Foster’s Diary

In regrettable testament to the fact that I probably inherited both parents’ Type A personalities, I keep a diary for Foster. Even though this blog had been a wonderful exercise in tracking how things are going, overall success, stupid failures, and everything in between, it can be hard to really get an overall picture of what we’re up to.


Back in November, I decided that if I was going to think about moving up, then I really needed to hold myself accountable to how much I was riding him and preparing him for the things I would ask. Enter the diary.

And by diary, I really mean Google calendar.

Every day I ride, I insert a little placeholder for that day and in a few words, describe what happened. Did I jump, did I ask for collection, was he super pissy, etc etc. Everything gets labeled yellow so that I can go back and very quickly see how often I am riding in general.


As you can see, now that I am several months into this practice, the diary reveals a lot. It’s how I realized how under-prepared we were with jumping going into the February clinic, and is a pretty good indicator of when the ulcer behavior hit its peak.


Ulcer behavior in caveman terms such as “Super pissed dressage” and “Foster jump no good”, followed by his two weeks off

It also shows just how shitty February really was for us.

Very little yellow here.

Very little yellow here.

As we get more and more fit, I hope the calendar will start to reflect truly 5 rides a week, and that two of those be jump schools. This has been a tool that has been vastly helpful and gives me lots of fodder for analyzing why things are going as they are.


Do any of you document your daily rides? Do you keep a calendar in your head or do you use some other device? Or am I reaching for a whole new level of crazy here?


14 thoughts on “Foster’s Diary

  1. I totally Type A in just about everything. I track all my rides in the iPhone app Day One. I take a picture during my time at the barn (visual memory here!) and write up a minimum of three things about the ride. Sometimes my write ups are incredibly detailed. Sometimes they are more like “1. Horse an ass. 2. No turning left. 3. Spiraling hissy fit. Left it alone for another day.” or “1. Went galloping. 2. So fun. 3. Love TBs.”

  2. I keep a draft blog post of my rides. Same thing, short little notes. But I like the calendar idea to see a better picture of the whole like yours. Hmmm maybe I will put my desk calendar to use like that? I also have gone back and forth if I should include when I play online and what we do. So much to think about! 😉

    • The days that I lunged only I include on the calendar- these days are few and far between but are still an indication of “work” and his general attitude… I would think your online sessions are much the same 😀

  3. i love this idea – especially the added perk of visualization over time of how things are going (or are not going, as the case may be). my blog is very much a diary style record of our rides, tho admittedly it misses some things… i just really doubt my ability to maintain a record like your calendar. glad it’s working for you tho!

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