Planning Ahead to Move Up Someday: the Maybe Edition

Just to clarify up front: we are not moving up any time soon. We are in the midst of a lovely season in the Highs and are continuing to work out the kinks and polish it up.

Because let’s be honest, there is PLENTY to work on.

For example, some day I’ll actually learn how to ride, maybe. PC: A. Frye

But I also like to have a bit of a longer view to what’s coming up, and sat down with my trainer to discuss what our plan is moving forward. The verdict: we have no real verdict, and I’m really excited about it.

What we do have is a series of options depending on how things go throughout the rest of the season. A couple of soft “maybes.”

One maybe: we get to the end of this season in the 1.10m-1.15m classes and decide we need another season in this division. Which would be fun! We could really focus hard on perfecting our rounds at that height, and there are plenty of fun classics and competitions at this height to keep us entertained.

We can get plenty of cute pics in this division. And yes I’m still sharing this picture forever.

Another maybe: we get to the end of this season and feel really great and comfortable with how we’re going, and decide to try and move up. Which leads to another series of maybes.

In this case we work really hard over the winter to build fitness and accuracy, and very slowly start to try out a 1.20m class here and there- maybe putting my trainer in the irons at first to give him a better ride. Focusing on the ones offered early in the season and early in the week, where the courses are set more simply and forgivingly. And we pay very very close attention and make sure to work closely with our vet to make sure we’re not pushing further than Frankie wants to go- we know that being able to clear a few 1.20m fences does not equal the ability to navigate a full long course at a show. So this potentially leads us to a couple other maybes.

Maybe Frankie and I have built up enough fitness to do a soft entry into the 1.20m classes, and can give the Low A/O division a try. Which I think would be super cool.

Seeing him fly like this over 1.15m is encouraging. PC: G. Mohan

Or maybe Frankie gives it a try and tells us that he’s not comfortable moving up more- which is also fine. Because that leads to another set of maybes.

Maybe at this point I decide to stay in the Highs with Frankie and come up with new goals within that height range- WIHS, other finals, etc. There are plenty of options!

Or maybe we decide to lease Frankie out to someone looking for a proven 1.15m packer, and use that lease fee to find me a 1.20m lease. Which would mean no A/O division for me, but there are other opportunities to give that height a try- the regional championships that I’m doing offer a 1.20m/1.25m section and they don’t require ownership to compete like they do in the A/Os.

Have someone else deal with Sir Naps-a-Lot for a year

And because horses like to poop all over the best-laid plans, I am so sure that there are at least 100 other “maybes” that we haven’t even started to consider. Chances are high that we end up with the final option of “none of the above.”

So there you have it: we have no idea what we’re going to be doing long term, but we’re excited to find out. In the meantime we’re going to focus hard on fitness, get our eyes fixed on Regionals, and keep building our partnership for whatever the future might hold!

Ending note: I’m grateful to have a trainer who takes the time to talk about those longer-term goals with honesty and openness. And especially grateful that throughout our whole conversation, she made it abundantly clear that her #1 priority is Frankie’s health and longevity. In a sport where we so often hear about people pushing hard and fast at the expense of the horse, I’m proud to ride with someone who never compromises the horse for the show.

Do you like to plan out your maybes? 

18 thoughts on “Planning Ahead to Move Up Someday: the Maybe Edition

  1. Liz 07/10/2017 / 7:47 am

    So many exciting maybes! I used to try to plan my maybes…but then my horses shat upon them all so I quit planning them to protect my sanity. Now I have loose ideas and I see how they’ll fit based on the day/wee/month/year. It’s working so far!


    • hellomylivia 07/10/2017 / 7:51 am

      Horses, man. They have an uncanny ability to know when plans are made so they can completely upend them haha. You’ve definitely got a system that works, with all those happy versatile ponies!!


  2. Stacie Seidman 07/10/2017 / 9:46 am

    It’s great to keep tabs on potential long term plans! I don’t know Frankie in real life, but from what you’ve shared, he has plenty of scope to go up another hole. But as you’re saying, no need to rush there. Definitely keep yourself and Frankie confident and hungry for more before moving up too soon. Whatever happens in your future together, it’s going to be loads of fun!


    • hellomylivia 07/10/2017 / 9:49 am

      Definitely going to be fun, no matter what! And we have plenty of time to get wherever we’re going 🙂


  3. tntibbetts 07/10/2017 / 10:32 am

    Goals and planning are essential to moving ahead and getting better. They don’t always mean bigger and harder, just goals. I was really hoping to have a nice solid show season on my thoroughbred gelding this year before I start taking my younger mare to shows next year, but alas he got kicked in the stifle Memorial Day weekend so baby girl is getting ALL the rides!


    • hellomylivia 07/10/2017 / 3:42 pm

      So great that you were able to be flexible with those plans! Agreed that goals don’t have to be bigger or harder, just something to work towards to improve


  4. Karen M 07/10/2017 / 3:22 pm

    I love your approach! It’s always “maybe” with horses, anyways.


  5. CallyJumps 07/10/2017 / 10:01 pm

    Always so many “maybes” with horses! Would having your Trainer get him out a bit at the 1.2 early on in the week while you still do the high AAs later on work? I know that kind of thing ends up being so much more $$$, but might work out well for you. Frankie certainly looks like the scope is no problem for him!


    • hellomylivia 07/11/2017 / 9:12 am

      That’s the tentative plan! I like the idea of my trainer giving Frankie some confidence-building rides to start out, if we end up going that route

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Tracy - Fly On Over 07/11/2017 / 9:00 am

    Your future plans are so much more laid out than mine are! I have some general long-term dreams, but I’m at the point in my life where I don’t mind waiting a long time for them to happen, and if they don’t I won’t be upset either. I just want to keep learning and improving!


    • hellomylivia 07/11/2017 / 9:15 am

      Love that! At the end of the day, my overarching big goal is to have a happy horse that likes his job, and to give him a better ride than I did yesterday ❤


  7. Shelby Allen 07/11/2017 / 11:27 am

    Being a planning kind of person, I always have some sort of long term “blue print” in my head. Lately, mine has been much more loosely organized, but I always like to have plans A, B and C!


    • hellomylivia 07/11/2017 / 3:44 pm

      Definitely! I know horses can be so incredibly unpredictable, but I feel better having at least a rough “decision tree” to work from

      Liked by 1 person

  8. laurelashtonw 07/11/2017 / 7:29 pm

    I’ve learned that, with horses, planning out “maybes” is essential! Having more than one potential plan is the way to go, since you never really know what will happen when the time comes! The more plans, the better!


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