I must apologize for my long absence. The stressful situation to which I've alluded in previous posts continues, and it seems that more often than not lately, I arrive home with no energy left to draft a post worth reading.
I'd be lying if I said the same stress hasn't affected my training; it has. More than once, I've given up my weeknight training plans in favor of a few hours' escape through cooking or a book. Horse training takes a great deal of emotional intensity, and I often feel I have little left to give.
And yet, I have kept on. It's well past time I updated you on my 2010 plans for the equine residents of In the Night Farm. Mind you, I've learned my lesson about setting hard and fast goals when it comes to training and endurance conditioning. Something is bound to go wrong, and having expectations too high only makes the fall too painful.
These, then, are ideals. I'll work toward them and get as far as I can, and take the pitfalls in stride. Stay tuned for updates on each of the following horses:
Inara -- As part of her purchase price, Inara is to go to her new owner with basic groundwork complete. She'll catch, lead, lunge, pick up feet, deworm, and trailer load.
Alternating Current (aka Acey) -- It's time to start this fiery, little mare under saddle. It would be fantastic to have her ready for her first LD by the end of the season, but I'll settle for getting well into a foundation of long, slow distance work in preparation for next year.
Ripple Effect -- Can you believe she's four this year? Yes, it's time to start her under saddle, too. A significant part of the project will be getting her comfortable with leaving the other horses and facing the great, wide world.
Sandstorm -- You haven't seen enough of this fantastic mare. The tallest Barb in my herd, she's an astonishing mover with a sweet but cautious personality and potential I'm just beginning to tap. I'd like to finish gentling her (she's another that arrived at In the Night Farm completely untouched) and get plenty of groundwork done so I can start riding her next year.
Consolation -- Endurance, of course! We had a setback in mid-June that has taken us out of conditioning for a while (details in an upcoming post), but it's about time to hit the trail again. Hooray!
Crackerjack -- See "Ripple Effect." These half-siblings were born just a few days apart, but CJ isn't quite as physically mature as his lookalike sister. Still, it won't hurt to proceed with his groundwork as soon as I'm done with Inara to free up a time slot. Maybe, by the end of the season, it'll be time to step aboard.
I must say, it's nice to come in after a long day in the round corral, pour a tall glass of iced tea, and look out over so many sweat-stained equine backs. I know just how they feel. We're working hard, the ponies and I. We'll get there.
By the way, I'm still encountering spam problems despite having enabled the word verification feature for comments. Sadly, this has forced me to take the next step -- comment moderation. So, you'll notice a delay between commenting and seeing your comment posted. I'll try going back to just word verification after a while, when the Chinese-character blighter decides to give it a rest.
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