Saturday, May 19, 2012


Today, if I ever get off my butt, I'm going to go to the feed store to buy a few random supplies, like a thermometer, weight/measuring tape, and a rope halter.  Then I'll head to the barn, fill out my iPhone app with Trigger's vitals, and track them over the next few weeks in a few different situations to get some baseline measurements.  Ooh, and I need to find my cat clippers (really human clippers, but they were used on the late Banshee kitty) and trim a bridle path.  Or would scissors be easier for such a small amount to do?

Anyway, then I want to work with Trigger a bit.  Can't do much, as my knee still hurts, but it's better today, especially with an Ace bandage on it, so I'll probably at least tack him up and chase him around the round pen with the tack on, to see if he bucks again with it.  It's just a borrowed saddle, so I don't need the fit to be absolutely perfect, but I wonder if it's less perfect than it should be, and that's why he was bucking.

Anyway, I was also reading some professional blogs, and was reminded of the SMART acronym for goals:

So, a goal needs to be specific and not wishy-washy.  So for today, my biggest goal will be to not get further hurt, but regarding Trigger, will be to get him paying attention to me, and not the rest of the world, during our session.

It has to be measurable, which is hard with horse-related goals (unless it's to ride a certain number of miles, or time, or both), but let's say if he goes around the circle two times in a row with his attention clearly on me, we'll have reached our goal today (when the other gal was lunging him after he dumped me, his paying attention to her could have been measured in milliseconds, not full circles).

Goals need to be attainable--there's no point setting a goal you can't reach.  I think we can reach this goal, though I reserve the right to revise it when I get there.  :-)

The goal also needs to be realistic.  It needs to be something he and I are both capable of, and capable of reaching in a realistic amount of time.  This is the part of the acronym where you attain your long-term goals in baby steps.  A month from now, hopefully my goal for him paying attention to me will be much longer.  Since I don't know Trigger all that well yet, and also don't know how much of the episode on Thursday was due to his feed, due to tack fit, due to the overall situation of being new to the barn, etc., I'm reserving the right to revise it.  :-)

Timely means setting a timeframe for the goal.  My time frame is today, but for today, I'm not going to set a goal of a certain number of minutes--that's up to Trigger.  :-)

So, I'll update later with how SMART he and I were.  :-)


  1. Do you/does he lunge? I'd probably lunge him on a line, not free. You have a better chance of getting his attention that way and you have some feel of him. I am a fan of lunging until the ya-yas are gotten out. He's young and he's not been ridden in several days, right? I'd wear him out (I mean, within reason, of course) first.

    1. Yep, and yep. And yep, I agree. Update to follow in a new post. :-)