Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Goals Update - Some Serious Reevaluating

Note: If you read my other blogs, only a few things in this post are the same as the others, such as the first paragraph, but do please read through it so you don't miss something. :)

Well, we've made it to the halfway point. It's June already! Can you believe it? I've never had six months fly by so quickly in my life. I thought this was supposed to happen when you got older! I didn't realize it would start in my twenties! In fact the last six or seven years have gone by very quickly and I can only attribute that to joining the adult working world. I miss the simplicity of being a child. Sigh.

Anyway I've completely gone off course. I'm feeling kind of discouraged this month because I really didn't accomplish all that much in general. I didn't take him for any walks all month, didn't work on hauling at all, didn't give him a bath, etc. I did use clicker a little bit in desensitization with the fly spray, but really I should have been able to accomplish more.

I'm not trying to get down on myself, I'm just trying to be realistic. Between having a horse, a donkey, fifteen goats, a cat and over a hundred chickens (and now we're hatching turkeys!!) as well as having to deal with my continuing health problems I just don't have the time, drive or desire to accomplish all of these goals. Aside from those responsibilities I'm also working two part time jobs and spending my days off at the lake with friends or catching up on housework. We also found out we might possibly get to lease the forty acres behind our property in the fall so that will add to the workload. I'm just feeling stretched thin.

So I'm going to reevaluate my original goals.

My 2010 goals for Chrome were:

1. Use clicker training to desensitize Chrome to as much as possible.
2. Go for more walks on the roads. Use clicker training to make it a positive experience.
3. Teach Chrome some tricks specifically smile.
4. Write in Chrome’s blog more often.
5. Work on hauling to new places.

I don't think I'm going to make any specific goals. I want to continue to work on clicker training following the Alexandra Kurland book and I also want to do a lot more desensitization with him. I need to focus on practical things like the fly sprays and bathing instead of tricks like smile and kisses. I'll get to those eventually, but Chrome is a year old now and he really needs to be introducing to things like a saddle, long lines, etc. I'm not saying I'm going to start working him in them I just want to introduce him to the equipment. I also need to work on hoof care, hauling and bathing. I need to focus on practical things. I think if I concentrate on a few things I might be able to stick with it and make some progress. Now I understand why most people only make one New Year's Resolution.

So here are my new 2010 goals:

1. Work through the Alexandra Kurland book The Click That Teaches.
2. Work on desensitization. Chrome is going to mainly be a trail horse so he needs to learn how to deal with new and exciting/scary objects. This will include desensitizing to equipment, bathing, hoof care, new places and the trailer.
3. Get him gelded!! This will have to wait until the fall because of the flies but I do need to remember it.

I think these are reasonable goals that are practical and should be easy to accomplish as we progress through normal yearling training and prep. So what do you think? Did I miss anything? Any suggestions?


  1. I like your new goals.

    Maybe you can add a goal like having 1 training session each day, or 5 days a week or whatever your schedule will allow. That way, you will set up a framework to reach your long-term goals.

    Usually, the biggest problem with goal attainment isn't the task, but getting the time to do it! Putting yourself on a schedule might help you find the time.

    I have no problem getting my horse goals done since I board my horses out. I go out 5 days a week to clean the stalls, so I might as well do something fun like working with them while I'm there.

    I have a harder time with the tasks at home--like the vegetable garden and cleaning. I have to plan to work on them on a schedule, or I will end up just reading and playing with the cat!

  2. I think working through the Alex Kurland book is a great thing to focus on. You will have such a good basis from which to progress from.

    Goals for me are a double edged sword, I try to be flexible about it now so I don't get too hard on myself. Often I think I would like to do x with Star, and we end up doing y and z instead, lol! I really try just to enjoy what we're doing now, as I think living in the moment is very important :)

  3. Cole doesn't act like he is scared. His head isn't higher than normal, no whites in his eyes, no increase in breathing. When he wouldn't walk onto the street, he behaved the same way, but I am sure he was afraid of that. I am wondering if he is a horse that internalizes his anxieties. Mingo used to do that, too. Cruiser lets the whole world know he is afraid!

    I gave him a day off, yesterday, so I could get my garden in.

    Would you believe I didn't like the color black for a horse? When Mingo was born black, I was disappointed. Well, it grew on me, and now it is one of my favorite colors.

    You did have a black horse for a little while!


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