Friday, January 10, 2020

2019 Goal Review

2019 Goal Review

The end of a decade. Wow. 

2019 just flew by and it was a crazy busy, and fun year! 

A lot of my goals reflected my "Zen Ninja" mantra, focusing less on competitive goals and more on solidifying the basics and promoting our partnership. We worked hard this year, taking part in a variety of lessons and even trailering away from home to attend a Ladies Camp. We competed a few times, and spent a lot of time trail riding. All in all, it was a fun, progressive, and wonderful year!

  • Above all - keep the horse happy and healthy. Work towards bettering a partnership with her and understanding each-other even more. A lot of the points below (such as lessons) will effectively help me succeed in maintaining an understanding relationship with her while still being a fair but firm leader. While this is something that is continuous, I am proud of myself for taking a step back and reassessing my long-term and short-term goals and refocusing myself on the horse and our relationship. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the things we haven't yet achieved, but the journey along the way is something we need to appreciate. I will say that I did a lot this year to push Annie, mostly mentally, and despite some short-comings, we ended the year on a high note.
  • Keeping with the tradition of year's passed, I would like to enter as many clinics/lessons as I can. I managed 15 lessons last year, and I'd love to stick around the same amount this year. There are quite a few different clinics coming to the area (horsemanship, cavaletti clinic, etc) and I'd love to garner information from each of them. As they say - knowledge is power! We managed to get 13 lessons this year - 4 with Derek (Dressage), 4 with Karen (Ladies Camp at Trainer K's), 3 with Anthony Lothian (Jumping; Annie also had 1 pro ride), and 2 with Lynda Ramsay (Dressage). While we didn't get many lessons from Anthony this year, I am beyond proud of the fact we went travelled far and wide (roughly 5hrs) to Trainer K's place and had a blast. Unfortunately, a few clinics we had our eyes on (cavaletti clinic) were cancelled due to lack of entrants, but we plugged along and did what we could! 
  • Attend the Fun Days! I didn't get to any of them last year, although that was mostly due to scheduling conflicts with all of the clinics I was in. This year, I'd like to get out to a few of them. Clear Rounds, Percentage Days, Gymkhanas, etc. Just for fun and exposure. We didn't attend a ton, but Annie and I did 2 Percentage Days and 1 Clear Rounds Day. Quite a few were cancelled last minute during the Summer, and some of them we were away for so it was hit or miss.
  • Keep on keepin' on with the basics - walk, trot, canter (leads), rein back, TOH, TOF. Also make moves to start getting those walk-canter-walks, counter canter, shoulder in, haunches in, and leg yielding. I'd like to play more with adjustability within the gaits - this is something we did a lot of in our Anthony clinics and when schooling on my own I kinda "forget" to play within the gaits sometimes. We worked a lot on the basics and started to branch out to the walk-canter, although we didn't play with canter-walk at all. The counter canter was played with quite a bit, as was shoulder in and leg yielding. I wouldn't say we are "confirmed" in any of the upper movements, but we're chipping away at it and I think things like lengthenings will take time for Annie.
  • Take part in the shows I can. I don't want to put a number on it, but I'd like to get out there as much as possible, of course. Ideally, I'd like to start the year off doing Training Level and then move onto First, but we'll see what happens. I had intended to do First last year, but our lack of forward issue kinda made it an unwise decision. I'd like to get her jumping more too, and instead of writing down a height, I wanna just do more Hunter courses and have fun - regardless of the heights.  The show scene was pretty sparse this year, but Annie and I attended 2 shows - one being local (Dressage), and the other being away from home (BVX). We actually only did one TL test and the rest was all FL! That was pretty exciting. And we cruised around some baby Hunter courses at 18" and 2'. 
  • Keep up with the trail riding! We did quite a bit of it last year, and I'd like to continue and expose Annie to bigger groups.  I'm actually super happy to report we did quite a bit of trail riding and even did a few "away from home" adventures. Annie also did her very first solo trail ride (she hacks out and travels well known back roads and ATV trails no problem, but if she doesn't know the trail well she tends to get pretty anxious and balled up) and did really well!

  • Scope out the CDE's that are happening closest to me. Figure out a game plan on attending, budgeting, and then get the ball rolling. If this summer plays out like last year, forest fires will put a damper on most of the driving season after June, so I need to plan ahead. Nope! And I'm OK with that. Maybe next year :o) 
  • Scope out any clinics that are close to the area and figure out a game plan on attending. A lot of the driving stuff happens a bit of a ways away from home, so it requires quite a bit of planning. No clinics happened in our area this year. The one that was tentatively planned I could not attend, and it was cancelled anyways due to lack of participants.
  • Keep him in decent shape and legged up. For real, I knocked this one out of the park. Spud looked GREAT all year and I got him out quite a bit.
  • If possible to get him out there doing some gymkhanas, I'd like to take that opportunity ;) We didn't! And unfortunately, his new cart won't do as well in the sandy rings, so this may be a lost opportunity.

  • Become healthier and stronger - I'd like to run a 5K with my Dad this year, and I certainly believe that is an attainable goal! This is a half yes - I became healthier and stronger near the beginning of the year (I lost 20lbs!), but I also gained a bit of it back after a gluttonous Summer. The running came along well and I'm close to 5K, but I also did not run with my Dad since the marathon was in April and I was nowhere near ready in April! It's on our schedule for next year tho ;) 
  • Eradicate CC debt. This is rolled over from last year. I have some plans on how to make this happen, I just need to stick to it. Half no. Being an adult sucks sometimes. Still plugging away at it tho!
  • Continue to plug away at property - a barn may be going up this year pending some bylaw amendments through the city. We shall see - I am hopeful tho! We finally got our approvals in September 2019, which didn't leave much time to pitch a barn up before the snow flew. Regardless, I'm pleased the bylaw went through as it was a tough fight to get the city to amend it. 
  • Pay attention to needless horsey spending. I did pretty good last year, despite buying my new dressage saddle (which was needed), so I'd like to keep myself honest to that :)  I want to say I did really good this year. I bought a few things earlier in the year, but otherwise have stuck to the necessities! 
  • Keep up with my studies and work hard to achieve my diploma - yes, I signed myself up for mooooore school work, aha. YES!

Now... hurry up and be over Winter!


  1. You had a great year. And don’t forget the ‘surprise goal’ : getting a baby

  2. What a great year! And fingers crossed for a barn in 2020.