2016 goals

I didn’t actually do an altogether terrible job of accomplishing my 2015 goals, and I found that setting goals was very helpful to my overall progress.  It was an overarching trajectory that I could (sometimes) see myself traveling in.  So here we go: goals for 2016!


My BIG goal for my relationship with Murray this year is to keep learning from him, as he’s quite a capable teacher when he wants to be.  However, that’s a rather nebulous goals, so I do have some more concrete goals to keep me on track.

wp-1449989989647.jpgKeep Murray’s health and wellbeing a priority — I try hard to do this, but sometimes I get caught up in my own goals.  Honestly, some of the way I treated Murray this year was not in his best interest (coughafterCamelotcough), and I want to really keep myself in check here and make sure that what I’m doing is benefitting HorseyBoy at all times.

(Dignity is, of course, something that needn’t be prioritized.)

Increase Murray’s strength and suppleness — One of the major things holding Murray and I back in dressage is his overall stiffness.  I think that increasing his muscling correctly and teaching him how to open up his joints, especially behind, will really help him be more comfortable using his body and with the work I will be asking him to do.

Keep working on Murray’s behavior away from home — we are almost a good show horse.  Almost.  Just got a few kinks to iron out.

Show 2’9, 3′ and go clear the first time around — I know that Murray and I are more than capable of coursing at these heights, but what I really need to work on is giving Murray the guidance and support he needs to confidently course these heights smoothly.  So that’s the goal.

Show Beginner Novice and end on my dressage score — I did this in 2015 and I want to repeat it in 2015.  Seems reasonable.

camelotfallIdeally no more of this. There’s only so much white breeches can take!

Show First level dressage — Murray and I have almost all the movements for at least 1-1 and 1-2 in the bag, so I should be able show at this level.  Most important for me will be staying relaxed through these tests and not having a meltdown at the show!

Attend a rated dressage show — And maybe show first level?

Show at two new venues this year — Part of getting Murray really comfortable with showing will be visiting other venues, so I need to expand my comfort zone and go to some new places!

Move up to Novice — This is a stretch goal for the end of the year. I want to get Murray and myself so thoroughly comfortable at BN that there won’t be any horrible surprises at Novice.  Yes, yes, I know a new level of showing always brings with it new challenges, but I mean things like announcers and jump judges and fences on terrain in general should not be the biggest challenge of the show.

IMG_3485I mean, we’re clearly capable of the jumping part…


Learn to sit the trot — MIL decreed that at least 50% of my rides need to be sitting now, so 2016 going to be the year I learn to sit the trot.

Even out my hands — I am majorly right-rein dependent, probably due to being right handed.  This is not good for riding.  Time to even out those babies.

12166369_10153008549506568_2105071803_nElastic elbows, consistent rein length — I am also a huge fan of too-long reins.  No more, I say!  Along with this comes elastic elbows.

Learn how to ride like Hawley Bennett — HB and I have similar-ish body shapes, so she’s something of my riding idol.  I’d like to start to develop the quiet, quick, and effective, independent seat that makes HB such an amazing equestrian.

Precision — More precision in 2016.  I’m not sure how to quantify this, but I am very intent on becoming a more precise rider.


Pay off the credit card — time to get that bitch gone.  I’ve lived essentially without a credit card the last two months and it’s had a huge positive influence on my spending.

Create a budget, stay within it — likewise, living without CCs for two months showed me that I really can rein my personal spending waaaay in.  Time to be a responsible adult about my money management.

image (1)Be able to run 3 miles without wanting to kill myself getting winded —  I can certainly, definitely, probably, almost run 3 miles now, especially if I were highly motivated (running from zombies, etc.). I am not a big fan of running, but I acknowledge that it is one of the best ways to build cardiovascular fitness.  I would like to be able to run 3 miles and not be winded


Get rich or die tryin’ Develop a steady source of adult-adjacent income  — I WILL be graduating this year, but some of my job goals are a little nebulous due to personal changes.  However, I know I can scrape together income from here and there that will be a reasonable living and salary and support myself and HorseyBoy.

Sell the horse — not Murray! Peanut is still looking for her person, and while I’m having fun riding her and letting others rider her, she is for sale…


I had a ton of fun with my Zen Baby Horse blog this year, and I want to keep having fun and posting regularly through 2016.  But I also want to develop the blog.  More entertaining posts?  More commenting?  My own domain name?  A fabulous new product that we all love and adore?

Develop NorCal OTTB blog into something more — I want to make the NorCal OTTB blog a resource that encourages participation from OTTB owners, and simultaneously provides an engaging, interesting, useful resource.  Is that too much to ask?  I’m going to try to write on there much more regularly in 2016.