Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 New Years Goals

2010 Goals for the ponies (& myself!)

  • DJ - compete and successfully achieve two 60% at 3rd level to finish off my USDF Bronze medal
  • Buddy - to continue to improve his 2nd level with sites set on 3rd and 4th level in the near future
  • Jono - to continue to be a superstar in everything he does, to qualify for both GAIG's and BLMs as a 2nd level Adult Amatuer (a bonus would be to win a Dover Medal along the way :) )
  • Me - to lose 12 more lbs (already lost 10!!); continue my education with an open mind and heart; to stay relaxed, loose and patient in all of my riding; and to be the best person I can be (on and off the ponies!)
  • Everyone - to stay safe, sound, and happy in this New Year!

Wrap-Up of 2009

Good gracious! I have not written in quite some time...and needless to say it was a good but hectic ending to 2009. Since we last left off, my "tick twins" have officially overcome their illnesses and are back into the swing of regular work. I figure since each horse has had a little change in their lives I'll address each one as we go along...

Buddy has been body clipped once (right before winter) and will most likely be clipped again in the following weeks. His hair grows amazingly fast, affectionaly called "mountain hair" since he did originate in the mountain country of Tennessee and moved to the mountains of VA before settling in the DC metropolitan area. His work on second level is steadily impoving with more balance in his gaits and confidence in himself. He did give me New Years gift...a large bloody lower eye lid resembling the size and shape of a lemon. We don't call him "BooBoo" for nothing! Luckily, it was just some superficial scrapings which should heal up in no time.

DJ is currently loving life. Since we diagnosed his cushings early in the year and started treatment, he has gotten back his zest for life and the twinkle in his eye that captured my heart at our first meeting :) DJ also has a new friend, a leasee! Granted I never expected anyone to be able to ride let alone lease my beastie until he was around the ripe old age of 25, but he surprised me by becoming the perfect schoolmaster. Coming off of a hiatus due to establishing a family, my leasee is back and ready for action. She originally owned a rather large PSG warmblood, so making the transition to the 14.3 3rd level sensitive Arabian has proved to be educating! I love watching the lessons because both rider and pony love the work. My leasee is learning again and little man is enjoying the life of a semi-retired schoolmaster!

Now, Jono being the utter superstar that he is, has had a busy end of the year. Since this was a year of education for the two of us, I enrolled him in as many clinics as I possibly could. At the beginning of the year we started with Donna Gatchell, a local professional who worked on making us lighter on the forehand with lots of second and even third level work! Next was our clinic at the beginning of November was with another local professional, frenchman Pascal Martin. After some doubtful facial expressions, he started to work with Jo and ended up pleasantly surprised by his talent and work ethic. Again, lightness was the key. But the season finale, and probably the best clinic I have ever attended, was the Lendon Gray clinic at Sprieser Sporthorse in Marshall, VA at the beginning of December. It was FANTASTIC!!! I did participate in the same event last year with Buddy which left my ego bruised and beaten but at least I came out with some positive moments and exercises. This year it was the complete opposite. She immediately expressed her love for my big fella and throughout the clinic used terms like "fantastic", "cute", "athletic" and "amazing" to describe his work. She polished up our second level and told us to "keep going and keep proving people wrong!" The unfortunate end to 2009 was the discovery of Jono's newly learned vice, cribbing. At first, the vet and I agreed that maybe he had ulcers. So, Gastro-guard was used for the first 7 days which really seemed to do the trick. This led to 28 more days of the ridiculously expensive paste. Unfortuntely, by the second week, this method was not working as well as we had hoped so we finished off the rest of the dosing and are now attempting new methods to discourage this new irritating habit...feed change, alfalfa cubes, a hay net to make him eat slower as well as occupy him, and then the dreaded Miracle Collar (duhn, duhn, duhn!). Lets hope that next time I blog, there will be some improvements!

So overall, it was a decent way to end a rather blah year. There is so much planned and anticipated in for 2010 but for right now....I'm just goin to tell you to read the next blog :)