From racing to riding... the training diary of an off the track Standardbred

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Plans for 2012

I guess you could say I have been thinking about my future a lot lately. Next year, I will be a senior in high school so right now is the perfect time to start looking at colleges. There are so many to choose from! I don't even know what career path I want to follow so how can I pick a college? As of right now(and for the past two years), I am at the top of my class. If I stay here, I will have to give a speech at graduation next year. I'm completely fine with giving speeches and presentation in front of people, but I absolutely suck at writing them. What am I going to do?!

All of this thinking made me start to realize that I only have a short year and a half left before I go off to college...and I'm not sure if I will be able to take Jet with me. I am going to do everything I can to either stay close to home or to find a place near the college of my choice where I can board him for a reasonable fee. That being said, I only have one full show/riding season left before I leave. So here is what I plan on doing with it:

  1. Go to the National Standardbred Show in New Jersery on September 9th. I want to compete in walk trot AND walk trot canter classes and well as jumping and maybe even western classes.
  2. Show w/t/c with Jet at local shows instead of w/t. I have never competed a full show season w/t/c. I'm capable of doing it, but I also end up riding green horses or Standardbreds who are learning to trot instead of pace, never mind even thinking about cantering! This should be exciting, but I will admit..I'm a little nervous about how Jet will do cantering in a large ring with many other horses..
  3. Show in the hunters and jumpers. I have done groundpole jumpers with him in the past and crossrail hunter courses (click on the link to see the posts about that) but this year I would like to be competitive in the 2'-2'6" range. This means that we will have to get our lead changes down aswell.
  4. Go team penning!
  5. Try cowboy mounted shooting
  6. Go to Woodstock Fair 
  7. Drive Jet
  8. Show him western atleast once
  9. Do the Breed Demo at Hobby Horse Farm
  10. Go to Rehoboth Fair again!
  11. Go on the Apple Knoll Hunter Pace and at least one other hunter pace.
  12. Go to the beach!
  13. Be in a parade
  14. Jump a 3' fence for the first time with him ( I have jumped up to 3'3"-3'6"ish in the past on other horses)
  15. Ride with friends as much as I can
If I think of anything else, I will add it on here. Basically, I want to do as much as I can while I can do it. This year we are trying everything we can get our hands and hooves on. Hopefully, we'll get to do everything and more on this list.

As an update, me and Jet have been trail riding a lot since the clinic. The first trail ride I took him out on, he bucked at the canter NON-STOP. I was actually worried that there was something wrong. I just walked him after that.

The next day, I got on him and just walked for 40 min on the trails then did some ring work for 20 min. He has never given me such nice canters before! He was even somewhat balanced and slow going to the right! (his much worse direction)

I rode him again yesterday for about 45 minutes and we gave me another beauuuutiful canter. I don't know if he realigned himself with all that bucking or maybe if he just needed to get out and moving in a big field, but something clicked and hopefully we will continue to build on this canter and make it show worthy by April!