Getting up this morning to 12″ of snow was a thrill in itself.  That meant we had to walk to our neighbor’s place to take care of our horses.  Not that walking is bad, but, in the deep snow, carrying their breakfast, it was a rough way to start the day and the year.

Now that we are dug out, Tom and I are looking at our plans for the upcoming year.

We have one horse that needs to go through “boot-camp” before we can put her in our therapeutic riding program.  We got Poppy in November, and although she is very rideable, there are still a few things we need to make sure the horse knows before we put our kids on them.  Winter hit fast, so we still have some prep work to do.

Sherlock is learning how to drive.  We are so pleased with his progress, that we’ve decided to start all our horses in driving.  He needs to pull poles and a travois before we do some serious driving.  He can be ridden, too.  But his back has gone out on him a few times, so I’m careful how much weight he carries.

We have three more fillies that are really young mares.  They have pretty good ground manners, so that means it’s time for the harness and saddle.  I’m looking for a few good riders to help start them.  I don’t know if they will ever materialze though.  So far, I’ve started every one of our young horses myself.  I’m happy with the results, but as I grow older, I think I should also grow a little wiser and leave the colt starting for younger people.

We’re also hoping to increase the number of riders in our program.  We have 25 right now.  We think 40 would be a good number.  There is enough lesson times available to do it.  Some of our classes aren’t filled to capacity, so I think if I just fill all the existing lesson times, we’ll reach our goal.

I’m planning on carrying my camera more, so I can post pictures of our horses in training and at lesson times both here and on our farm web site.

Looks like I’ll be spending more time in the barn.  I’m sure our Haflingers won’t mind!

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