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Bel Joeor Sale and Giveaway!

Amanda from Bel Joeor is hosting a big sale on her Etsy site and a giveaway on her blog!  She makes beautiful saddle covers and bags.  I highly recommend checking out her shop and entering her contest.  


2018 Goals

It's funny that when I went to look for my 2017 goals in order to write a recap, I couldn't find the post.  Well surprise, I just found it published in MAY.  Ummm, better later than never?  Hahaha!  I had been looking in the January section of posts, and clearly my memory is crap, but whatever.  

My goals for any year are always similar, with more specific mini goals for whatever is going on with a specific horse.  As I stated in 2017, I try to create a realistic yet challenging show season for myself and my horse.  I try to set goals that are attainable, fairly specific, and FUN! And I always want to keep my horses happy, healthy, and sound.


I don't talk much about my personal life outside of horses, but this is exactly how I try to live. 
I do try to be the best version of myself.  :-)
In 2017, I lamented the fact that I felt stuck at tadpole level with Snappy and I couldn't deny the feeling of wanting to just have a horse that can easily canter.  I knew deep down that Snappy's soundness was fleeting and I also knew (but did not want to admit) that there would come a point sooner rather than later where she wouldn't be able to be ridden any longer.  In an effort to keep this positive, I will just say that I am working hard to stop blaming myself for not being able to save her in the end and rest in the knowledge that I did all I could for that little brown mare.  

So now, here I am in 2018, with a young horse and a clean slate.  It is incredibly exciting and slightly nerve-wracking!  I feel as though I am at this point in my life where I have learned so much from the horses before Ellie and can finally put some of that knowledge to use with a horse who does indeed have the potential to go even higher than First Level/Beginner Novice (not that I am not super proud of training Dreamy to that level on my own despite her limitations).  I know Ellie and I will struggle with certain things, because that is how it works when training a horse, but she does not have the same physical limitations as my retired Standardbred harness racers did.  ;-)

It is too easy to compare myself to others with rising six year olds and think MAN, they are out there doing Second Level and Prelim and here I am doing ground poles hahaha.  But that's silly and we all know it.  Ellie was backed January 2017, had maybe a dozen rides put on her (if that), and then I bought her September 2.  I rode her more in the last four months than she's had all her life LOL!  

I have already accomplished several goals with Ellie which were never a part of my original 2017 plans.  I got her started well under saddle WTC, did some basic ground work and trailer loading, and took her out off my farm three times, including her first show!  I knew that taking her out this past fall would help in a lot of ways.  It gave us both a head start in building our confidence in one another.  It took the pressure off me in that her first (and second) shows were little jumper shows and not dressage or combined tests.  Now when we do our first dressage test in the spring, at least the "first show" nerves will be calm(er).  Ellie knows she sometimes gets in the trailer, goes somewhere, and comes back home and it is nothing to be stressed about.  

So now that I have written out everything that has been in my head haha, what exactly are my goals for 2018?

Start dressage/jumping lessons soon
Well, as soon as it warms up enough seeing as our high temp today was 2.  Yes, TWO LONELY DEGREES.  The low was -26, so ya know, not much riding going on at the moment!!  I have an eventing instructor picked out, and I am eager to see if it will be a good fit.  I hope we can do lessons twice a month.  I know I can train a horse from unbacked 15 year old broodmare to First Level alone because I've done it before haha, but I want to take lessons with Ellie for several reasons.  It gives me contact with a barn family and people to show with and go cross country schooling.  It gives Ellie exposure to trailering and being ridden in a new place.  And it gives me a chance to have consistent eyes on us because I really don't want any holes in this horse's training.  I want to show, but I also want her well trained.  This isn't that 15  year old broodmare who I feel like I have limited time with (I showed Dreamy for seven years, until she was 22), so I need to DO ALL THE THINGS.  Don't get me wrong, I want to do all the things with Ellie, but I also feel zero time constraints with her.

Continue to expose Ellie to new things
We will continue our ground work, doing things like opening gates from her back, learning to ground tie, that type of stuff.  I want to take her out and about as much as I can, from trail riding to lessons to riding at the beach, to work on her confidence and becoming a solid citizen.  

Try a few dressage shows and combined tests
I definitely want to do our local GMO schooling shows because they are perfect for starting out.  There are also great CTs around to try as well.  I really hope we can do some XC schooling with the new instructor so we can maybe try a schooling horse trial by fall.  But it's OK if we don't do a full event this year, as long as we do some XC schooling.


So this happened the other day, along with association membership renewals. 
Still need to do her USDF lifetime registration, too!
Maybe try more of the jumper shows with NEJA?  Or other little local schooling shows?
This is a goal that I don't care if I meet, it is more along the lines of maybe we will do it if we have time and/or I have the inclination.  It is nice to have the option of super low key schooling shows to get her out and about.  The jumper shows are going to be great as we start her eventing career to help improve our stadium.  

Keep both horses healthy, happy, and sound
This is always my goal as a horsewoman.  I've got horses on both sides of the age spectrum now, with Dreamy turning 27 this year and Ellie coming six.  So they have different needs, of course, but I always strive to do my best by them.

So that's how I am hoping my 2018 will look!  We all know that anything with horses can change in a second, so I will remain open and flexible to what happens.  :-)


I am just waiting for more of THIS! 

And I cannot wait for more of this!  :-)  Go away, winter!!

Comments

TeresaA said…
Those are awesome goals. I can't wait for this bitter cold to go away.
Sara said…
Great goals! It is super easy with blogging to get weighed down by what everyone is doing and forget that we are each on our own paths.
Martidoll said…
this weather is insane! FOR a lot of people (Texas is cold, Georgia is cold, Delaware is grossly cold and MAINE IS NUTS) HA! i hope it warms up to a 30 degree mark for us at least. IS that not sad that sounds warm now?? I love all your goals and can't wait to follow Ellie as she achieves more and more as her training furthers!! YAY COME ON SPRING! :)
TheFoxRider said…
What great goals! Lots of things to do, but your relaxed and exited tone is exactly what I need in my 2018 - do stuff, but do it with joy instead of stress. I loved that quote you included as well... definitely keeping that one squirreled away.
L.Williams said…
Really great goals and I also hate when I can't find a blog post I swore I did lol
I heard on the radio on my way to work this is the longest we have ever gone (seven days) without the high at least at 15 degrees (since they have been tracking the weather). Crazy times! Hope you are staying warm!!
Thank you! Isn't it the best!? I have it printed on a small card in both my bedroom and my classroom to remind myself of it every day!
No kidding! My personality is to march to my own drum anyway, but it sure can be tough at times to see horses as young (or younger) already doing so much.
Yeah, the weather is crazy!!! I heard on the radio on my way to work this is the longest we have ever gone (seven days) without the high at least at 15 degrees (since they have been tracking the weather). Tonight it was 12 degrees in the barn (-25 this morning!) and I was like huh, it's so nice tonight I think I will brush the mares hahahaha! 12 degrees is NOT WARM but it sure felt it tonight!!
One of my most favorite posts for sure! I find that if I approach things with my mares in a relaxed way, with no agenda and with the goal to have FUN, I tend to stay calm and progress more easily!
Thank you! And yes, my brain is clearly frozen at this point haha!