After being gone for a couple of days over The New Year, I'm back and ready to get with the program. I had pretty much decided that I was just going to pick 3 horses to work with through the month of January and only start adding to the list as the weather got nicer and the days got longer.
Picking the first 3 wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. And considering the level of swarming I get when I walked into the gelding pasture with only a brush and hoofpick...I think EVERYONE is ready to get back to work.
If I had to pick based on who is the most needy, Shooter, LJ are in the top 3. No surprises there. Those two!! OMG!! They are attention hogs!! The 3rd most needy horse IS a bit of a surprise. It was Moon. He waded right to the front of the line and demanded to be brushed. I think he is afraid he's gone back on the retired list. LOL.
If I had to pick based on who needs the most work, it would have to be Shooter, Jet and my now 4y/o filly, Belle. Shooter and Jet are the 2 greenest horses I have and Belle isn't even started under saddle yet.
One thing I did take into consideration though, was the extended length of the competition season this year. A few new producers have decided to start putting barrel races on starting in February and extending them to the end of November. That's 4 extra months of races. The one thing there won't be a shortage of this year is barrel races to go to. In fact, there are going to be so many barrel races around that I will finally be able to take time to attend other events without feeling like I am missing out. Plus, with the increased number of races to go to and the extended season, that means I can basically split the herd and run 1/2 in the early season and run the other 1/2 in the last part of the season.
So, with that being a big bonus this year, I decided to start my year out with;
Moon-Might as well have him ready and get to use him early in the season because most likely he will be out of competitive commission during the heat of the summer anyway, due to his respiratory problems.
Frosty-He might be easing on to a new home this summer and I want him in good shape and ready to continue running for the new owner if that happens. It that doesn't happen, I want to switch Frosty from just a barrel horse to a gymkhana horse. He just isn't as fast as I need a barrel horse to be, but he runs a beautiful barrel AND pole pattern and is broke well enough to pick up the other patterns and that matters more at gymkhanas than absolute speed.
Little John-Since he's my best prospect and he's now a fully mature 6y/o, it's time to get on with seeing what he can do. There are some other things I would like to do with LJ later in the year, so starting his seasoning early means I can give him a break later on.
I did promise the other 3 I would try to fit some time in for them whenever I could, just so they don't feel left out. :-).
The one thing I have kept up on these last few months is handling my babies. Yea...I still consider Flashy a 'baby'. LOL. He's finally started to look less raggity and more like the handsome, youngster I was hoping for.
The only thing I really plan on with Flashy this coming year is to get him started under saddle (about 30 days of riding) and haul him to a few events, just for the experience. I will probably plan on doing that in June and then just turn him out for the rest of the summer.
Ruger on the other hand...well, if he keeps doing as well as he has, I do plan on keeping him fit up and taking him to some shows. I'd like to see how he would do in the yearling halter classes. If he does well at the open shows, I might even take him to an AQHA show to see if I could pick up some points on him. It's been freakin f.o.r.e.v.e.r. since I have bothered to show a youngster in halter classes, but if ever one was worth putting a little effort into, Ruger is it. :-)