Well helllooooo 2019!
If you’re anything like me you went to bed last night long before the ball dropped, then woke up briefly after midnight to curse those “damn rednecks and their damn fireworks” and soothe some quivering dogs. Nah? Just me? Well ok then.
Anyway, now that 2019 is here, it’s time to think about what we want to do this year. I feel like last year went pretty well, with looser, lower-pressure goals that were more focused on the journey instead of very specific ends or accomplishments. I think we actually got more done in the long run, and I definitely enjoyed it a lot more. I still liked making goals, especially because by the time we got to the end of the year it was really fun to look back on them and see how much things had changed. It’s easy to forget how far you’ve come when you never look back on where you’ve been. So with that in mind, we’re going to make a few goals for 2019, but keep them pretty loose again, thinking more about the big picture.
Keep Henry happy – let’s be honest, at this point the horse owes me absolutely nothing. As long as he continues to enjoy his job, I’m happy to keep plugging along. But if he needs to take some breaks now and then to trail ride or ride bridleless or wander aimlessly around the field, then we’ll do it. His health and happiness are my #1 priority.
Moar Prelim – Assuming we continue on the same track, we’ll see how things play out as far as what we do and when and how. I’d rather err on the side of caution than push to do something that’s a bit beyond what we’re ready for, but I’m hoping to continue exploring our new level, learning, and making improvements.
Continuing education (unmounted) – I’ve made this a focus for the past few years, and it’s kind of like the more I get, the more I crave. I like the more formal educational opportunities (like auditing clinics, attending seminars, watching lectures, etc) but there are just as many less formal ones to be found anywhere and everywhere. I’ve devoted a lot of time to my spreadsheet of the bloodlines of top level event horses, it’s up to 15 tabs now with all kinds of information logged and tracked in it. To me it’s a little bit of a pet project, and it’s been really interesting. Everything is an educational opportunity if you want it to be.
Europe – alright for real, if I don’t get back to Europe this year, I’m going to be upset. I really want to see a few more stallions in person, especially Mighty Magic, and I’d love to tie some stud farm tours into another big event like Burghley, Bundeschampionate, or Lion d’Angers. To me it’s really nerdy and fun and fascinating and I freaking love it.
Be more positive/less self-deprecating – I mean I feel like this is kind of self-explanatory. It’s a tough one for me, because it’s much easier for me to see and focus on the things that went wrong or need work, and very much a conscious, continuous, concerted effort to be more positive-thinking. Even if it’s just shutting up and saying thank you when someone says something nice. It’s harder than it seems.
Volunteer – I have so much fun volunteering, and I think it’s really important to give back to the sport. I want to make an effort to volunteer as often as I possibly can. I don’t really have a set number in mind as far as hours, but if there’s a horse show happening and I’m available, I’ll volunteer.
End the year as a more educated rider than I began – I recognize that I’m in a phase right now where Henry is finally pretty “made” and I can really start to focus more on myself, both in and out of the saddle. After so many years of bringing up green horses on repeat, I find myself in uncharted territory for the first time in 15 years. Doing bigger and more difficult things than I’ve ever done before, or ever imagined doing. Challenging myself in ways I never thought I would. It’s uncomfortable and it’s awkward and the growing pains are real, and I LOVE IT. I’ve been given an opportunity here, and I don’t intend to waste it by feeling intimidated or afraid of failure.
Do some FEH – assuming he isn’t looking ugly as hell, I’d like to get Presto out to at least one FEH class again this year. I don’t really care how he scores or if he qualifies for Championships or not, although it would be cool if he did so I could continue to go support the new Central Championships. Mostly I just want to keep getting him out in the world and getting life experience, whatever that may look like, but it’s important to me to support to FEH program.
Get Presto more educated to the bridle – I don’t mean, like… going on contact or in side reins or any of that, he’s too young. I just want him to be totally comfortable wearing his bridle, and to be able to ground drive him with the long reins clipped to his bridle for steering, and have him be both good at it and happy about it. Just the very very very basics to prep him for what’s to come in 2020.
Get Presto gelded – The weather is really starting to piss me off with this. Seriously Texas, I just need like a 4-5 day stretch where we aren’t living in a mud pit but also it’s cold enough for the flies to be dead. Apparently that is a lot to ask, since I was literally spraying my mud-encrusted horses with fly spray yesterday. Reeeaaaaally hoping it’ll work out this month or next, because it has to. Once we hit March it starts getting hot again. And once he’s gelded he can start going out with other horses, instead of just his donkeys. I think he and Dobby will be GREAT FRIENDS.
What do you have in mind for 2019? Are you making goals, or just going with the flow?