2018 Goals

Despite all my efforts to discover time travel, the years continue to go by faster and faster. Tomorrow, I’m going to wake up 80 years old. To maximize the moments I have left, I am actually going to set some goals this year. I don’t think I set any last year, and then I ended up buying a baby horse. It’s funny how these things work out!

I think I differ from many people in the sense that I don’t really have competition goals. Sure, I’d like to compete, and I do enjoy when I win, but I actually don’t really care that much. If I never competed again, I probably wouldn’t really be upset. I’m just not that competitive, and I also don’t enjoy sitting at a venue for hours at a time to compete for 5 minutes. It seems like a waste of a day. I’d rather be out riding the whole day, and I’ve had way more fun trailering to the river and going swimming with the horses than I ever did at any show. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy showing sometimes, after all, when else are you going to dress up like an English dandy and spend the whole day stressing out, but I feel like my interest in showing is like 2% of what I want to do.

I read this article today, and I identify with it. It’s hard to say what you accomplished when you don’t have show milestones to look back on. But I love the idea of intent. I ride for fun, but I want to ride with an intent to grow. I want to ride with an intent to develop my horses. I think “Intent” should be my word of the year. Everything I do will be with intent. With that in mind, here are the goals:

Intentional Training

When I was blessed with only having one horse, Vintage, I spent a ton of time working with her, and I think it made her into the super cool horse she is today. I need to spend that kind of time with my other horses, Wingus and Dingus (*ahem* Pony and Berry), who are 25% monsters each. They are scared of stupid things, and they are kind of dull to my aids. I need to get them supple, responsive, and as tuned in as Vintage is. They will never be exactly like Vintage,  as she was much hotter than they ever will be which makes for an easier horse to train, but they shouldn’t be as responsive as freight trains. They should be a little bit better than that. So, this means lots of flat work. I’ve been admittedly lazy about it – it’s time to shape up and get them going well. 

Stu is going to get the full Vintage treatment. All sorts of groundwork to get him ready for his riding career. I’ve always been inspired by a cowgirl I met as a teenager – she broke her leg so she ended up training her horse entirely from the ground. I met her at a show, the third time her horse had a person on his back, and she won champion.  Truly an inspiration for the children.

Intentional Showing

Okay, so I said I’m not a huge fan of showing, but that doesn’t mean I’m still sort of a fan of it. It’s glamorous, you get to wear stupid costumes, and you can spend the whole day speaking with an english accent. If you do well, confetti falls from the sky, you spray champagne on your horse, everyone cheers, and then suddenly the love of your life runs up to you and tells you they always loved you and you shall never be apart again, or if you lose, you spend the evening in your trailer in an empty parking lot, watching the sunset and crying about how you’ll never amount to anything and everyone hates you. Then you slip and fall in horse poop. May be a slight exaggeration. 

The point is, there is some appeal to the drama of showing. So, I’m not giving it up, and this year’s lucky contestant is….*drumroll*

Lord Stubert, Archduke of Marshall.

What up

After following L. Williams account of showing Dante in the hunter breeding classes, and picking her brain, I decided that I wanted to do that. So based on how lazy I am, I picked some shows to take his royal highness to. Right now the lineup is Upperville, Loudoun Benefit, the East Coast finals, and Warrenton. I basically picked these because with the exception of finals, they are within 15 minutes of my house. That’s how lazy I am. 

I think it will be a great experience for Stu to get out and see the world. I’d rather him act like a silly baby when he’s small enough that I could still wrestle him to the ground if the need arose. Heck, if I do this every year while he’s eligible, he’ll be an old hat by the time he’s actually being ridden in these shows.

Intentional Experiences

Aside from the 2% of showing, I just want to go out and do things. There will definitely be lots of trail rides, hunter paces, cross country schools, and explorations. These are some of the best things to do with horses, and I need to do more of them. It’s just about going out there and doing things with your horse.

Unfortunately/fortunately I now have both a horse and a pony that need to go out and see the greater world, so that means doubling up on the number of times I need to do these things. I guess I will be extremely riding fit, which will definitely help with wrestling the adult equines when they are being bad. Speaking of which…

Intentional Personal Fitness

I’ve been dieting and hitting the gym hard the last 6 months of 2017, and I’ve never felt better. Unfortunately, I also ended up hitting up the Christmas treats pretty hard during December, so now I need to work harder. I want to be light enough to have Pony in my full training program this year, so I’m going to have to lose at least 30lbs. It’s the perfect time to do this because I am planning on doing that Gold’s Gym challenge anyway, because $6500 would sure pay for some purdy stone dust. (Jeez, such a farm girl… daydreaming about stonedust.)

Until now, I always got by on my own, I never really cared until I met you…

Which feeds nicely into my next goal(s) –

Intentional Farm Work

Now that I’ve spent time over the last year working on farm projects, more farm projects are being realized. The bigger ones are the barn expansion, the arena expansion/resurfacing, and lots more tree clearing. The smaller but no less important are fixing my “frost free” water hydrant so it stops freezing, and redoing the electric in the barn so that more than one outlet works. I want to be able to stand in my barn with my horses on the crossties, use my clippers, run fans, play overly loud music from speakers, spray my horse with the hose, wash tack and post on instagram all at the same time like any normal equestrian.  This will be the year my dreams come true.

Intentional Media

Maybe I always say this, although perhaps not, but I want to expand my blog. Sure, I come on here and whine about things, or complain about some other things, but I really feel like I could also be utilizing video to whine and bitch about things, too. I think this is my year to finally realize the dream of providing visual and audio complaining.

I suddenly have cameras, a SoloShot 3 (review upcoming), a GoPro knockoff (also review upcoming), and to go along with experiencing more things goal (above), I also have to record these things. That’s just the kind of person I am (hence the blog). I have trail rides, training session and lesson to record. Hopefully, this will give me lots and lots of media to share. If it doesn’t, well, frankly that means I’m not doing enough. If I seem boring, it’s probably because I am being boring, so I’m going to go out of my comfort zone way more. Afterall, that really is the only way to expand my own comfort zone.

Unrelated to the blog, I have a separate project(s) that I am super, super excited about. I don’t want to share it yet as it’s still in the planning/execution process, but I will definitely share it once there is something to share. It’s basically a freelance horse media project I volunteered into, it’s something I’m extremely passionate about, and I can’t wait to share it once its ready for public view. That will be coming this spring, and hopefully, continue on for a long time to come!

Here’s to 2018… go out, live your life, and have the best year ever. Cheers! 

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  1. ooooh that’s very exciting about potential show plans for Stu! actually all of it sounds great! here’s to a year of going out and doing fun things with intent!

  2. Hopefully we can get out to some trails this year or just go school at new arenas. I enjoy showing but I cannot dedicate myself to keep my horse fit enough to show at the level I want due to travel commitments.

  3. I will be following your Hunter Breeding journey closely and will be happy to talk to you further! Being mindful and setting intentions is wonderful way to be thoughtful about this yearly process.

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