system and theory which allows riders to tap into and isolate essential muscle groups to achieve balance and harmony.” –From his website, sounds very helpful
I can’t find much information about Cathy Zappe’s training techniques, but I did find out that besides her incredible achievement in USDF showing (Bronze, silver, and gold), she is also an artist and paints portraits of equestrians and their horses. I did find a video someone took of their clinic with her. Cool.
- Have Fun! Go on at least one long (3 hourish) trail ride at a national park. Or go horse camping. Or horse glamping.
- Go swimming with Shiloh! I’m especially interested in this one. Swimming with horses is the best!