Well the new year has rolled around and it's time to set some goals. I have goals for the horses and goals for the house this year. The following goals are for the horses. There are quite a few so I think the house and garden goals will take another post.
I would like to enter many more competitions, but we have a few obstacles to overcome first.
1. My poor old truck either needs a complete overhaul of both the engine and transmission or else we need a newer, better truck to haul the horses to the competitions. So the first goal of the year is to make one of those two happen.
2. Currently I'm borrowing a friends horse trailer to attend all my competitions. I've got a smaller two horse bumper pull trailer without a center divider that works well when you have to only haul one horse somewhere, but it doesn't have a dressing/camping area and you can really only haul one horse in it. So my second goal of the year is to get that trailer replaced. I can still use my friend's trailer so I still have that as a back up when I need it.
3. Open show points programs to track my horses points earned in competition is also another issue to look at. All but one of the horses are currently registered with the ApHC and are allowed to enter the ApHC ACCAP (open show points Program). All of the horses but one are also registered CRHA (Colorado Ranger Horse Association) and are eligible for CRHA open show points programs. The difference between the two programs is a matter of cost. ApHC has an initial fee and then once you reach 10 events/judges you have to pay additional fees for each event attended. If I want to increase the numbers of events I go to that means in the end I could end up paying double or triple the fees to the ApHC. CRHA has a flat fee that covers all events entered in a year. So I will have to decide which program is better for each horse at this time.
Once I get those three things figured out, I'll have to decide what events I want to attend and how many of each I can go to.
I will continue to compete in ACTHA competitive trail competitions through out our area as they become available. Ladybug and Baby Girl already have some experience and can only get better as we work more on the obstacles.
In addition to the ACTHA competitions, I believe that Ladybug is ready for some tougher and longer competitions in the form of either AERC or NATRC distance competitions. We will start with some 25-35 mile rides at first. Baby Girl won't be ready for any of these competitions this year. She will turn 4 this year and will be eligible for the shorter distances based on her age, but she's not been ridden long enough distances yet to be in condition to try them. So she will get some of the conditioning rides with Ladybug, but won't go on to the competitions yet.
Keith also wants to get back into the Cowboy Mounted Shooting events now that he has his saddle to ride with. So we are looking at starting back with one of the sort of local clubs and attending practice matches at least once per month. Ladybug has already been trained to have shots fired from her back, but we don't have any of the other horses that far advanced yet. So a goal of getting horses used to gun fire from their back is also in place.
And I found the American Stock Horse Association with affiliates here in New Mexico. They are looking at hosting a few competitions here in NM this year and I'm interested in attending them.
In addition to all of the competitions goals, I'm also considering breeding on mare Topper this year for a 2012 foal. I'm trying to find her the right stallion and that has proven quite difficult with the criteria I have set. I have found one stallion within a driving distance that fits several of the criteria but not all. The remaining stallions would all have to use with shipped semen. The problem with using shipped semen is I would have to take Topper to a reproductive specialist more than 100 miles away for the insemination. So I'm looking at weather shipped semen or live cover is the way to go with Topper as a maiden mare. The local stallion is one I know about since he's the sire of my other colt Bright Snow Eagle. The remaining stallions have only been evaluated based on photos, pedigrees and competition records. I have until about mid April to make my final decision because I'm not going to have a foal born here until late spring due to all the bad weather we have here.
I have quite a few competition goals for the horses and I hope we can attend a few of each type of event. It will all depend though on getting a good and reliable truck to get us to and from each competition.