Friday, August 16, 2013

Goals? What Goals??

I had a boss once who said "really writing down goals is about the conversation and thoughtful process... I don't actually expect you to do any of this."

At the time I thought it was a not so subtle comment on his confidence in me, but as I look at my extremely thoughtful (and what I thought were conservative) 2013 goals with the horses, I'm realizing perhaps there was some wisdom in his perspective...

I mean.. I'm not actually supposed to have done anything with my goals, am I??

The 2013 Goals... were written before Gus showed up, Pia left (again) and Prairie really started to get her shit together... given we're 2/3's of the way through the year, let's see where we are, shall we??

Prairie's Goals:

- Attend at least one recognized dressage show in 2013.
Ummmmm, not likely.  I have actually really wanted to repeat our fun schooling show outings from last year, but we have either been at another show, or out of town for every. single. one.  I found some that I *could* have gone to that were a couple hours away but that seems just absurd for a $20 test..

- Break 70% at Training Level and 65% at First Level.  Also, show First Level 3

I'm confident we'd nail this now.  Our transitions are way more balanced and relaxed, and Prairie's lateral work has sharpened by leaps and bounds.  Also, we can actually come back from a Medium canter now.  That button wasn't installed last year.  Though... we still haven't been to a show to prove it. bah.  First 3 only scares me because of the canter loops.. and only because Prair has finally gotten her changes moderately relaxed so I would expect her to offer two changes rather than a shallow counter canter...

- Get our changes 80% of the time 
OMG.  We did this one! She gets them 98% of the time (under the standard that she can swap fronts first and catch up behind later).  Hardly what I want in a Dressage test, but back in January I wasn't even sure that was a reasonable expectation.

- Attend at least FOUR overnight Hunter Shows. 

We should make it to 5 maybe 6.... if nothing changes dramatically on the schedule...
my garage has been overtaken by satin

- Move Up to 3' Adult Hunters
I think maybe I wrote this goal as someone who had only been to one rated Hunter show.  It's true that I feel totally comfortable riding Prair on 3' courses, but it's clear to me that we don't have the polish to be competitive as a pair in the 3' ring yet.  Though I think the 3' Adult Am's is totally reasonable for a majority of next year...

I'm skipping Pia's goals since clearly we haven't gone to any schooling shows... or anywhere.  She's a happy horse though, that's what's important ;)

As for My Goals...


I am... starting to shorten my reins more regularly.  Part of this has come from Prair lightening her front end (a lot) and not plowing down into the ground all the time.  Over fences I'm getting used to being up and out of the tack again, and that means my hands are up the mare's neck where they should be.  I still get scolded on the flat (a lot), but that's to be expected.  This goal might stay relevant for a long time, but I think I'm better than I was at the start of the year!

- Lighten My Seat

Another spot I've made progress... I'm much lighter when jumping, which is helping Prair not freak out all the time.  I tend to still sit deeper than I should on the flat, but old habits die hard, and they die even harder when your horse is shaped like a bendy bus and needs some serious effort to get her together...push her together.

- Continue My Dressage Education

Ummmm... perhaps my lack of Dressage shows is a result of the whole lack of Dressage education...  I haven't continued to lesson with either of the trainers who I enjoy.  I would like to, but I've definitely ended up filling the schedule (and the budget) with Hunter stuff, shows, extra lessons, schooling days etc.  Bad Rider.

 Ok... so we're so-so for our goals.  I feel like we've progressed well in terms of actual riding... but failed a bit on the "scheduling" side of things.  There are worse things, but good to be mindful of them as we head into the last 3 months of the year. 


  1. I think overall you guys have done amazing even if it isn't in the Dressage ring.

  2. So far, it sounds like you have accomplished a lot, even if you are more focused on Hunters vs. Dressage right now. And anyways, what's tough about the hunter ring is not the fences themselves, but everything in between... which is flat work... which is sort of like Dressage!

    Okay, I'm stretching a bit, but the point is you are doing great :)

  3. You have done so well this year. I've noticed a ton of improvement and you will continue to do so :)

  4. Um so this year you guys have done awesome! The fact that you can cruse around a 3 ft course is awesome! Way more then lots of people can do :)

  5. Its great to plan, and great to alter course - you guys are rocking the hunter ring right now =) There will always be time for dressage shows

  6. Goals should only be met if they make you happy. You are clearly having lots of fun in the hunter ring so no harm done.


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