Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 Goals (or at least some wishful thinking)

Bah.  Goals.  It's been so long since I actually committed to any (hmm... 2011 maybe?) that I've almost forgotten how to be accountable.

However, I think I've been with both mares long enough for me to have some idea of reasonable expectations and I think I'm still competent enough to organize them (at least a little).

For the sake of moderate organization I'm breaking them down into Goals for Me, Goals for Prairie and Goals for Pia.  

Let's start with Prairie since her goals are a bit more tangible than Pia's and I don't want to do mine yet:

- Attend at least one recognized dressage show in 2013.
We stayed at the unrated shows in 2012 but since atmosphere doesn't seem to phase the mare a ton I think we'd be ok to try our hand at the fancier shows.  I don't really plan on chasing qualifying rides, but I do actually own a dressage coat and white breeches again.  Seems a shame to keep them locked in the closet. 

- Break 70% at Training Level and 65% at First Level.  Also, show First Level 3
I am reasonably confident that Prairie could smash Training Level on an average day now that we have our canter figured out a bit more, but we have some work to do on First Level and I'm scared of FL3 :)

- Get our changes 80% of the time 
I don't expect Prairie's changes to be "auto" this year, or even 100%, or even respectable in a Dressage court, but I would like her to get them often enough that we're competitive in the Hunter Ring.  This means that swapping the front first totally counts :)
Our Best "Hunter Impression" in 2012.. And it's only getting better...
- Attend at least FOUR overnight Hunter Shows. 
Admittedly this falls on my shoulders not Prairie's, but this year is a great year for us to really get out.  No weddings or other major life events to get in the way, so let's make hay while the sun shines.

- Move Up to 3' Adult Hunters
Really I want to show the 3'3" Amateur Owners, or the 3'3" Adults- but to be conservative, I'm setting the Goal at 3'.  Prairie does better over bigger fences, and realistically I give her a better ride to them.  We just need those damn changes.... I'll save the 4' divisions for later...

Loved 2012 with this mare...

 Now for Miss Pia:

- Safe and Consistent W/T/C without Bucks
I would say that she's 90% there, but she still has the odd kick out to outside leg and throws minor tantrums.  I think they are diminishing, but they need to be 99% gone.  I feel like her regular routine will get us closer.
A happier, more relaxed start to 2013...
-Get Back on the Trail
Committing to out of arena work is something I want to do for P1.  I think it helps her brain and I want to stretch her mental flexibility as much as possible. Trips back to Summer Camp or down to a Mountain Trail Clinic would be ideal.

-Attend TWO Schooling Shows
Not for the ribbons, but to get her out and in new places.  I don't care if they are H/J or Dressage I just want her out.

- Passably Perform First Level Tests at Home
Pia's lateral work is already coming along without the stress or tension it had in 2010.  I know she can physically do everything in first level at this point, it's just the focus and consistency of being able to string it all together for 5 minutes straight.  That's the sticky wicket there.
We have thankfully, seen NONE of this recently, a reminder of how far we have come...

And finally, the obnoxious goals for self -

If there's one thing I don't need a trainer for, it's to be told to shorten my reins.  They are long, they are always long. They are long almost immediately after I shorten them.  They are long over fences, they are long on the flat they are long even when I'm not riding because they are in a perpetual state of too damn long.  This year I will shorten my reins and then staple them to my hands in the appropriate place (so help me god).

- Lighten My Seat
I don't want an ineffective "perch," but my go-to defensive move is to sit deep, lean back and drive, drive drive.  I need another tool.  Namely one that doesn't totally freak out both my mares. :)

- Continue My Dressage Education
I am SO happy with S.  So, so, so happy.  I trust her, I like how she rides, I like how my horses react to her, I like how I react to her as well.  But I also know that I am getting sucked into the H/J vortex like a moth to a flame.  I missed jumping. I know that now and I'm having so much fun getting back into it (even without cross country).  But I can already tell I'm getting less committed to my Dressage work and I don't want to lose ground.  Prairie has more levels in her and I will need to up my game to get us there.  There are two trainers in the area who I really enjoy and I need to average hauling out at least once a month to see them.  

We're well underway on all these goals, and even if the path deviates a little (or a lot) I'm really looking forward to lots more time with both these ladies this year.  Yeehaw. 


  1. Heh. Yes, the driving seat. I went about 6 or 8 months where I literally HAD to two point to EVERY FENCE just to keep from driving with my seat. Bad habits die hard. One thing that really helps me (and builds muscle) is to focus on putting just my breeches in the saddle but no actual weight. It is HARD, but it reminds me to keep the driving aids in other places. ;)

    Good goals all around!

  2. OMG that picture of the buck gives me the heebie-jeebies! I love your goals, they all sound attainable! Cant wait to see you accomplish them!!

  3. That is an amazing picture of a buck! I wish I had a picture like that, and at the same time, I'm glad I don't!

    I also have issues with shortening my reins. I don't think I'll ever get over it. :S

  4. I got distracted with the gorgeous pics. I love your mares! the should be supermodels. But yay goals! I cant make goals because I can never keep them

  5. Love the goals - focused, attainable, and smart. =) Long reins are really hard to conquer - let me know of tricks you discover!

  6. I always deviate from my goals LOL! They are still good to have. I just sometimes think I should do six month goals hehe. You guys are going to do fantastic and I really appreciate that you keep a blog so we can be a part of the fun. :D


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