Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Goals

There isn't a whole lot of recap I can do on my 2014 goals. Basically every goal I had set up for O - namely training her as an event horse, and doing endurance - all got shut down in the early part of the year. By June I knew I wasn't going to do either. Some days I really miss eventing - and riding in general, since I haven't been doing much of that at all - but some days I don't. For instance, today I decided that I REALLY wanted to ride for some reason. I really just had the itch! I got out my tack, hopped on O - mind you, I haven't ridden her in 6 months - and off we went. And... it sucked. It was awful. My leg was screaming in pain. My horse was every bit as difficult and irritating as I remembered her to be. She was thoroughly annoyed with me, and I with her. She was much better than she could have been, for sure - we stayed on a 20 meter circle and just trotted around for awhile, and she stayed quiet and relaxed. This horse usually can't even keep her brain together on a 20 meter circle at all, so this was an improvement of sorts. But she was not happy, I was in serious pain, and while it was somewhat fun, it was absolutely not remotely something I'd like to do again tomorrow, not on your life. There is no way my leg can hold up to this kind of stress at the moment, and for a horse as tricky and complicated as O, if I can't be the best rider I can be, it's not fair to try and insist that she be the best riding horse that she can be.

We might not be riding more anytime soon, but driving is all kinds of amazing fun, and is super hard and challenging and complicated - all things that keep me interested and thirsty for more. I think O will do really well in this sport... it really suits her, and she is a buttermouthed dream to drive.

The only 2014 goal that I really, really succeeded in was letting go of my guilt. I used to operate on guilt - feeling guilty for not riding/working my horse every second I had the chance, feeling guilty for not spending enough time with dogs/cats/people/whatever, feeling guilty for spending money on this thing but not that thing... you get the picture. My whole life was ruled by it, and it was unhealthy. There is a certain amount of pressure you need to put on yourself in order to succeed, but there is definitely a level of taking it too far and bullying yourself about things. I don't really understand how I did it, but I let it all go, and I've never felt freer. It's okay to hang out and sit on my butt on the couch sometimes, the dog aren't going to die if they don't go for a walk every single day, and given my schedule I am very happy to get O worked 4 (and maybe sometimes 5) days a week. There is no reason to beat myself up over things I can't control, and there is no reason to feel bad about the choices I make, so long as I try to always make the best one that I can for the situation.  It's very liberating - between that and eliminating the things that stress me out most, I've done an awful lot towards making my life very enjoyable. And I do enjoy it, every day of it now! 2014 was great, and I think 2015 will be even better.

My horse-related goals are a lot more specific and goal-driven this year than they were last year. I'm not including personal or business goals here, but I have a number of those too, all of which will be achievable if I put my mind to it.

2015 Horse-Related Goals:

1) Have a healthy, happy, bouncing baby horse!
Obviously, fate can play a huge part in whether or not your baby makes it through the first year alive and in one piece - or any year, really - but my goal is to have a happy, healthy munchkin. We are officially at 240 days today and I am so excited!!

2) Compete in the Three Amigos Challenge
We don't have a lot in the way of combined driving down here, but we do have the Three Amigos Challenge. This consists of three different driving trials - two in the spring, one in the fall. The fall one is an actual CDE but I believe the two spring ones are just HDTs or ADTs, it isn't clear which (actually I even saw one listed as a pleasure show... I hope not!) I'd like to do all three at Training level, if possible. As a sub-category of this, I want to be able to put together a nice dressage test, a clean cones course, and a confident marathon - I just need to learn more about all of these things to make more attainable goals about them!

3) Compete in local pleasure shows/NTW Games Days
The calendar is again unclear on how many pleasure shows we actually have in this area. Driving just isn't that big of a thing down here... we may only have one ADS pleasure show the entire year, and nobody seems to know if there are schooling shows. I do know for a fact that there are four NTW Games Days like the two I competed in during the fall - and you can bet I'll be at all of them if possible!

4) Hone and improve my reinsmanship and general driving knowledge, all year long!
Driving is still very new to me, and there is so much to learn! I plan on spending the year soaking up as much information as possible, taking lessons and classes anytime I can, and trying to make myself a better whip.

I think I will alter these goals along the way, and see where we are quarterly throughout the year. I may want to add some things as we go - I need to have goals beyond competition ones!


  1. I hope you able to free yourself of guilt. No one can make you feel guilty but yourself...and you definitely deserve to be free of that. Sending best wishes for the new baby and honestly, I so admire your new driving skills. Excited to follow you guys this year!

  2. I need to figure out he to let go of the guilt too. I know exactly the feelig you're talking about. If ya'll do any driving stuff within an hour or so of Austin let me know. I'd love to come photograph.

  3. I struggle with guilt too (I balance managing a herd of three and I always feel like someone is getting the short end of the stick). Your 2015 goals are awesome! Can't wait to see the bouncy baby :)

  4. congrats on a solid 2014 - seems like it far exceeded expectations (or completely blew the expectations out of the water lol). good luck immersing yourself into the world of driving this year - excited to see how it goes!!

  5. I'm so excited for the baby pony!!

  6. Ugh I do that guilt thing too where I beat myself up if I don't work my horse every day that the weather is nice. Congrats on beating the guilt! I've heard said that guilt is a truly useless emotion. It serves no purpose at all. So I'm going to try to let myself off the hook and stop making myself feel guilty too, especially for the stuff I can't even control (control freak much? me? yeah....). With a guilt free attitude 2015 is going to be amazing! I can't wait to see what all you accomplish and I can't wait for the baby!!! Also I don't remember if I asked or not, but is your leg injury something permanent? I hope it's not and that it heals quickly. Chronic pain is awful!