Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review of 2011 and Plans for 2012

It's that time of year again; time to reflect and plan. :) 

2011 was a little quieter in the competition aspect than former years, but it was still fun and full of new experiences. 
Such as Daisy getting a pasture buddy! Daisy had spent 4 years with no other horses in her pasture, but that changed in February when I had her on pasture board with Dixie at Jean's farm. I was surprised to find that she's actually not dominant at all in a pasture. . . mostly just passive.  She was also on 24/7 pasture board for the first time since I've had her, and she survived ;).

We took a few dressage lessons, which didn't amount to much but it *was* the first regular lessoning I'd done on Daisy since I'd owned her. .  .

The opening days of April brought the worst colic that I've experienced yet. Daisy and I spent a lot of time walking up and down our driveway to keep her from rolling, during which time I prayed and cried to God to heal her.
Which in due time He did, of course (and I'm thankful for that and that it was not as violent a colic as some colics can be). This colic lasted three entire days. I've been able to keep her from colicing in Fall the last two fall seasons, but not so far in spring. I'm planning on putting her on apple cider vinegar in mid-March already this coming year to try to keep her digestion in balance to avoid that, because. . . it's horrible.

In May I joined United States Pony Club with Miss Daisy.  A few days after registering, we went to our first PC clinic, a jump position clinic. Daisy was a speedy terror, but we got good pictures! ;) I had fun anyway, even if it was crazy.
With joining pony club, I started going to weekly mounted lessons. What a great opportunity to lesson at a great farm, on a regular basis! I was also really blessed that the farm was close enough for us to ride to for lessons and that the farm owner graciously allowed this. We even tried some dressage tests in June, which I really enjoyed.

Our Pony club organizes a hunterpace twice a year to raise funds. Jenny graciously trailered Daisy over and she and I rode the hunterpace! It was such a complete blast. Daisy loves going new places, and was game to canter away to my heart's content. We also had the opportunity to do lots of cross country jumps! I'm definitely looking forward to more hunterpaces; they're probably my favorite form of the competitions that we do. Jenny and I placed fourth in the hunter division.

July brought more pony club lessons, with a new instructor that I absolutely love! She was very positive in all her teaching, which makes a huge difference! I can't stand the instructors I've been under in the past who focus on the negative for the whole ride. Abby did such a great job of being positive and upbeat while still being firm in her teaching. Such a nice change!
July also, of course, brought County Fair. This time I rode Ladd for English day. What a blast! I made great memories with him and I will never forget him and what a good boy he was.

And of course Daisy was fabulous as well. She was her usual well-behaved self, in Mounted Games, Western pleasure day, and Gymkhana.  We placed first in Versatility for the second year running and for the third year, we were awarded Overall High Point for the week in our division! The only thing different this year was that since I'd taught her voice commands through ground driving, she took it upon herself to simply do what the announcer said. . .  before I could even convey the command. I suppose that wasn't too bad ;)

August was even more pony club lessons, this time at a new farm. God blessed me again with a person to trailer Daisy and I to the farm multiple times! I was really thrilled that I still was able to attend, despite not having  a trailer. 
(Daisy and I to the left, Lydia and Bella to the right)
These lessons were focused on show jumping. I was always under the impression that Daisy was terrible at show jumping because the jumps were so open and airy, she didn't respect them. Not so! She was certainly not, and will never be, a flawless amazing jumper, but she accomplished much more than I had originally thought she could, and I was pleasantly surprised! She always seems to amaze me with her talent. I love her! I also found out more about how my anticipation of jumps was making her rush. When I sat back and was careful not to anticipate, she did much better. She's a pretty fearless jumper, which I love. 
As an added bonus, Daisy can load and unload herself onto and off of trailers as of this year. 

In August I also purchased an easy-entry cart on craigslist that I'd been eyeing since February. My brother drove an hour away to pick it up with me. Daisy and I started taking regular driving lessons.

When it came time to take Daisy home in September, I rode her home from Katie's house! This was fun because it was through a small hamlet which I had sort of hoped to ride through sometime, because who doesn't like riding their horse through a town? It was such fun.

We continued driving lessons at home, until eventually Daisy was good enough to not need our instructor anymore. 
Daisy and I also rode in a trail trial again in September. This one did not go as well as the one in 2010, in which we placed 5th, but that's ok, it was worth it anyway for the experience. We also did a second hunterpace with my Pony Club and placed third!

In October I took on my first regular lesson student. I love instructing! Daisy can be a pill sometimes, but I think it's good to experience ;) :
I also purchased saddle number six, a kid's sized saddle for lessons.
In the first few days of November, Ladd was placed in a new home, and I went to say good bye.  I was sad to see him go, but I know he's in a great new home and hopefully I'll see him again one day.
The goals I had for 2011, which I posted on the eve of the year, were as follows:
  1. Teach Daisy to truly drive...a cart. Obtain this goal by doing a lot of bomb-proof training style stuff. Accomplished
  2. Take regular lessons! For dressage. Accomplished 
  3. More trail trials...GET TO A HUNTERPACE AGAIN THIS YEAR! Accomplished (One trail trial and two hunterpaces!)
  4. Saying this is sort of far fetched, but seeing as how anything is possible considering I'm actually teaching my horse to drive now....try team penning! Was not attempted, but this goal will continue into the New Year
  5. Swim with Daisy some more. Unfortunately did not happen because no one else was going who could trailer me along to a swim spot.
  6. what I can to keep Daisy from colicing! Which, I've never mentioned it, but....this fall was Daisy didn't colic AT ALL! I didn't want to jinx it, so I didn't say anything all fall, but it got later and later colic! I'm not sure what did it, but I changed a few things this year. She had a selenium block that she's never had before because I read that selenium deficiency can cause colic, she was on ACV every morning and evening instead of probios, I cut her off grazing earlier this year than last year. As discussed, we had a colic in April. .  . but none in fall again!
  7. Celebrate our 4th year together (wow...time flies!) and have a blast next show season. :) Accomplished, and then some
I'm very happy with how the year panned out. 
Goals for 2012:
  1. Team penning, for real this time. Tentative plans are already in place for this. (at this point, Daisy is afraid of cows. I am not deterred from at least trying)
  3. Personal goal: Take equinextion trimmer 1 (and 2?) course in Calgary, Canada with Lisa Huhn. 
  4. Sledding with Daisy
  5. Drive on the road!
  6. Do all the fun stuff as in the past (Hunterpaces. . . . trail trials. . . swimming!. . . county fair. . . cross country schoolings!. . . pony club. . . etc)
This is the end of my goal list. I've accomplished a lot in the past, leaving little left to do. And I know I don't need a goal list to have fun and find new things to do that I haven't even dreamt of yet. :) 


Bella said...

Your list of goals sounds wonderful. I always love reflecting on the past year and going over what I have accomplished... Time does fly though! :)

Daisy said...

I loved reading over 2011 highlights and successes! And your goal list for 2012 looks fun! I look forward to reading your blog through-out this next year too. You and Daisy are such a wonderful team!

Megan said...

Sounds like a great year. Daisy is a cutie!

Gudl said...

that was a wonderful read! I am happy for you and Daisy.

Kim said...

Thank you for sharing your journey with Daisy! I love seeing your passion with her - I love horses but don't know much about them, only that they seem to be able to see into your soul! Beautiful creatures! Hope 2012 is all you want it to be. :)

Anonymous said...

Love your story. Praying for snow so you can sled with Daisy and I can snowshoe!

Neighbor and sister in Christ.



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