2015 arrived on schedule despite my resistance and attempts to the contrary. 2015. Why did you have to come so soon? I need more time to get ready to graduate and start my life, please. I did get up early this morning and promptly turned on the George Morris Horsemastership live streaming on USEA network, which inspired me to be more George-like and make some goals.
Show 2’6″, 2’9″, and 3′ — I used to think it was really silly to set height goals, but now I think I might have been wrong. Murray and I have successfully coursed 3’3″ at home, and while we aren’t ready to bust out at the 3′ level tomorrow, we’re certainly on our way to refining courses at that height. It’s also a bit of a psychological hurdle for me — I’ve never shown above 2’7″! I don’t need to win the class, I just want to be under optimum time with no rails or refusals. Not too much to ask, right?
Show Beginner Novice and finish on my dressage score — We had our BN debut last year at an event derby, and while it was fairly successful, it’s not the same as doing a full BN horse trials. All three phases, baby! I am extremely fortunate that Murray is so honest, and so far I’ve been able to pretty much avoid refusals and rails in XC and stadium, so I’m looking to finish on my dressage score at least once this year.
Go to a rated show — I’ve never been to a rated show! What! So I’m going to be a big girl and get myself to at least one. I’ve got my sights set on a local rated one-day event in May at Woodland Stallion Station, and a not-quite-local three-day event in August at Woodside. One-day events terrify me, it seems like there’s just SO MUCH to do in one day, and I already get a pretty epic horse show hangover after a couple of jumper classes, so I honestly can’t imagine how I’d perform doing dressage, XC, and stadium all in one day. Showing at Woodside is a super big goal of mine, and my parents would get to watch so…. putting it down.
Show training level dressage — I’m not sure this is in the budget, but I’m throwing it in my goals anyway. There are lots of local schooling shows, and I am relatively confident that I could have a good time even if my trainer didn’t come to coach (not that I don’t need her, just that there aren’t really any obstacles I can crash through spectacularly, except maybe the judges’ booth…). M and I really need to practice dressaging away fro home, and there’s always an added element of scariness when there’s a human judging you, so I do really want to get to some judged dressage events and avoid adding new moves.
Dressage, dressage, dressage! — I struggled with what I wanted to “title” this goal, but I basically have a whole collection of little dressage goals I want to meet. Lengthening and collection, true stretchy trot and canter, relative elevation, lateral work (maybe even a little HALF PASS?!), counter canter, voltes, and flying changes. All while staying supple, through, and building strength!
Hammer down M’s feeding regime — I kinda play it by ear with how I feed Murray, combining a complete feed with barley and oil and supplements. I want to really figure out what I’m supplementing him with, grain wise, and make sure he has all the nutrients and minerals he needs to grow up big and strong.
Increase Murray’s confidence and independence — I’ve been working with Murray on “independence exercises”, essentially rewarding him for keeping his cool both when he’s challenged and when he’s not. The idea is that by creating a more independent and confident horse, I’m going to also make a less spooky and panicky horse, thus improving his overall attitude. Sounds dreamy, right?
No-stirrups and sit the trot weekly — I think this one is pretty self explanatory; George would approve.
If he can do no stirrups on someone else’s horse, I have literally no excuse.
Improve my cardio fitness — I work on this every year, and every winter I slump a bit thanks to the holidays and show season winding down/going away. But every year I aim to be able to run the XC courses that I’m asking Murray to carry me over. Just think that’s fair.
GRADUATE — Very sadly, my PhD is coming to a close. I just need to bang out three chapters and file that baby and that will be totally easy… However, I do need to do this. And I’ll get to wear the fancy wizard robes + hood when I do.
Get a job — You know, after I graduate. This goal is too scary to think about much.
Make a budget for
riding LIFE and stay within it — Can you believe I’ve never properly done this? Last year I kinda put a limit on how much money I could spend on my horse stuff each month and promptly BLEW THROUGH IT monthly. Because I’m so terrible at budgeting in that way, I’m going to keep myself accountable with a paper budget. aka Balancing my checkbook.
Be less judgmental — I am a crazy judgmental bitch, though I keep a lot of it in my head, which is probably my only redeeming quality. However, I’d like to be less judgmental, even in my head, and make a change toward being a kinder person.
Train Ellie to heel and accept nail trimming — Ellie’s two worst things. I’ve been ignoring them for ages, and I can’t neglect them any more. Adorable as she is.
Keep blogging regularly! — Just the one big goal for the blog, really. I’ve had a lot of fun pushing myself to post a few times a week for the last two months, so I’m going to keep it up for 2015. I’ll probably pepper in some stories from Kenya and Congo, keep up with the riding stories, and maybe even make an about me page someday.