A few weeks ago I talked about some long term goals for myself and the horse. Today I would like to start thinking about shorter term goals for 2009.
Winter: Build and get Boomer accustomed to the wooden platform. This will help him get ready for trailer loading. Also, I would like to try to ride 1 or 2 times a week to put some hours on him. With the winter weather being unpredictable and uncomfortable for riding, it is a good idea to get on him at least once a week, even bareback, just to keep him in the 'riding' mindset. I think that will make him easier to start conditioning in the spring. Work on the canter and start getting leads perfected.
Spring: If we have a trailer, start trailer training. Start hauling to local lakes and trails. I want him to be accustomed to travel as well as riding at new places without being scared or disobedient. I would like to take him out to a local lake or trail once per week and have those be our long ride days. Other days of the week will consist of flat work and short trail rides around the property. I would like to be riding 3 or 4 days a week.
Summer: Oklahoma doesn't have many endurance rides, maybe 6 per year. Going off of last year's ride calendar, I think that it would be feasible to up my mileage on my long rides to upwards of 30 miles per ride and then start with 50's in the Summer/Fall when the ride season picks up here.
Fall: I would like to continue our goals thus far, riding a few times a week with a long ride at a trail location. I would also like to compete in as many, if not all, of the local AERC sanctioned rides in Oklahoma. There seems to be a ride per month starting in June/July through to the end of the year. Based off of last years rides, it would be possible to get 300-400 ride miles in. I think that would be a great way to start our debut season.
It is pretty incredible to think that one year from today, I could have a competitive, well broke, trailerable horse with 300 miles on him! Though, even if none of that goes as planned, I am so happy with where we are right now. It is really a great feeling to be bonding with him and starting to grow a relationship!