Part of me was mulling over what I wanted to accomplish, and the other part was nagging that some things may be out of our scope. Regardless, aside from staying healthy and sound, most of my goals (with Annie in particular) are just about furthering the horse's education and continuing her role as an ammy mount. Oh, and having fun while doing it ;)
I'm taking the Lessons Learned from 2017 and applying them here. The number one learning lesson being that knowledge is power and by that I mean more lessons!! Last year with having such a hectic work schedule, I wasn't able to make it to half of the clinics in the area. This year, I am determined to triple my lesson amount from 2017 (I literally took 5 lessons all year).
There are some things I haven't written down that I'm just keeping tabs on as the year goes by - soundness and health are in that category as well as ensuring her weight stays in check and she routinely sees a chiropractor and saddle fitter (now that we have one!).
- Attend as many clinics/lessons as I can. Knowledge is power! My "happy number" is anywhere from 10-15 lessons.
- In addition to clinics, attend as many "fun" days as I can. This means clear rounds, percentage days, gymkhanas, etc. Purely for exposure and as a low pressure segway into shows.
- Solidify the basics - walk/ trot/ canter (leads), back up, TOH, TOF. Start to get more reliability in true extensions, shoulder in and haunches in.
- Compete in 2-3 shows; I'd like to see where we stand after Annie's training in February, but my tentative plans are to continue with Walk/Trot divisions for our first show and then move up and close out the year with Training level (tentative First Level stretch goal here pending our progress!). For flat classes - pretty much the same thing. Start walk/trot and then go into a few with canter to get her used to it. And for the jumping - continuing with 18"-2' and ideally close out the year with 2'3"-2'6" hunter classes.
- Trail ride more - in a group and solo. I'd like to take her down a bunch of the old logging roads and haul out to the local ski-trails. There is also a Mountain Horse course 3hrs away I'd love to play around on!
- Purchase Dressage saddle and pay off before end of the year.
- Compete at 1 CDE/FDT at 1st level.
- Compete at BVX and go for high point.
- Continue to work towards a free walk and collection.
- Work on pivots while hitched.
- Complete CHSEP certificate program.
- Eradicate CC debt.
- Spending freeze on horsey things I do not need (like bridles, bits, etc). The only passable items are a set of jumping boots, a white show pad and the dressage saddle. That's it!
- Continue to plug away at property - slowly but surely!
This year, a lot of my goals are open-ended. It's all about making Annie more broke and more confirmed in what we've been working on. The canter lead issue is something I want to completely eradicate this year, and I have high hopes that her time in training and time spent in lessons will be valuable in solving that. Once we close out February with Trainer K, I'll have more of an idea as to what direction I need to take in regards to schooling and such, which will give me a great head-start to the year.
Of course, we cannot leave out Spud tho. Since my goal to compete him last year didn't exactly come to fruition, I am hoping to make it happen this year. He knows the drill and could do very well in a CDE environment - I just need to have the extra $$ and time to get him to the events.
So there you have it - my 2018 goals and aspirations. Nothing completely shocking or coming out of left field, but tentative plans nonetheless.