I can’t believe it’s 2016!!! I think back and it was six years ago that I was absolutely terrified of my horse doing anything rambunctious and playful. He was a very flamboyant character who ran off with me numerous times. He had a rather bratty sense of humor that included whipping out of any confinement, jumping fences, and biting things smaller than him. That being said, why else do we love someone but for their flaws? Without flaws we aren’t very interesting. Little did I know that in six years I’d be wishing he was here to see how I’ve grown in just a few short months.

First Goal –  Take pictures …LOTS

Life is short when put into perspective. Storm is young and we’ve got a lifetime ahead of us. How long the lifetime will be is not in my control so I’m going to make the most of it!
Every chance I get, I’m going to take pictures and video footage. That’s one thing I regret about 2015 that I can’t get back so I’m going to make it up this year. So get ready for some epic poses and amazing footage! I hope to post educational footage, unique pictures of Stormy and I ‘dancing’ together (he’s coming along nicely by the way) and gets lots of experiences along the way. Plus, Fjords are so photogenic that we’ll be stunning the web by the time 2017 rolls around!

Second Goal – Help Storm find his trot

Fjord owners will tell you (and now I will), Fjords have a very elevated trot, therefore it takes a little more momentum to take it up. But when they do it’s fantastic! I’m planning on finding that same momentum in my own body as a way of helping Storm find his. Today I was trying to urge him into a trot for the first time (on the ground) and he kept bobbing his head, trying to find his balance, and doing the funniest little gait (Fjords are also slightly gaited!) Once he got into a real trot I could see that he needed a bit more foundation before he would relax into it. But boy am I excited for when we can trot together!

Third Goal – Help Storm wear the saddle

I do not believe in riding horses too young. There is sufficient evidence for me to believe that it is detrimental to spinal health and development. But there is no reason that Storm can’t wear his saddle for a couple years! I’m going to start with a lightweight bareback pad so that he can get used to the girth without the weight and the stirrups. Then I’ll help him get used to motion up there by tying plastic bags, buckets, scarves, etc. to the pad. With the proper use of approach and retreat, I don’t think it should be a problem. Then, maybe in the summer, I’ll try out a treeless saddle. Oh …I guess that’s another goal, but not for this year: Find a treed saddle that actually fits a Fjord!

Fourth Goal – Take herd walks

Me and Storm are a herd of two. The best thing we can do together to bond is taking long walks. I plan to take him into the bush, over fields, and hopefully find some hills (not likely in Manitoba). Once he finds the fun in these walks, I think there will be no place we can’t go and when we finally ride, he’ll be a pro.

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