There seems to be a bit of a “I didn’t quite hit my goals” this year epidemic in the blog-o-sphere. Add me to that club for sure.
Before going over these in detail, I knew that there was the potential for me to get bummed. However, L. Williams told me that we should never reach all of our goals… that means we’re not reaching high enough. This year, I reached pretty high.
2013 gave me the confidence that I had a nice horse, I was a decent rider and I deserved to reach for the stars. 2014 has taught me that reaching for the stars is great, but it’s not going to be easy to get there. Not easy at all, but worth it one day. Enough philosophical talk… let’s get on with it.
Equestrian Goals for Me
- Post the trot for five minutes without stirrups – Whomp whomp. While I am much stronger than I was last year, I didn’t make this a priority this year and therefore there was no chance of any follow through happening.
- Be able to braid tails well enough for A shows – Ding ding! I’m going to give this a “halfway achieved.” I have practiced braiding tails a bit, and they are way better. I think once Simon’s previously rubbed tail head grows out than I will be able to nail it.
- Make improvements in not getting frustrated with my horse and/or riding – Ding ding! Overall, this is is hugely improved. Last winter, I felt like 75% of my flat by myself days were abysmal. This year I am getting far less frustrated with Simon, and learning to be more patient about our progress on the flat and over fences. I am still overly hard on myself and my riding.
- Compete in the local 2’6″ hunter derby and execute (well) at least one handy or high option – Ding ding! Success! We did two high options, and finished on a score of 62.
- Qualify for the 2’6″ medal at the year end show – Whomp whomp. It became pretty clear to me that this goal had 0 chance of happening. I would have had to show all year in the 2’6″ hunters, and realistically we’re just in the bottom (or out of ) the ribbons in that division now. Is what it is!
Goals for Simon
- Open up his stride and stop doing the ads – Ding ding! Big success here. Though we aren’t perfect all of the time, when I ride properly Simon has really learned that he’s expected to go long from time to time and not always squeeze just one more in. Granted, there is still room for improvement here, but we’ve – forgive the pun – made huge strides this year in this area.
- Reliably get leads over the fence – Whomp whomp. I didn’t work on this enough. Going to keep this as a goal for next year, because it’s going to be key for our hunter derby outings 🙂
- Reduce his anxiety with flatwork – Ding ding! Huge improvement. Flatting is still a source of anxiety for Simon and I, but the anxiety now shows up with lateral work and canter transitions. His trot work is super relaxed and we’ve even been known to have a nice canter to trot transition these days. I now enjoy “dressage days” instead of dread them!
- Make it through a flat class with no explosions – Whomp whomp. Well truthfully I only showed one flat class this year. While it was one of our better ones, he did break from the trot to canter and he also came up lame in the middle of the class. So… I’m not sure I can safely say this was a success.
- Stay sound – Whomp whomp. HAHA. Aren’t I funny?
- End 2014 with 0 credit card debt – Ding ding! Though currently I have a balance on my card, it’s all carefully budgeted Christmas money. I am really proud of myself in the financial department, because I paid off some big vet bills (full disclosure, my mom helped :)), a new saddle, a vacation and the debt I started the year off with. Ass pats to me. Next year I’ll be able to finally buy some breeches.
- Lose 20 lbs – Whomp whomp. I briefly tried, but I’ve decided that my happiness doesn’t need to be defined by a number on the scale. I want to be healthy and active, but I’m over beating myself up about this. You won’t see this on my goal list ever again.
- Find more balance with riding and “real” life – Mixed success? I’m still pretty hot and cold with horses. Hot and ALL I want to do is ride and show. Cold and I just want to hang out with my husband and watch Netflix. I don’t really know where I stand on trying to find that ideal balance.
- Be more enthusiastic about my real job – I started managing this year, which is cool. Otherwise? Meh.
- Train Pascale as well as I trained Eliot – I trained her to cuddle really well?
- Take more pictures – I started off strong in the photo department, but tapered off. Still want to make this a priority for next year.
Now that I write these out, they aren’t as dramatically bad as I thought they would be. Essentially, I didn’t have the best show year numbers wise… but we all know that shows don’t really define us as equestrians and as people. I came a long way this year in a lot of areas, and still have lots of personal growing to do.