2014 Riding Related Goals

In no particular order:

  • Attend more team events: My instructor works really hard to make everyone who rides at her barn feel like they are on a team. Which is awesome! Riding has always felt like something I was doing for myself, alone- but not because I necessarily WANTED it that way, it was just how it ended up feeling. I always had good rapport with my previous instructors and even other riders back when I had group lessons but it never felt like a “team” maybe it’s an Eventing thing… I dunno. Here my lessons are private so it is really nice to be included- I think I could learn a lot from some really skillful riders at this barn! Plus, as a transplant to the area, it never hurts to meet new people who you already know enjoy some of the same things you do.
  • Learn more about showing in general: This goal works a bit in conjunction with the previous goal since I will only really be able to get show exposure with this barn. As a team we will be attending Rolex in April which will likely be my first full glimpse of the equine triathlon and I can’t wait to observe, enjoy, and learn everything I possibly can in those three days. The other part of this goal would be to actually see the inner workings of a show- I’d very much like to learn more about everything that goes into taking a horse to a show: trailering, braiding, prep, clothing, grooming, test patterns, scoring, the lingo (I want to know all the right words for all of this crap)  etc. I want to see what the guest barns are like at local shows; I want to feel the pre-ride nerves and tension; watch the hectic warm-up ring; help someone find their number; celebrate a good score.
  • Put the CAN in canter: Punny? no… okay, what I’d truly like to accomplish here is to take the anxiety OUT of the canter. As a beginner, I certainly cannot aim for mastery, and I cannot promise beauty but I can work on my own confidence riding this gait and I think I’ll be able to see a “measurable” difference, then perhaps the beauty will sort itself out. I’ve already made a TON of improvement here thanks to two very patient teachers but I would like, by the end of this year, to feel little-to-no anxiety asking for the canter. I want it to feel just like any other transition.
  • Lose 30 pounds: Only 40 to go…


So that is the list this year! There may be a few wildcard goals that join the list later on since I am unsure on a few details. Obviously I did not include a goal to do any showing myself and that is because I really don’t know if that option is available to me. Louie’s owner shows him already and I certainly don’t want to get in the way of that but maybe she’d consider letting me at least tag along to watch so I could tackle one of my goals! I also didn’t include a specific goal regarding leasing/buying a horse since it seems that leasing isn’t an easy find around here and buying comes with its own set of complications and questions I am not yet ready to answer.

I had a really stellar New Years Day lesson last night and I cannot be more grateful for everything riding related that 2013 brought me and excited for what this year will bring. What a great way to start the new year!

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and I wish you success in the things you are working towards in 2014!



Here are a few stills from a video I took of a recent ride. We have improved a lot in the past three months! I know I am getting more sensitive while I am riding which allows me to more effectively respond and make changes to my own position. I can tell I am beginning to take a more active role in riding and noticing a little more everytime how the subtle changes I make can affect my horse. This is what I desperately wanted to understand just a year and a half ago and simply couldn’t make the connection. Teaching muscle memory takes time and I am building those connections everytime I ride. I am continually grateful for the opportunity to work with Kate and the patient instruction we receive.

She is pretty cute.

She is one special drafty! swl