2016 Goals

I’m a little late to this party, aren’t I? But better late than never!

Let’s start by taking a look at my 2015 goals:

  • Get comfortable schooling full courses at 3’3″. Yep! It’s rare that every single jump in our lessons is a full 3’3″, but I’ve been quite comfortable popping over whatever height is set.
  • Jump 3’6″ regularly. “Regularly” may be a strong word, but we’ve done this with varying levels of consistency and been very happy doing so.
  • Compete in the Adult Equitation Medal class at least once. Competed in the Dover and Ariat adult medals down in Ocala! I guess this was technically in 2016, not 2015, but whatever. This is my blog, I can bend the rules however I want. YOLO.
  • Try a jumper class. Lawlz yes I’ve done this lots.
  • Make it to an “A” horse show. Ocala FTW.
  • Learn how to braid manes and tails. I actually did some practicing! I wouldn’t hire me, but I definitely get the theory and can/should keep practicing.
  • Live through a lesson without stirrups. A full lesson? Ehhhhhh. But I can last as long as my trainer asks us to without dying, which feels like an eternity.
  • Go on at least one trail ride. We spent lots of time last summer/fall exploring off property, and I can’t wait to get back out once it warms up again!
  • Keep my confidence up. So far so good! Of course I’ll have some nervous moments, but I’ve been able to take a deep breath and give myself a little pep talk.

Not too shabby, amiright??? Time to come up with some ideas for the next year! Here goes:

  • Buy a horse. This is an obvious one that I’ve talked about a couple times so far, so I won’t belabor the point. I would love to have a magical unicorn to call my very own.
  • Improve my lower leg. I have decent eq in general, but I’ve noticed that my lower leg stability doesn’t have the level of consistency that I’d like. Some days it’s great, other days it looks like a turd sandwich.
  • Learn how to ride a variety of horses. I’ve been lucky enough to ride horses that I get along with really well, and of course the DragonMare has been a blast. But I don’t just want to be good at riding Addy, I want to be good at riding horses. If anyone in northern VA needs their horse exercised, let me know! I probably won’t be able to make them better, but I’m 80% sure I won’t completely ruin them. Probably.
  • Show in a jumper class at 1m. This depends on a variety of things, mainly what horse I’ll be riding. If I end up with a show-ready horse, this could happen rather soon. But if we decide to take on a younger horse, we will be taking our time to slowly build up experience.
  • Go double clear 60% of the time. I’d obviously like to shoot for 100% of the time, but lets be realistic here. I’m an ammy and I make silly mistakes. If I can go clear more often than not, I’ll be happy.
  • Learn more about training green horses. I find the process of teaching a young horse fascinating. We have a couple RRP horses at our barn that are coming along nicely and I’d like to observe, and I plan to ask tons and tons and tons of questions/do lots of reading on this topic. Readers: I’d love any insight you have in this area, I know lots of you have brought along your own green horses!

I think that covers the big ones for now. Any suggestions for other goals to put on the list?

I also have a question for you, that I’d love to put together into a blog post. I’ll also be asking this on Twitter/Instagram, so feel free to answer there!

When you bought your first horse, what were some surprise purchases you had to make? We all know that we need a bridle, girth, etc., but what did you end up needing that wasn’t on your list?

23 thoughts on “2016 Goals

  1. Hillary 03/20/2016 / 5:14 pm

    You nailed your 2015 goals I would say.

    I’m excited to see how 2016 pans out too.

    I could talk a lot of green horses as almost all of my horses have been green when I’ve purchased them. If you have questions or just need a sounding board I’ve dealt with most green horse struggles and triumph the past few years and I am in the thick of it again with Annie.

    As for last minute purchases I would say plan for things you want in addition to stuff you need. It’s so fun to have your own 😊

    In addition to that I like to make sure I have an array of medical supplies. Never know when you’ll need banamine… Hoof packing etc. your horse your supplies 🙂 aside from that as an adult Ammie I make sure to put a couple hundred a month into an emergency savings account. Then when bigger things come up I never freak about how I’ll pay for it bc I planned ahead of time each month.


    • hellomylivia 03/22/2016 / 2:31 pm

      Thank you for all this advice!! And especially for that last bit- I’m definitely budgeting to save up for the inevitable major expense. We all know that with horses it’s a matter of when, not if 😛


  2. Liz 03/21/2016 / 6:17 am

    Plan on a basic first aid kit to keep at the barn. Aluminum spray, betadine, swabs, gauze, bute, vaseline, etc. Indispensable and beyond useful.

    I also hadn’t planned on getting my own clippers but once purchased they were (and have continued to be) a great investment.


    • hellomylivia 03/22/2016 / 2:32 pm

      Definitely putting together a first aid kit! And I’d love to save up for a good set of clippers, those will go on the list for sure


  3. Emma 03/21/2016 / 6:45 am

    Congrats on such a huge 2015! Love the new goals too – can’t wait to see how they turn out! (Esp that first one lol)


    • hellomylivia 03/22/2016 / 2:33 pm

      Thank you! I can’t wait to see how they turn out too 🙂 I’m impatiently waiting for that first one haha


  4. Jenn 03/21/2016 / 6:52 am

    You’re always welcome to come up and take Roger for a spin 🙂 And I have insight for dayyyyyyysssssssssssss about training and riding green horses, but I’ll summarize: sometimes it’s frustrating, sometimes it’s really hard and can be really humbling, but the good moments and training breakthroughs are REALLY special, which makes all the frustration worth it. Plus, I think it’s cool to ride a horse that you’ve “made” yourself!


    • hellomylivia 03/22/2016 / 2:34 pm

      I’m Roger’s fairy godmother, of course I gotta come spend some quality time with him!! Hopefully I’ll get some time with some greenies this year to learn more 🙂


  5. Allison Stitzinger 03/21/2016 / 7:48 am

    So many exciting things coming for the future! 😀 I agree with Liz that first aid stuff was something I had to stock up on when Dino came home. I would add to her list: thrush buster, vetwrap, antifungual cream/spray/shampoo of some sort, Ivory soap, and antibiotic ointment. Standing wraps and no-bow bandages are something else you might not think of right away, too. Basically, you want to be stocked & prepared for your unicorn to maim itself!


    • hellomylivia 03/22/2016 / 2:35 pm

      Ready and waiting for the maiming- it always happens at the least convenient time, amiright??


  6. SprinklerBandits 03/21/2016 / 9:47 am

    It’s so hard to make goals without exactly knowing what partnership you’re making them for and super boring to make goals that don’t include a horse in the first place. I vote we knock out #1 and then regroup. MOAR GOALZ


    • hellomylivia 03/22/2016 / 2:36 pm

      I’m definitely trying to make more personal goals for now, and then I’ll probably go nuts and have a list a mile long once the unicorn enters the picture haha


  7. shelbyrallen 03/21/2016 / 12:47 pm

    My mom bought my first horse when I was young and I bought Justin last year, so by the time I did that I had already accumulated a LOT of stuff, so I didn’t exactly end up getting anything new. But, here’s things maybe you didn’t consider: Blankets (obvi won’t have to really worry about that one soon), I totally agree on a first aid kit! I have basically an entire tack trunk of one in the barn and one in the trailer (thanks, Pony Club). Other than tack, I would think you would have most anything you may need – besides treats of course for the new unicorn 🙂


    • hellomylivia 03/22/2016 / 2:38 pm

      Yeah luckily I have a decent amount of stuff from my horse in high school, and I just picked up an extra 5lb bag of treats 😉 At this point there’s just a few minor things to collect before the unicorn makes their way to me!

      Liked by 1 person

    • hellomylivia 03/22/2016 / 2:39 pm

      Thanks! It was a ridiculously fun year, and I think this year is gonna be even better 🙂


  8. Tracy - Fly On Over 03/23/2016 / 1:17 pm

    Oh man, I got my first horse so long ago, I’m not sure I remember what surprised me… aside from everything. LOL. I will say be prepared to buy lots of random medical equipment/supplies … I always seem to need something new :/ Also, try to remember that “need” and “want” are really different … and you don’t actually “need” a ton for your unicorn… although it is a lot more fun to BUYALLTHETHINGS


    • hellomylivia 03/24/2016 / 9:10 am

      The need vs. want thing is TOUGH!!! I’m a professional justifier- it’s been so hard to stick to my budget! Thank goodness for the Dover wishlist feature…


  9. draftmare 03/24/2016 / 12:19 pm

    Better late than never! Sounds like a good group of goals!


    • hellomylivia 03/24/2016 / 12:21 pm

      I did a double take at the calendar- this year is FLYING by!


      • draftmare 03/24/2016 / 12:36 pm

        Yes it is! I can’t believe show season is almost here!

        Liked by 1 person

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