Thursday, December 17, 2015

2015 Goal Wrap Up!

Some of you set monthly goals, and I think that's cool. I set annual goals, because that's about all I can keep up with. It's late enough in the year and we have nothing else planned in the way of clinics or shows or accomplishments, so let's take a look at the goals I set for this year and how we measured up.

1) Compete at two dressage shows (schooling shows count) with Courage. Me riding. Don't care what level. Complete test and stay in the ring.

SUCCESS!! We knocked this one out of the park, I think. We did the schooling dressage show, the GMO rated dressage show, and then at least 1-2 more schooling shows. As of this writing, we have completed 6 different USDF tests in the show arena this year. Damn son. That is a lot of memorizing.\\

2) Attend two jumping shows with Courage. Don't have to compete. Do have to hack around warm up.

Oh you BET YOUR ASS I'm counting this. We did 3 (count 'em) event derbies. I do not even care that they were over ground poles. I rode in jump tack and it was in a field. Success.

this was not an event derby, but it's cute
3) Comfortably jump around a 2'6" course at home, including oxers and spooky fill.

This did not happen. We did haul to our old barn and jump around a 2' course with oxers and fill (or maybe just fill) at the end of the summer, so that's like 50% success, right? I give myself half credit.

4) Pop over the occasional 3' (or better) single. 

Nope. Did not happen. This goal was contingent on #3 being a thing and while a very big part of me wants to set a grid in the indoor just so we can say we did this, that's probably not a responsible idea. The point isn't to do it once and be terrified--the point was to develop consistency and push ourselves. We did that, but not with fences.

5) Get out on the trails. Courage is brave and willing. I want him comfortable solo and in groups.

Big, fat fail on this one. My barn is land locked and I don't have a trailer. We tried to schedule trail rides twice, but neither one worked out for various reasons. I do need to be more consistent about this--I like horses to understand it's a big world so that the little sandbox never looks like it's going to eat them. This needs to be improved.

We did hack in the fields a lot this summer and Courage learned to walk over the tiny ditch without running backwards and spinning, but that doesn't really count.

6) Ride bitless. I dunno. Just want to try it and have an english hackmore, so might as well.

CHECK. This we did a few times. Nothing too exciting, but that's the point. We toodled and it was fun. We used the mechancial hack I bought for no reason and had a good time.

7) Take 1-2 lessons a month so I'm not just stalling out without help.

SUCCESS. This has been a game changer for us this year. I am really, really good at doing homework, but I need consistent eyes on the ground to tell me what homework to do as I learn a whole new feel for a whole new discipline.

8) Travel to one out of state show to see either upper level eventing or grand prix showjumping.

SUCCESS!! I attended the Evergreen Classic to watch Grand Prix jumpers with a friend and it was super fun. This is definitely something I want to build on in the future--high performance in any discipline is inspiring.

Reach Goals: 

9) Jump double clear around a stadium course at 2' or better in a show.

No. We re-directed mid year sometime and decided to be dressage queens instead of jumpers/eventers. If you look at #3, you'll realize that we jumped around a 2' course at "not our home barn", but it had very little in common with a show. This didn't happen and won't happen this year.

10) Score 65% or better on a training level dressage test.

SUCCESS!! We rocked a 67% on training 2 at the GMO-recognized show and equaled that on training 3 at our last schooling show (which was also our first attempt at training 3).

And Bonus Goal:

11) Ride in either of the H/J shows at the end of the summer.

Fail. In fairness, I was helping organize these shows and the second one that we might have been ready to hack around at was the same weekend as our last event derby. I couldn't do everything, so I opted to not do this.
you haven't seen this picture in a while

I'm beginning to wonder if any year goes the way we think it will--I started the year as a jumper rider looking to do a little dressage and ended it as a dressage rider who likes to jump a little on the side. I'm really looking forward to setting next year's goals--dressage is a whole new world for us and there are some exciting opportunities I want to pursue.

Looking back, this year had some very high highs and some very low lows. I was THISCLOSE to selling Courage in May, but we got it together and went on to win the first tri color of my riding career. On paper, we may not be the most successful team out there, but our progress was huge on a personal level.

Goals met=6.5/11.


  1. You ticked some pretty big boxes! Goals Review is the post I have drafted for tomorrow, too. ;)

  2. Regardless of the number you give yourself I think you should count this year as a huge success, because you and your horse are happy, healthy, and having fun. I can't wait to see what your 2016 goals are!

  3. I think being able to cross so many off after deciding to redirect to a new discipline is pretty amazing!

  4. You had an INCREDIBLE year! Both you and Courage grew so, so much and your relationship really blossomed after going through a serious rough patch. You should be really, really proud of yourself.

  5. Great job! You were 100% successful because you guys found your happy place!

  6. Congratulations! You both worked very hard and deserved success

  7. This year was such a journey for you and courage, regardless of what goal score you gave yourself, you should consider yourselves champions!

  8. i'm beginning to think that some of the most important and best moments in my riding life don't exactly 'look good on paper' - and that actually doesn't bother me in the least. i'm so happy you and Courage have gotten to where you are today, with lots to look forward to tomorrow and in the future! (also fwiw i definitely consider hacking out in fields as somewhat trail-ride-adjacent. it's the thought that counts lol)

  9. It NEVER goes the way you think it will. Ever. Makes me wonder why I meticulously plan out my show seasons every winter, when my plans inevitably deteriorate before my eyes. This summer, my show season had 4 separate derailments. It was supposed to start in Feb, but a major trailering accident on our way down to NC derailed that plan. Then, our first show at home in May got cancelled due to a case of inconveniently timed cellulitis. Once my horse recovered from that, our barn had a strangles outbreak and I had to move the horses to my parent's place to be quarantined for 2 months. Once that was over, we had 1 show before I got bucked off a three year old and sustained a major concussion, which meant my show season didn't actually start till near the end of August. The worst part is that this year wasn't really that much worse than past years in terms of show seasons not going according to plan... Or maybe the worst part is that as soon as the 2016 omnibus came out I went ahead and scheduled next year's show season. Clearly I don't learn from my mistakes!

    1. This is the second time ever I've planned to go to shows and actually did.


      So the fact they were not the shows I was expecting is really not that bad.

  10. Awesome year! Have loved reading about all your adventures. And disciplines changed. Pair was supposed to be my fancy dressage horse, but she taught me how to jump again. LOVE Courage!


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