I has a plan!

I think one of the things that has held my progress in check for a long time is not having very clear riding goals.  In high school I competed essentially to go hang out with horses and friends all day.  It wasn’t much different in Texas, when I was leasing a horse named Checkers.  It was just kinda like, okay go.  Get around the course, you didn’t die, okay cool.

Then I moved to Maryland, started eventing, bought a house, had no money, and I realized something.  Eventing is way too expensive to not visibly improve from event to event, even if that improvement is developing consistency.  If I’m going to bother with it, and bother to take two lessons a week, and not waste my and my trainer’s time, I need to have a clear cut plan and progression.

Yeah, so, I has a plan.

Short Term (Winter 2014-2015)

  • Improve and lighten my dressage seat – quieter hands, stronger back to minimize collapsing to the right side, open angle of hip to thigh to solidify lower leg
  • Improve sitting trot – catch more of the “upswing” and bring center of gravity back
  • A training level dressage test capable of scoring in the high 60s
  • Work on downward transitions and halt
  • Lots of gymnastics to strengthen and improve jump form
  • Stop using the martingale on the flat

Next Show Season (Spring-Fall 2015)

  • Complete an entire event without forgetting a test or course
  • Recognized Beginner Novice horse trial
  • A “move up” horse trial at Beginner Novice or a starter trial at Novice in the fall (This one’s a long shot, because I won’t bother to move up until I can actually complete events with no eliminations or memory lapses consistently)
  • One hunter show

Long Term

  • Renew CHA Certification
  • Qualify for the American Eventing Championships

Now, I’m not usually much of a planner, and I know as much as the next person what happens to the best laid plans.  I was actually feeling a little superstitious about writing them out, but my checking account needs real focus from me this year.

What are you planning to accomplish in the next year or so?

Photo “Blueprint” by Will Scullin

5 Comments

  1. Great goals, Liz! I should probably make a list like this. I had one when I backed Nibbles earlier this year then horse-life fell apart and so did said list. Right now, my goal is to get a walk, trot and canter under saddle plus real steering. We have walk-trot and semi-steering…points for effort? xD

  2. I would like to move into our lower jumper divisions on the local circuit and start being competitive! Great plan.

  3. I’ve gotten less suspicious about writing plans down when I came to terms with the fact that plans don’t always work out and that that is okay, and that changing your plans is also okay. It’s a form of letting go, and its hard to do but its better for your mind.

    I think writing them down and sharing them with us is great and you should be able to accomplish quite a bit!

  4. Goals are great for focus. I always feel silly saying them out loud or acknowledging them outside myself but they help.

  5. nice goals – i like the balance of the very attainable and the ones that are more for a reach. i just started setting goals for myself too – mostly to keep myself accountable and stay forward-thinking. but yea, things happen and plans can change. that’s totally fine too 🙂

What say you?