Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The Goals Post

It is officially 2014, which means my saddle hours count has reset. I've been trying to decide what my ride time goal for the year should be. It's a bit tricky, because while I'd like the ride more, there is the reality that I am not a professional horseback rider. I am a web developer and I own a small business and that takes... well... time.

So, I'm going to shoot for 200 hours in the saddle again, with the caveat that I want to hit that goal by early December. I do not want to be scrambling towards the finish line again.

In other news, Brian has returned to blogging. His blog got a redesign. And while he hasn't been blogging, it hasn't been due to lack of involvement with the horses. He has, in fact, clobbered me in terms of saddle hours three years running now. Here is a chart to prove it:

The fact that I beat him for the previous 20 years of our lives without contest is my only consolation. It also helps that I have a photo of the first time he ever climbed onto a horse in his adult life. This was eight years ago, when he rode my sister's horse, Jak, and unknowingly let the corruption into his heart. I was apparently trying to teach him something, and he was trying to understand. (Let us not discuss the fact that a) my legs are nowhere near my horse's sides, b) I am in no-man's-land on the bit c) there is a rope halter under my bridle.):

Anyway, even though my husband keeps beating me in terms of hours in the saddle, 2013 was a big year. We got a 4th horse. Our other horses continued to learn a lot. Steen got a two-rein. Much was learned by all.

Today, we went out to the barn in frigid temps. I rode Steen. He still isn't quite himself. He was twitchy during grooming, and I ended up doing some kind of intense groundwork with him right when we entered the arena, because I clearly did not have his full attention. After that, he calmed right down, and our ride was good.

But still, it feels like things have been a bit stalled with Steen (and our other horses) for the last few weeks, which has made it easier to identify goals for next year. Here they are.


  • Get consistent softness at the canter
  • Utterly conquer simple-lead changes and dabble at flying lead changes
  • Get him wholly into the two-rein


  • Continue to work on life and responsiveness
  • Introduce simple lead changes
  • More time on the trail
  • Refine lateral movement


  • Work on balance and consistency at the canter
  • Introduce more lateral movement
  • Find her a good home
Mostly, of course, I'm just looking forward to many more rides.

Ride Time: 1:15
Horseback Hours YTD: 1:15


  1. Grats on hitting your riding goal this year! I didn't track riding separately from other horse activities (mucking, grooming, vetting, etc), but you probably beat me. Maybe I'll track riding time separately this year....although I'm already starting to feel like my life is ruled by the spreadsheet. :)


    1. Hey, you managed to leave a comment! Yay.

      Haha. I know what you mean. I sometimes think I should track all my horse time rather than just rides. But I'm actually really bad at time-tracking. I have an app I use for the rides and usually manage to remember to turn in on and off like I'm supposed to. Tracking all horse time would add a whole extra layer of complication.

    2. Now that I figured the whole commenting issue out, I will try to leave more. :)

      Yeah, I'm not actually all that accurate with my time tracking either. I've gotten to the point where I sometimes look at a clock when I start or finish something...but even then I'll often forget the actual time before I get around to logging it. I usually just make reasonable guesses and go with it.


    3. Maybe I'll try the reasonable guesses strategy. It is pretty interesting to know how you spend your time.

  2. Testing in FF


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