I hate playing the new year’s resolution game. I’m a realist. So I know that the gym membership I buy will be a waste of money in just three months. I won’t loose 20 pounds. I won’t reduce my wine intake. And I sure as hell won’t find more time “for myself” in 2017.

That said, there are some vague ideas of resolutions I hope to explore in 2017. And surprise, surprise, most of them are horse-related.

It’s funny because I am a goal-oriented person. I work hard to achieve my goals in my career and with my horse. And even though there are usually some bumps in the road (like lameness, financial complications, family commitments, etc.) I usually achieve them. Eventually.

So here’s what I have in mind for 2017:

Save more money. Yeah, I want to put more toward my 401k and my savings accounts. But I also want to save more cash so I can buy a fancy new saddle this year. 😉

Spend more evenings in the barn. This doesn’t necessarily mean ride more or train more frequently. Non-horsey people may call it “meditation.” The barn is my happy place. It’s where I go when I don’t want work or my family to reach me. When I’m feeling anxious about things beyond my control, I come here to try to relax. Listening to the horses munch their hay on a quiet evening is as good a form of therapy as anything else.

Haul the horse by myself without loosing it. I’ve been hauling the horse on my own for the last year. But every time I don’t have my support group, I waste so much of my energy worrying about all the terrible things that could happen. It’s time to haul with confidence. How can I expect my horse to load confidently if I’m jumping out of my skin about it every time?

Learn new stuff. Ideally, I’d love to compete at First Level this year. But I’ve also been saying that for three years. It’s not like I haven’t reached other riding goals since then — we did start jumping more and dressage was sort of put on the back burner. This new year we’ll reverse that. I want to be open to learn anything. A better way to braid the mane. Or take someone else’s advice on how to sit the trot.

Worry less, have more fun. Take more group lessons with riding buddies. Go on more trail rides. Enjoy more Wine Wednesdays at the barn. Spend more days at the barn where I just hang out with my horse and not necessarily tack up to ride.

Win. Not necessarily blue ribbons and trophies, but win by my own standards. Ride that First Level test in a competition. That small victory when I haul the horse to a show and don’t loose it. Win the war on the summer fungus infestation before eats away all the hair on my mare’s face. Win the scheduling battle of balancing riding time with work time.


2016 was a doozy. Here’s hoping to a quiet and comforting 2017.