Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year and New Goals

This isn't a post about resolutions and listing my goals.  I just don't have that many specific goals that they need listing.

Rather it's about keeping on with my big goals and moving forward.  In particular with my gray horse.  We started out last year pretty well and I was excited about it.  Then we were thrown a little curve ball in the midst of my busy time of year and I never got us back on track.

Well it's a new year and I'm determined to get back to doing something with my horse.  Dressage is what I prefer to ride and learn more about.  The problem is, I haven't found a dressage instructor around here.   I know they are out there.  I just haven't found that person yet, especially one I can afford.  I don't want to just let Ollie sit out in a field and do nothing.  It does him no good.  He starts annoying the other horses and getting himself into trouble when he's not working.  I want to set him up for success and put him into doing something.  Anything!

So we are beginning to work with a natural horsemanship kind of guy although he probably doesn't like to call it that.  His name is George Smok and he works and trains many of the babies at the horse farms in the area.  He's an avid polo player and best of all he's a friend of Buck Brannaman and organizes Buck's clinic here in Lexington each year.

George will help me work with some basics with Ollie and develop a strong foundation for us to move on.  Right now, we are just working on having Ollie move away from pressure and to understand how to move only the body parts I'm asking him to move.  Ollie's a quick study!  Best of all, George really likes Ollie!

The things we are practicing now is all on the ground for now.  I am learning to drive him forward, to go when I ask him to go (not when he thinks he should go), to turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches, change direction on the lunge line, etc.  These are things that will help me in many other areas down the road.  We need to practice but he and I  pick up on it pretty well. 

So I'm feeling pretty good that we are doing something again. We don't have an indoor arena so we are subject to working only when the ground isn't frozen.  Thankfully, that hasn't been much of a problem especially in the afternoons when it's sunny.

We will keep you posted on our progress!


  1. Groundwork is just as important, in my opinion. Respect and acceptance of the rider as "alpha" starts on the ground. And you're right--keeping the mind of a "quick study" occupied so he doesn't get into BIG TROUBLE on his own is just as important. Good luck on finding the instructor. We all know he/she is "out there" and when the time is right, you'll meet and voila! Glad you're posting more often, too! Miss stories of you and "the boys."

  2. I can't get over how much Oillie has greyed out!!! And I think it is great that you are working with Ollie doing other stuff until you find a trainer you like. I bet if you go to a local dressage show in the spring and just hang out by the warm up you will find someone that you at least want to try lessons with. It is always so hard finding a trainer that has the same values as you and understands your horse!

  3. Echoing the first two comments! I finally have a horse of my own again after training for other people for a year; he's young and needs a lot of that same groundwork. Looking forward to reading your stories!