Friday, 8 March 2019

I Have A Plan



I'm planting as many seeds for success as I can right now.

I think I mentioned here before that I'm unsure about backing Sophie myself. I know technically I've done it before and could do it again, but mentally I am not as brave as I once was and my fantastic little horse does not need that baggage.

Plus, sh!t sometimes happens despite my best efforts.

I've been waffling back and forth on it for a bit now, because sending her away involves finding someone I can trust implicitly, and eventually there is always going to be a first ride with me up there! In a perfect world I'd send her for 30 days under saddle this fall, then turn her back out a the big farm for a winter of light (20-30min walking) trail rides before getting a little more serious when she turns four. That plan means I'd have to book her spot at the trainer's soon because the good ones are booking several months in advance and the person I have in mind is away wintering in California every year. I worry she might not be mature enough by fall and I'll regret booking it. I also worry that she might be, and might be super bored if I don't plan ahead and book it.

Mentally, she is more than ready to have more of a grown up job. Physically, she's got some maturing to do.

Sometimes the simplest option is the way to go.

I'm going to move her back to Bridget's barn in May so I can work with her more easily. May also coincides nicely with when the horses at B's barn go out to their summer paddocks, so I won't need to worry about Sophie not having enough space to run and play and causing the barn owner angst with her energy levels. As an added bonus, moving Sophie back to self board with Bridget decreases her monthly bill to a fifth of what it is now. (So I can save more for future training and lessons!)

Sophie having a sleepover at Bridget's last fall. Bridget actually sharing her food is an indication she thinks the kid is alright, but this winter paddock situation didn't last too long before Sophie was chewing fences and digging holes and generally being bored and destructive. I moved her to her current farm with 20 acres of year round fields to preserve everyone's sanity!

Part two of my plan: I have quite a bit of vacation time and my work will let me take it in hourly increments. The summer ferry schedule also works in my favour. So I've booked all or part of Wednesday afternoons off for May through August. That small change in my schedule gives me four months of being able to ride 5 days a week and also makes my weekly commute a lot more bearable.

The instant we discussed it, I knew this plan felt right.  This way I am not committing Sophie to any schedule and can do as much or as little with her this summer as we both need. Worst case, she's too immature and I have extra beach and gardening time and 5 days of riding Bridget a week all summer while I pony Sophie - a pretty solid option! Realistically, it would be pretty cool if Sophie simply got to go everywhere with Bridget all summer and got a ton of exposure to all the things.

Besties. I think they'll be happy to be reunited.

As a stretch goal in the back of my mind, I am hoping the transition from ponying her everywhere to popping on now and then for a quick trail loop closer to the fall won't be a big deal for either of us. If I'm still not feeling it, I feel pretty confident Sophie will have enough of an education and have seen enough of the world that taking her down the coast to EC's for a baby under saddle boot camp next winter wouldn't be too stressful for anyone.

She keeps Bridget more active when they live together, too. 

I like that taking this route gives Bridget an important  job again. She actually enjoys showing Sophie the ropes and they work well together. I know I joke about Bridget's lack of a work ethic, but she is a very people oriented pony and does like getting out and about more than she currently does.

Now that I've (finally) come to a decision, I'm excited!



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24 comments

  1. yay on decisions it all sounds great to me. :)

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  2. Awesome to have a plan! Good luck!

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  3. That sounds like a great plan! Having the girls at the same place will make life a lot easier.

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    1. Yes, it's a bit difficult at the moment. Looking Forward to having more time with Sophie!

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  4. How wonderful for all of you. How did you get their manes to fall just so, both sides?

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    1. I've heard they do that if you keep their necks evenly muscled on each side. In my case, it's simply a result of super thick pony manes and a lackluster talent at pulling and maintaining them. I'm constantly trying (and failing) to train them to the correct side :)

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  5. Sounds like a really great plan. I can’t wait to continue to read about Sophie’s education :)

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    1. I'm unbelievably excited to get her going under saddle.

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  6. that adjustment to your summer schedule sounds GENIUS! i love plans <3 hope it all works out!!

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    1. It's going to be wonderful - my current workday doesn't line up with the winter ferry schedule so I am waiting 4 hours for one and home at 9:30pm. This way, I'll be home by 2:00 or 4:30 depending, and with the longer days, that's plenty of time for some riding!

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  7. That plan sounds like a great one for everyone.

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    1. I'm excited to make some changes and see how it goes.

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  8. Good for you! Starting babies is a process for sure, I typically start a little early but keep it crazy short sessions and super easy. The babes tend to get an opinion between 3-4 years old lol

    Can't wait to ready more!

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    1. We're entering 3 year old territory this year and S already has all the opinions about everything. Crossing fingers we get the basics installed while she's still easily tired.

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  9. It sounds like a really awesome plan! I'm excited for you. =)

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    1. I'm excited too. This past year of waiting without a lot on the go has been tough - it seems I enjoy having schedules and goals.

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  10. Replies
    1. When my work offered that summer schedule I figured I pretty much had to use the extra free time for horses!

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