Where do I begin with 2014? What a year of highs and lows! I made several 180 pivots in my life and I’m sitting here not terribly sure if I met my goals this year. I started reflecting when our local Dressage chapter sent out invitations to the 2014 awards banquet where we not only recognize those who have shown well, but those who set a goal. I pulled my goal sheet up and despite all the groundbreaking things I did this year, I never met those final goals.
My goals were to break 70 on an intro dressage test, which would make me feel that I am truly ready to move up, and to show Training 1 at a show of some sort. Those weren’t quite met, and not because my horse had some lameness or other story like in 2013. I got to a 69.7% in Intro with Claire but never 70. We schooled Training 1 at home but I never got her to a show once we were ready for it, before she found her new home.
I did set some personal “plans” more than goals for 2014, and I met most of those! Which makes me feel encouraged. These are the “things” I accomplished:
Rode in a Licensed Dressage Show – and LOVED it!
Took REAL Lessons in Dressage from a qualified instructor – and learned SO Much!
Showed at my first rated hunter show with my pony in breeding – I don’t know if we loved it but we wanted to try and we did that part!
Travel and Show – We loved the WV show, it was a long haul but a great weekend.
Supported 4-H – SO proud of my girls at State Horse Knowledge finals!
Survived Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Show 2014 – a week of showing and hanging out with friends through all kinds of weather.
Got back in the Carriage and back to driving. Made the last two shows of the season and did part of the winter series.
It was a different year. I didn’t take a grand sweep of awards like in previous years. I placed well but not high because I grew horizontally by diversifying my places to show and disciplines instead of just getting better at one – which also meant keeping three very different types of horses showing three different disciplines ready which I realized I can’t do while working. There’s some deep moral somewhere in there that I grew and learned. I went to equine events 47 weekends this year, had a great time, and didn’t need to storm the ribbon chart!
My goals weren’t met but I made new ones as my year progressed. I tried new disciplines, matured in finding that work/horse balance, became more aware of who I am, met some amazing people, and am OK with not always being the champion.
So for 2015? Yes I’ve already started dreaming past the January snows. I’m going to try to slow down, though highly unlikely! Hope for a good friend to let me take a few rides on their horses while I figure that part of life out. I’m going to keep showing that pony yearling of mine and find his niche – I don’t think he’s cut out for hunter breeding but he is going to make some kid a snazzy dressage pony one day. Maybe we shall hit the dressage breed ring and give those Warmbloods something to spook at! And I’m going to keep driving. It’s really becoming a harder sport that riding because you have no legs! A round bending 20m circle with no leg or seat aids is a puzzle. I did commit myself last January to finding a way to compete at the Monster Mini CDE in Aiken in Jan 2015, with lots of hoping and praying and a very very odd twist of fate I am actually going!
So maybe goals aren’t my thing, but dreams are. Dreams that grow and change as you see what you have around you, dreams that take those things and make them into the best of their ability.