Past and future goals

So, it’s New Year’s Eve, that traditional time for taking a look back at the year that was, and thinking about the year to come. I don’t really “do” New Year’s resolutions.  But I do make goals.

“A goal, unless it’s written down, is just a wish.”

 I don’t know who said that, but I wholeheartedly agree. Of course, sometimes actually writing down a goal can be a little scary. When it’s written down, it suddenly becomes something that could bite you in the butt in 365 days the future, no? Suddenly, you’re ‘accountable’ for achieving or not achieving it.

Being the ‘equi-nerd’ that I am, I write down goals each year for each of my horses. It is very rare for me to achieve all of my goals – sometimes only half of them are realized. Does that mean I am doing a lousy job with my horses? Or does it mean I dream big? Believe me, it’s not like I have “make the Olympic team” as one of my goals. 😉

I’ll share a few of my goals, both realized and unrealized, for 2010.

For Fling, as it has been for a few years, my goal was to earn my Bronze medal. Finally. That did not happen  – again. . I did at least actually GET to a recognized show and showed Third, even tho it was pretty much a disaster – but, I actually was CLOSER to my goal than I’d ever been, since I did at least show.  None of my goals for Fling were realized, as they all involved showing. But that is OK because we are defintely closer to our goal of the Bronze than we were this time last year.

Faxx fared a bit better on the goal realization tally. One of my goals was to place in the top 20 nationally in the USDF Amateur standings. Yes, that actually was a goal. And probably a pretty lofty one, since there are more than 200 horse/rider teams that usually qualify for awards at Training Level amateur. And probably 1500 or more that show at Training Level, although only a fraction show enough to earn the eight minimum scores to qualify for year-end awards.

And we actually achieved that goal. Just barely – as he placed 20th. His median was a 69% and I was very proud of that – especially considering we got very few lessons last year. So I can put a nice check mark next to that goal.

Another of my goals was to show him First level at schooling shows, and we did that, too, scoring very well, as a matter of fact.

Another goal was to win multiple championships at the Arabian/Half Arabian Sport Horse Regional Championships. Well, we did win multiple championships,but they were not in dressage, as I’d hoped. He won three championships at the show, but one was in sporthorse in hand, and two were in sport horse under saddle. He earned a Reserve Champion in dressage and a few top fives. So I guess you could call that a ‘draw.’

I also wanted to win the USDF All Breed Championship for Half Arabian Training Level Amateur, and it looked like it was going to happen until about the last week of the competition year, and someone nosed us out and we ended up in second. But I am OK with that, as it was more important to me to place in the top 20 nationally in the ‘all breed’ amateur standings.

I also wanted to finish his Legion of Supreme Honor, and he did that very early in the show year. Another nice check mark. So Faxx did pretty darn good last year.

I had less lofty goals for Faeryn, but she surprised me by achieving things I had not even had as a goal. I never thought she would score a 71% at a recognized show, or win championships at recognized shows, but she did both of those last year. She has been living in the ‘shadow’ (literally and figuratively) of her taller, flashier, more charismatic brother almost her whole life. But last year she showed me she has what it takes to be very competitive, and in some ways is much more consistent a performer than Faxx, especially under pressure. I wanted to get her to enough shows to qualify for All Breed Awards, and we did that. She had her minimum 8 scores, so had no ‘drop’ scores. Since she was scared to death at her first show and underperformed (61 and a 63) that hurt her median and her chances to achieve one of my goals – to place in the Oldenburg NA All Breed Awards. She did not place i the Training Level Amateur standings, but she was 4th in the Vintage Cup (old farts!) standings.

I wanted to get her out and show first level at schooling shows, and be schooling second level movements by the end of this year.  She did quite well at schooling shows at first level, even tho she went to just a few shows. She is schooling some second level movements – but none at canter just yet.

I also wanted her to win a year end award from HDS and that remains to be seen. I do not think she has a chance to win at the recognized show division – Faxx will beat her out and I don’t think her median is high enough for Reserve Championship.  But there is hope in the schooling show division.

So, not too bad for goal-fulfillment for 2010.

What’s on the plate for 2011?

Of course, the most obvious – the Bronze for Fling. I also would like to show her Fourth Level by the end of the year. I think that is doable. I don’t really care if we show Fourth in schooling or recognized shows. Just as long we’re moving forward.

Faxx and Faeryn should both be showing second level in schooling shows by the end of next year. I am not sure I am going to show either of them in recognized shows next year.

I am quite burnt out from ‘going and doing’ and not having enough time HOME, to get caught up, do projects around the farm, take more lessons, or just do as I pleased.  Most of my vacation time last year, when not horse showing, involved remodeling projects on my condo, my ‘pink’ house ( or my arena. I had far too little ‘fun’ last year.

I am seriously thinking about skipping Arab Regional Championships this year, too, to save money and vacation time.Money toward training and possibly a new trailer, and vacation time toward being able to ride in more clinics. I also have ditched my plans to show Faxx at the Arabian Sporthorse National Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park next September. It’s a lot of money, and even more critical, a lot of vacation time, and after his mini meltdown at the USDF Championships, I do not think he is ready, mentally, for the pressure yet. He is young. We have time.

If I spent this much time and effort thinking about my ‘real’ job, I would be president of the company.

But then I probably wouldn’t have time to ride. 😉

Happy New Year everyone.





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