It seems like I have made plan after plan after plan of which horses I am going to start working, of course, winter weather conditions pretty much put the kibosh on working anyone, so now that the weather is beautiful and my ground is fantastic...
It was time to make a danged plan I could stick to. One that got me rolling, but wasn't so ambitious that I completely wore myself out in the first few days. This time, instead of selecting horses, I went to my calendar and selected a few events.
I picked a barrel race on March 5th that will be Moon's first run. A barrel race on March 26th for Frosty's first run and a horse show on April 2nd for Ruger and Shooter's first outing. All of them are just far enough out for me to get those horses ready, but not so far out that I loose momentum. I most certainly do better staying consistent when I have specific goals to work toward.
Moon came through the winter in good shape. He even had a bit of a belly going, but he lost that almost immediately. He won't be in great condition for the race in 2 weeks, obviously, but should have good enough wind to just go cruise through the pattern. I mostly just want to keep working on the things I started working on last Fall when I ran him. Just getting him to relax and breath before he starts his run and then let him cruise through the left-hand pattern.
Frosty has quite the belly going on again, but he's not fat, fat. Just soft and soggy again. It will take the month I allotted to get him back into good enough shape to make a run.
I want to show Ruger in the Halter class at the show in April. He's looking good, just needs lots of prep work, elbow grease and some conditioning. I have been trying to spend a little time with him and Flashy each day. I dunno, as good as Flashers is looking, if Ruger isn't ready for the show, maybe Flashy will get to debute as a Halter horse. LOL.
Shooter will be shown in the Showmanship class and (hopefully) the Hunter Under Saddle and English Equitation classes. There is no way I can have him ready for Trail or the Sr. Western Pleasure classes for this first show. It's my goal to have him showing in those classes by this summer, but he's far to green to even attempt it right now.
I was contemplating getting LJ ready to show in a reining class, but decided that might not be the best idea. It's take awhile to get LJ freed up and I don't want to get him thinking 'reining horse' again. I think putting LJ on cattle and focusing more on Ranch Horse Versatility stuff will be more complementary to the speed events I want to do with him. He'll still have to do the reining horse portion of the RHV shows, but the level of competitiveness is less intense and only a single portion of what those shows entail. Whatever rateyness he picks up from the reining class will be negated by chasing a cow down the fence. ;-). I did pick out a race on April 23rd for LJ's debute as a barrel horse. I'll add him into the group on Monday and that will give me 7 weeks to get him ready. I will probably just start out riding him 3 days a week for the first couple of weeks and then when the time changes, I can go to 5/6 days a week. There just isn't enough daylight hours to do everything I need to do yet.
Hah! So without even realizing it, I pretty much got everyone on the schedule. Belle and The Big Bay are the only 2 yet to work into the mix. I was working Belle and she came around nicely. But I'm not really one to just keep lunging and lunging every day for no real reason. I can sack her out, no problem, but don't want to saddle her for the first time out in the open. No, no, no!! I KNOW this little girl is going to buck and I want her safely contained. My pens are still a bit mucky in spots, so it won't work to do it in one of those. Too much risk of her slipping and hurting herself. Her progress will have to wait until I can get the round(ish) pen that Flashy has been living in cleaned out and worked up a little. The Big Bay?...Well, honestly, he is just not a priority right now. I'm sure his reprieve is only temporary though. It's way early in the season and it is going to be a l.o.n.g. and busy season, so I'm sure at some point in the not too distant future I'll put him on the rotation and get him coming along. It's always nice to have a back-up horse. ;-). When you have as many to ride as I do, you have back-ups for your back-ups. Hahahahaha