Saturday, January 14, 2012

Squeezing in horse time, and keeping records

I've been too busy to blog, but I have been squeezing in some horse time here and there.  On Tuesday I was able to hop on Panama bareback for about 30 minutes.  It was the first time in a week that I'd ridden, and he was fairly well behaved considering that fact — no silly behavior, and for the most part remembered to maintain a nice calm trot (after lots of tug-of-war, he has finally learned to trot more slowly when I'm bareback and sitting the trot).  We did have to work on not speeding up in one certain spot, and we worked a lot on not cutting the corners in our small indoor arena (something we also worked on, with my trainer's guidance, during our lesson last week).

On Friday I groomed Rondo, walked him a bit, and managed about 5 minutes of lunging (sadly, no time for more).  Since we didn't have much time, we only worked to the left, his worse side.  He kicked out once, spun around, and tried to run away, but I didn't let go of the line and he stopped after a moment.  After that he tried (or threatened) one more time, but I scolded him and he straightened out.  I thought our last few laps were pretty decent, but I was out of time so we had to stop.  Trying to cram some work in before my doctor's appointment was really more for me than for him, I think, so I wouldn't continue feeling so much like I'm ignoring him — but I'd like to think he still benefited from it.

I've also discovered a new way to keep track of my work with each horse — something that will always be with me.  When we started training Panama, I kept a little notebook in my car, but stopped using it after a while.  Now that Rondo is starting out, I wanted to start keeping records for both horses, but I wanted something a little more tech-savvy, so I started browsing iPhone apps.

The dedicated horse apps didn't seem to be what I really wanted, which was just a calendar-based journal so that I could make entries with information on what we worked on, my notes, etc.  Then I thought to search for diary apps, and discovered My Daily Journal, an iPhone app that is basically just what I needed.  I can view the calendar and see at a glance what days I did stuff with the horses, tap on a date to see a list of entries, and tap on an entry to read about what we worked on.  I can also search entries, use pictures as backgrounds for individual entries, export entries as PDFs, and back up in Dropbox

My Daily Journal app for keeping track of horseback rides and horse training

My Daily Journal app for keeping 
track of horseback rides and horse training

Typing on the little touch screen isn't as easy as on the computer, of course, but I like it better than keeping a notebook — I can back it up, and it's always with me, regardless of which car I'm driving or whether I'm actually at the barn.  Lots of awesome for only $1.99!



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