While I feel like I could have done a better job with thinking through the actual POINT behind some of my 2017 goals, overall I thought it was a pretty successful year in a lot of ways. Mostly in that I really managed to find the FUN part of riding and showing again, by learning to relax a lot more. Granted, it took a lot of conscious effort to do that. I am an overly competitive person, so I realized that when I give myself grandious, very specific goals I tend to get so focused on them that I lose sight of everything else. I didn’t set any last year and I’m not setting any this year either.
Instead I’m going to focus more on doing things that a) make us better, b) enrich our relationship, c) are FUN. I’m not even gonna sit down and try to plot out a show season… we’ll go to whatever shows work out best, whichever and whenever those may be. It’s kinda liberating. But just because I’m taking that kind of stuff out doesn’t mean that I don’t still have some big goals for myself and/or Henry and/or Presto.
Improve the stadium – I don’t want to say “x number of clear rounds” because my clear rounds in 2017 were probably my worst-ridden. Luck shouldn’t count towards checking off a goal, and success can’t really be measured by what’s on paper. So really, I just want to smooth out the stadium, do more thinking instead of reacting, and help my horse out a bit more.
Do a couple Prelim CT’s – for funsies, right? Honestly though I just really like the new 2018 Prelim A dressage test and I wanna ride it. Who am I? I dunno.
More foxhunting – LOVED IT. MUST DO IT AGAIN. For real though, aside from just being fun, I think it’s really good conditioning for both me and Henry.
Attend another big horse event – Crossing off Bundeschampionate was awesome last year, so I’d like to cross off another one this year. My #1 choice is Lion d’Angers in France for the 6 and 7yo eventing world championships. If I can’t wrangle that, my second choice would be Fair Hill (YEH champs again?), then Kentucky or WEG.
Get my volunteer hat – our “home” (if you consider home to be a place that’s 2 hours away) venue has a really cool volunteer program that gives you perks as you accumulate work hours – key chain, hat, belt, cup, etc. It’s not really about the hat, it’s about the idea of giving back to the sport, but if I can put in enough hours to make it to the hat level, I’ll be satisfied with my time invested as a volunteer. Last year was the first year I’ve really made much effort to volunteer, and it really highlighted it’s importance to me. Our sport simply cannot exist without our volunteers, so I need to do my part.
Jump the stupid giant Texas Flag table at MCP – the wagon at Pine Hill was my “big scary” nemesis jump before, but now that we jumped that and lived to tell the tale, I’m shifting my focus to the even bigger, even scarier Texas flag table at MeadowCreek. It’s just Prelim, but it looks like a friggin house. It’s not really about the act of jumping the stupid thing, it’s about the confidence and ability that it takes to do it. I know there isn’t anything Prelim-sized that Henry can’t jump, so it’s about time to strap on the big girl panties and make that thing my bitch.
Move Presto closer to me – once he’s gelded, and assuming I can find somewhere budget-friendly yet still safe to put him. That’s been the real challenge. Board is stupid expensive around here. I really want to get him ponying off of Henry so he can start going on adventures, but first I have to actually GET HIM HERE, so we’ll make that one the real goal and worry about the rest later.
End 2018 as a better rider than I started 2018 – I thought about some of the things I want to improve, like keeping my shoulders back, or looking up, or keeping my wrists straight, or any of the endless list of things I’m constantly working on. But really the point of all of those things is to ride better, and every day I make an effort to do them, chipping away at the bad habits. I have no expectations of fixing all my flaws, that’s hilarious and delusional, but if I can end the year doing those things better on a consistent basis, I’ll be happy with that.
Keep running – I’ve been back into the running thing for a year and half now, but I feel like if I don’t put it here then I won’t keep doing it. I don’t actually like it, but it’s important, so I need to do it.
Enjoy the journey – No matter what we end up doing with horse shows or lessons or clinics or whatever, I really just want to have fun with my horses and enjoy them. Because of that, I’m not making any goals about attending X number of shows, or winning any ribbons, or qualifying for anything. Those things aren’t why I ride, so they shouldn’t be my focus. If they happen – bonus! If they don’t, I still get to enjoy the bestest horse in the world, and that’s a win in and of itself. I need to remember to always keep my perspective.