Happy New Year! It’s 2018 and that means it’s time to look ahead to the next twelve months, right? Actually I haven’t always been a “New Year’s Resolutions” kind of person. I think in the past I’ve been more of an “in-the-moment” type person, and although I love planning ahead, I haven’t been as structured as I could be when it comes to making resolutions and setting goals. That said, I did still accomplish a lot of “goals” last year as they came up. 🙂
This year though, I want to be more structured about a lot of things in my life, and setting riding goals is one aspect I’d like to focus on. My personal theme or motto for 2018 is “be the person you want to be”. That’s really broad and vague, but to me, it still means a lot. If I want to be a person who sets goals, then I need to put in the work and sit down and set those goals, and then put in more work to accomplish them.
For starters, I think it’s helpful to take a look back at what we’ve already accomplished. While I accomplished a lot, I also can recognize some areas where I struggled or maybe just skated by, and those are areas that I’d like to focus on working on for 2018. For example, Prada and I had a really successful show year, ribbon/award-wise, but I also know it was a struggle at times because of issues like lead changes, not having a strong enough leg, and my failure to make a decision affecting our distances to jumps at times.
So, 2018 goals for me and Prada:
- Work on our flying lead changes and also continue working on trying to land leads.
- Be more confident about finding the correct distances to jumps – either moving up or collecting, just make a decision and stick with it.
- Work on getting the stride instead of the add-step (maybe? Depends what Misty says).
- Maybe, hopefully move up to showing 2’3″ at our local shows. This will probably be dependent on getting our lead changes and the stride.
- Continue working on strengthening exercises in the saddle (for me), including more no-stirrup work.
- Get better at feeling which diagonal and lead I’m on instead of having to look.
- Make sure that even when we’re just doing flatwork, I’m riding with more purpose and actually getting Prada to move off my leg at a good pace, use her hind end, bend through corners, etc.
- Improve our transitions.
- Incorporate groundwork into our weekly routine.
- Go to our first rated show.
While I no longer jump, lesson, or compete with Bunny (unless someone decides to host some more Hunter Paces in our area!), I still plan on riding her this year, and do have some goals for us. They’re more relaxed than my goals with Prada, but I think it’s still important to have things to work towards.
So, my 2018 goals for me and Bunny:
- Hopefully go on some trail rides if I can find someone willing to go with and trailer us.
- Start incorporating more groundwork into our weekly routine.
- Spend more time together, even when not riding.
- Continue strengthening her topline (more time up and down hills outside the arena, especially).
- Go over poles/cavalettis like they’re not a big deal instead of going over them like they’re huge jumps.
I also have some goals for myself:
- Work on managing my show anxiety.
- Be my own advocate and know when to put my own well-being first so that I’m not running myself ragged before shows to help everyone else and then therefore jeopardizing my own wellness and ultimately show performance. (For example, I often wind up helping set up jumps, and then hurting my back, and then not being 100% on show day.) This includes actually going to bed early before horse shows.
- Keep better records/journals about my riding including exercise days, lessons, and shows.
- Blog more often and more regularly. Maybe start vlogging as well. Be more active on social media (this also goes for the AHJA Facebook and Instagram accounts that I’m now in charge of).
- Keep up with healthy eating habits and continue to increase exercise (besides just in the saddle).
- Actually sell all of the tack and clothes and other horse stuff that I’ve accumulated but don’t need.
- Attend more horse shows, clinics, demonstrations, etc as a spectator.
- Read more books and watch more videos on riding.
- Practice visualization.
- Learn as much as I can from my trainer and other knowledgeable horsepeople.
I hope 2018 will be a great year and a year of growth as I work on accomplishing all of my goals!