Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Goals

Well here goes. Life is unpredictable and so I realize that all of these could be thrown out the window at any given time with absolutely no notice.

That said.

Goals are really important to me. I don't necessarily like them month to month, because so much of what I work on is... eh... non-linear? I don't know if I'll do something in a month, but I know that I can check to see if I'm generally trending up or down over the course of a year.

Without further preamble, here are my goals for 2016 that I think I can and want to accomplish on my less-green, still-OTTB somewhat-dressage horse who may or may not decide to play along on any given day.

1) Ride first level at a USDF recognized show.

This is a HUGE goal for us, and it's really hit or miss. There is only one local recognized show, which of course is at the beginning of the show year. I want to put a bunch of caveats on this, but it's the #1 thing driving me to work through the winter right now. Now it's out there.

I want it.

2) Get bronze-qualifying scores (60% or better) at first level at a GMO recognized show. 

I'd really, Really, REALLY like to do this at the USDF show, but it will be my first-ever USDF show and his first time ever at that big facility and GOD ONLY KNOWS what will happen there. Fingers crossed it's good.

So. Bronze scores. Want.

3) School second level moments at home in lessons/clinics. 

We want to keep moving up, obviously.

4) Jump a 2'3" - 2'6" course at home and have a good time. 

I like jumping. Courage likes jumping. Hopefully, all this dressage will make him a rideable and enjoyable horse to jump. If not, I can live with that, but let's at least give it another year.

5) Ride bareback in a halter.

Insane? Yes. But I've always wanted a horse who could do this and I want Courage to be this horse and if it's 105f in the middle of summer, maybe this isn't a terrible idea? In the round pen? Anyone?

6) Audit a BNT (dressage) clinic. 

This is two fold--I want to start developing a list of accessible(ish) (to me) BNTs to ride with and watch in case Courage and I reach a point where that would be useful and I want to get myself more exposed to high level dressage training. Different trainers have different systems and I want to start getting a feel for what might work for Courage if/when it ever comes up.

7) Attend two upper-level equestrian events. Grand Prix jumping or dressage, advanced eventing, International Hunter derby.

Again, this is to get ME out and exposed to high caliber competition. Plus it's fun. What's not to love?


I just really want to do this.

10) Qualify to make a freestyle at first level. 

That's 60%+ on 1-3, correct? I don't know that I actually want to do a freestyle, but it's good incentive to ride all the tests.

And then...


10) Do a 2nd level test at a schooling show at the end of the year. 

I can't get this one out of my brain. It's unlikely, but why not stick it here.

11) Ride at a jumping show intentionally and go over something more than a ground pole, intentionally.

I don't know about this one, but if Courage is rideable and fun at home, it might be worth a shot. Or maybe not. We'll find out.

Phew. I think 11 goals is enough. That's basically a goal for every month with one month off for unexpected crap that always happens. (I mean, obviously I won't just do one thing a month and most of those goals are multi-month endeavors. Just counting numbers here.)

Crazy? Achievable? The WORST IDEA EVER? I guess we'll find out. I'll make a tab to stick these in for reference all year long. I'm a little bit sick in the pit of my stomach, which I think means I'm excited.


  1. Totally achievable! Even if this Hunter Princess cringes at the flatwork required to show at second level.

  2. You can do it. Around here we have lots of recognized shows, so it would be a lot easier for you. However, I am sure you are going to get that first level test under your belt. Go for it.

  3. Sometimes for me nerves and butterflies of excitement feel the exact same, like before XC ;) Can't wait to watch you work on these goals this year!

  4. Sounds challenging, but not impossible! Or imprisonment, like autocorrect really wanted me to say instead of impossible. (Dumb autocorrect.) I'm rooting for you!

    Having a horse that I can bareback ride in a halter with little passengers in front of me without the slightest hesitation about safety... I can tell you that it is one of the best, greatest horse things ever. I'd choose a hundred of those rides over a satin ribbon any day of the week. Or at least I think I would. I haven't actually gotten a ribbon in order to compare the feelings. But still. Equine heaven. I hope you and Courage can get there. (Though not necessarily with little passengers riding with you.)

  5. Sounds totally doable... go for eeet!


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