The Long Term

I took a talent assessment test a few months ago through my work. It was to identify my skills so I could best leverage them at work. My strongest skill was “Futuristic.” I’m a planner. I think ahead. I can’t just think of what the next step is, I need to think of what the next 5 steps are. 

It translates into my non-work life. Most recently, it was expressed through the purchase of Stu. I’m sure I confused many people as to why I wanted yet another horse as I’ve got a few already. But I’m not thinking of the now. I’m thinking that in 10 years, I want an ultra competitive horse to take to big shows up and down the east coast. Will that happen? I’m not quite sure, but I know I can stack the odds in my favor.

chestnut colt
Future champion hunter? Or future broken limb causer? Only time will tell.

I didn’t end at just buying the horse. For starters, I started looking for a new trainer. I did a test lesson. Although that one did not work out for reasons I’ll put in another post, I’ve talked to multiple trainers in this area, getting a feel for their training programs. I talked to big name trainers who show all over the country, and I talked to “boutique” trainers, up and comers who only take very select people into their programs. After my trailer broke down I slowed down my looking (and had to cancel several test lessons), but soon I’ll have my new trailer and I’ll be back in full swing. 

I’m upgrading the property. In addition to all the clearing we have been doing, we’ll be extending the barn soon, making for a much more efficient riding experience. Right now, it’s demotivating to ride at my property because it’s hard to tack up, there’s no real protection for tack I leave at the barn, and I have to navigate a pony every time I exit the barn with a horse. It’s inefficient and frustrating, but I’m going to change it. 

Doesn’t look like this now. Looks like a big muddy mess.

I’m extending my arena. The arena has ended up being The Project That Will Never End and I have to force myself out there. But I need it to be wider to fit more jumps, and different jump set ups. If I can’t practice efficiently, I’m not going to progress. 

I neither enjoy nor hate doing these things, but they are just things that need to happen for me to reach the end goal. I know that an end goal of 10 years feels extremely far, but I’m being realistic. It’s going to take lots of lessons and practice to get that good, and doing the set-up is just step 1. Maybe it will take less than 10 years, I really don’t know. I’m basically throwing out an arbitrary number, accounting for the fact that I also have a job, and I have other goals life I need to fulfill. 

It is the base goal, but there are supporting pillars to this goal. If it was really just about big shows, I could board out at a barn, get several lessons a week, buy an expensive horse. But my other life goals shape and share this. I wanted to live on a farm and gave up the thought of boarding with that mortgage check. I have to have money, therefore, a job. I need to do well at my job, I need to advance in my career to make my life as pleasant and easy as possible. I dream of having a complete teleworking job, and staying at home, maybe sitting on my deck, looking out over my pasture with my laptop on my knees, spending every evening riding. 

I have a husband, I want a family. Maybe one day I’ll be driving Pony to a club rally, a little girl sitting in the backseat of the truck. It takes time out of riding to raise a child, but I’m accounting for missed riding time and to still come back and be able to compete.

And I have myself to take care of – I need to be healthy so I can do all of this. I won’t be able to support myself and reach my own goals if I can’t function. To me, that means putting a focus on eating well, and working out. I’ve been getting more and more into this, and I truly have never felt better. 

I have other goals too, ones that have nothing to do with horses. I want to travel. I want to renovate my house. I want to have a picture perfect house to live in. These things all take time, too. I’m accounting for this in my estimate. 

So yes, I am thinking of the very long term. But time goes by quicker every single year, and I want to be prepared. I’m plugging away at it, content in the knowledge that in 10 years from now, when I’m entering a international hunter derby ring on Stu, my life will be set up the way I want it to be. Not perfect, perhaps a bit messy, but the major building blocks will be in place. 

How far out do you plan the future? How do you envision your life in 10 years? Share below, or if you have a lot to say, make a post, and link it! Let’s make it a blog hop!

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  1. I guess I’m kind of the same way. I know with Paige being 17 that eventually I’ll need something to ” her, hence Joey. Only time will tell if he can fill his mother’s shoes, but he’s her retirement policy. 😉

  2. “futuristic” –> i love this. and it all makes so much sense to me. i like to be able to visualize how a thing could be, how i want the world to be, and then to take steps to create that reality. and all plans start the same way right? whether they’re big or small plans, everything starts with taking that first step. and then another. but having that big future idea? so important. wishing you luck in all these endeavors!

  3. I’m a long term planner. I’ll calculate money needs and plan out plans A-E. Drives my husband up the wall because the future is this vague thing to him. He saves but he doesn’t think of saving as a concrete we need X amount in order to purchase a house in X years type thing.

    Unfortunately, being CA (southern CA – even worse!) means that our house goals are… long term. And variable. Who knows if the housing market is going to stay anywhere close to what it currently is.

    Long term is important though. Like you said, if you don’t start planning for it, when will you ever reach it?

  4. I am such a planner, but it only extends about a few months. I don’t even know if I can process a 10 year plan right now! But, I think since my career is a little undetermined as a get more clients, it makes me really want to focus on NOW. I think with Justin also being 15+ makes me not want to think that far ahead either ;).

    1. Completely understandable! I think there’s a lot of great things to say about being flexible and open to new opportunities without pigeon holing yourself into one plan. I think its great you took such a risk, and although I’m not sure if it was your eventual plan, everything you did prior set yourself up for the maximum chance of success, and I find that very admirable. Keep on doing your thing 🙂

      Aww, Justin! Def appreciate him in the now!

  5. My long-term goal would love to look like what you’ve got now with the horses living at your house. It’s funny because then reality hits and reminds me that 1) I wouldn’t be able to do the commute every day and 2) the horses wouldn’t get the care that they get now. So then the long-term plan is nebulous and remains getting out of the shackles of this job (and every job that I’ve had like it) and being able to do things that I love doing on my terms

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