Chiming Back In with a Goals Review

Hi gang! Sorry for the radio silence over the last week- between some all-day trainings at work and a pileup of chores, I ended up taking a mini blog vacation. I’ve been reading through some posts and definitely want to catch up with my commenting; some of you guys had really fantastic weeks!

Anywho. Brief horse-life update: Trainer and Assistant Trainer were both out of town with a bunch of our riders at the Maryland National show last week (everyone did really well!) so Pretty Girl and I did not have a lesson. We just popped over a couple crossrails with a buddy and called it a day. All the swelling in Addy’s leg is completely gone and she has shown zero tenderness or heat in the area. We think that the weather evening out, more consistent work, and lots of turnout on firm ground is what she needed. Very glad it turned out to be so minor!

What I wanted to do today was chime in with a lot of folks that are doing a quarterly review of their horse-goals for the year. So looking back to my resolutions for the year, here goes!

  • Get comfortable schooling 3′. Done! Not only do we school 3′ comfortably, but we’ve even shown at that height! This was a huge breakthrough for me and I’m so so so thrilled to finally get over that mental hitch.
  • Make it to a horse show. We’ve made it to two so far this year! They’re tiny little local shows, but that’s perfect for where we are right now. Beautiful facilities, low-key atmosphere, and good sportsmanship.
  • Try a jumper class. Still on the list. I’m hoping to convince my trainer and some of the other riders to try out a local jumper show at the end of April, so fingers crossed that happens!
  • Live through a lesson with no stirrups. Hah. That’s funny. I’ve been terrible about this lately and really need to jump back on the wagon. These legs aren’t going to strengthen themselves!
  • Keep up my confidence. Done, and not done. I’ve stayed brave and positive, and have pushed myself through some bouts of anxiety with great results. But I’ll never be “done” with this; I’m not a naturally brave rider and this will be an ongoing effort!

2.5/5 isn’t too bad! But I’m going to cheat a little and rewrite these. I figure if I’ve already achieved 2 goals and it’s only the first quarter, then I was aiming too low. Now that I have a few show miles under my belt and have a better idea of where we are in our training, here’s my new list of goals:

  • Get comfortable schooling full courses at 3’3″. Why stop at 3′? Pretty Girl and I can both go higher and I know she loves the additional challenge.
  • Jump 3’6″ regularly. Even if it’s just the “out” in a gymnastic, I want to start getting used to the different feel of bigger jumps. Addy seems to clear 3’6″ with no problem, but I’ll be paying close attention to see if this is something she wants to do with me. I’ll need to continuously work on improving my position to make her job as easy as possible.
  • Compete in the Adult Equitation Medal class at least once. Now that I’m OK at 3′, I want to start refining our technique a bit more so I can re-join the eq world. I’ve always enjoyed the technicality of the equitation and I think Addy would really love the chance to show off her moves.
  • Try a jumper class. This is still on there and I still mean it.
  • Make it to an “A” horse show. This is a very tentative goal, and depends on a lot of outside factors. I would need Owner Lady to go as well so we could share expenses- I simply don’t have the spare cash to afford something like this myself. Also between my brother getting married and my other brother welcoming a new baby, there may not be a free weekend for me that lines up with one of the nearby shows. So this is a very tentative goal, but a goal nonetheless!
  • Learn how to braid manes and tails. This kinda ties into making it to an “A” show; if I could save some money by braiding my own horse then it might be a little more feasible. I could potentially even make a few dollars by helping out barnmates. I’ve always been a good braider of human hair, so hopefully I’ll be a quick study!
  • Live through a lesson without stirrups. I will accomplish this! I’m going to the barn today and by golly I am going to push myself on this one.
  • Go on at least one trail ride. For those of you that hack out all the time, I know this is no biggie. But I’ve always gotten very nervous without a ring to contain me! We’ve got some beautiful trails running by the barn and I’d like to get out of my own head and enjoy those with Addy- she’s got such a good brain and I have no doubt she would take great care of me out there.
  • Keep my confidence up. This will never not be a goal.

I’ll check back in on these in a couple months!

What do you guys think of these goals? Any advice on how to go about accomplishing them?

20 thoughts on “Chiming Back In with a Goals Review

  1. Lauren 04/06/2015 / 11:21 am

    Love you reaching higher with these new goals! Add me to the list of people who needs to work on no stirrups.


    • hellomylivia 04/06/2015 / 12:14 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement 🙂
      Ugh. No stirrups is like the spinach of riding. If only it wasn’t so good for us…


  2. Jenn 04/06/2015 / 11:45 am

    I’m right there with ya on trail riding! I did a “trail ride” around our property yesterday, and I was petrified the whole time….I HATE not being contained inside a ring! Maybe we can both work on this together? 🙂

    Great goals though!


    • hellomylivia 04/06/2015 / 12:13 pm

      I’m glad someone else feels the same way! I thought I was the only one who got all knotted up without a fence around me 🙂 I vote we check in on each other in a month to see how we’re doing!


  3. Nicole Sharpe 04/06/2015 / 12:47 pm

    These are great goals! And braiding is honestly easy, you just have to practice and get your technique down. I am a human hair braiding expert and mane braiding came easily to me, so it probably will to you too!


    • hellomylivia 04/06/2015 / 12:48 pm

      I’m going to see if I can get Addy to hold still (and clean enough) so I can give it a try this week- gotta start that practicing!


  4. carey 04/06/2015 / 1:21 pm

    I’m nervous outside a ring, too. I have had some really fun trail rides and I’d love to do them regularly. And I know the more I do it, the easier it will be but getting over that first hump of fear is tricky.

    Great job on your goals! Keep going!!


    • hellomylivia 04/06/2015 / 1:22 pm

      It totally is that first hump! I know I’d love to jump Addy out in the field this summer, but first I have to not knot up into a ball of fear when we leave the arena. Baby steps 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Elinor 04/06/2015 / 5:15 pm

    I bet with some time, you’ll accomplish ALL of those goals. And more 🙂

    But hey, that No Stirrup thing is just overrated.
    I’ve found it just tightens my legs ridiculously, Turns the knees OUT from the saddle, as well as the toes. Really not good in Dressage by the way. Well, suppose I’m mainly just cranky about it because it recently completely ruined my right hammie and now I’m barely able to run, AND I’m out of all long distance races for a long time! Argh! 🙂

    So, eh, Don’t feel bad about not doing it.

    Besides, that’s a lot of extra bouncing for the horse. Or, whatever other excuse I can come up with!


    • hellomylivia 04/07/2015 / 7:06 am

      Ouch, that totally stinks about your injury (major understatement, I know)! I think I’ll be sticking to *very* small doses of no stirrups for a while, I have a tendency to push my muscles past what I really should. I want to avoid injury!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. CallyJumps 04/06/2015 / 6:27 pm

    But being outside a ring is so much fun! All the gallopy space and sometimes even super fun things to jump! Go out and have fun!

    Love the reassessed goals! We’re right with you in trying an Adult Eq class; I’m debating joining MHSA just to do some of the adult medals at a few shows later this year.

    Braiding isn’t so much hard as it takes practice to make it look good. I’ve found doing a couple each time I ride is helpful, since it’s not a huge time investment that way, but still lets you practice.


    • hellomylivia 04/07/2015 / 7:09 am

      Ohmygosh gallopy space gives me heart palpitations! Though we took a baby step yesterday and wandered around the property- Addy very predictably was 100% fine with it. I’ll be out there exploring the trails in no time!
      Haha that’s exactly why I’m thinking of joining VHSA- just for the one class. The expenses equestrians go through…
      That’s a great idea to do a couple at a time! I practiced on her tail a little yesterday and I just need to do it some more to get a feel for it. I’m determined though!


  7. emma 04/06/2015 / 9:04 pm

    love your goals!! you guys have been smashing through some big goals in a short amount of time – and glad to see you savoring that too 🙂 wishing you the best of luck in this coming quarter – and esp hoping that it DOES include some trail riding/ hack arounds. my mare really needs those mental breaks, and you won’t regret it 🙂


    • hellomylivia 04/07/2015 / 7:10 am

      Thank you so much! With the gorgeous weather we’ve been having, I’m hoping that we might be able to wander out this weekend. I may be a little ball of nerves, but Addy has seemed to really like any exploring we’ve done out of the ring (at shows, around the property). Mental breaks for both of us sounds perfect 🙂


  8. Courtney 04/15/2015 / 8:49 am

    Nice goals. I hope one day I’ll be able to list goals like those!
    Trail rides are the best!! I would go crazy if I wasn’t able to trail ride. I’m hoping to do fox hunting next, a long, quick paced trail ride!… although probably just hiltopper because I’m a huge jump coward. If you want to come a bit south to Fauquier, you can trail ride with me. I have a spare mare you could use! She’s awesome at it… I’ve even gone swimming with her!


    • hellomylivia 04/15/2015 / 9:04 am

      A bunch of the people at my barn go foxhunting regularly (one with her 7yo baby OTTB, he’s such a champ) and they all love it!!
      Ohmygosh Fauquier is seriously not far from me at all, that would be so much fun! Maybe trail riding on a veteran would make me brave enough to take my own girl out haha.


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