2011 Goals

So every year I try and set up some goals that I plan to accomplish.
Normal these goals are just a loose way of organizing my hopes for
year. They also tend to be all show related. Since I am not 100% sure
I am going to show this year my goals are going to be totally
different. I am giving myself 10 things that I want to happen in 2011.

1) Master, or at least stop sucking at the sitting trot. As a very
good hunter rider asked “what is the big deal with you dressage people
and the sitting trot”. The issue in dressage with sitting is that
sitting is supposed to enhance the horses movement (read: make it
bigger and more expressive). That means that instead of a western jog
(which I am awesome at) or even a hunter sitting trot you want the
movement to get bigger. It is a hard thing to master because it is a
lot of muscle control and looseness all at the same time. If I want to
progress I cannot be a sack of potatoes up there, nor can I slow down
or inhibit the horses movement in anyway. I have not really put any
serious work into this yet so this is going to be my challenge of the
2) Learn to feel that haunches in. Right now I can handle a shoulder
in. I even like doing it. For some reason though I have a really hard
time with haunches in. I cannot feel it at all, so that means I have
to look in the mirrors when I have it. If I want to progress to the
half pass correctly I need to master the haunches in.
3) Work on my flying changes. In dressage it is an upper level
movement, and so in my head I make them out to be a big deal. That is
not good! I am riding a horse who can do one Tempis and I have a hard
time getting 6s out of him because I am all over the place and not
good about keeping him straight in the changes.
4) Lease the Schoolmaster again. From the top three goals you can tell
that I plan on riding him more. I really like him and I need to get
over the fact that he is an hour away. I used to board at that barn
and I could still make it up 7 days a week. I let riding take a back
seat in 2010, but in 2011 I really want to be a good rider and that is
going to take some work!
5) Learn how to show a horse in hand. Doing the fun shows last year I
totally fell in love with showing in hand. I had a BLAST. It is
something totally different to me, but that is what makes it
challenging. Even better is that fact that it is something I can do
with my Gen. I want to learn both the QH way as well as the young
warmblood way of showing in hand. I want to be a good horse person and
I think that showing in hand is without a doubt a skill I need to
6) Figure out if I really want a second horse. That is going to take
some time and a lot of reflection, but it is something I really need
to do. Gen is 19 years old, but seeing how great he is doing he might
have another 10 years (or more) left. I need to figure out a plan to
move forward with. Somedays I want to try and ride him again and
some days I know I have done the right thing just letting him be retired.
If I want a second horse I need to start looking,if I want to lease again
I need to figure out how I want to go about that, and if I just want to
be a lesson kid for a while I need to make peace with that.
7) Try and find a more affordable barn for Gennyral. I promised myself
when I retired him that I would only spend $400 a month on board for
him. I have totally and completely killed that budget. I talked it over
with the Barn Owner at Gen’s and she understands. The reality is
that horses only get more expensive. I am not going to move Gen just
for the sake of moving him, but I owe it to myself to at least look and
see if there is a more affordable situation out there.  I am not sure if I
will find a barn in my price range in my area, but I do know that I need
to make it a goal to look in 2011
8) Show at the fun shows again. I LOVED going to the local fun show
last year. I has such a great time. I brought Phoenix once and my
friends Pinto twice. While I did not blow anyone away with my amazing
competition skills, I had so much fun. I loved learning how to do in
hand and I also loved the fact that I could show in a polo shirt and
fit right in. I am not sure if I am going to be able to do this show
again because I don’t have a horse to take to it. While the Pinto
Owner had fun, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to do two years of it, so
that means I am going to have to be creative about finding a horse to
do this with. It might not happen, but I had so much fun that it is
worth a try!
9) Get more involved in the horse community. Back when I was in
college I was all about helping out in my organizations. I used to
volunteer at shows and events all the time. In 2010 I did 8 volunteer
hours at the local show grounds and that was it. I used to dream of
creating a dressage show just for juniors. I used to want to get a
high school varsity letter program from dressage riders together. I
need to get back to that place where I would help out the sport of
dressage even if I do not love the politics of the USEF.
10) Try something new. I love dressage but I absolutely suck at it. I
have to work 10 times as hard as a normal person to even get the
simplest of movements down. I have no grace and no natural elegance
both of which are required to make it at the high levels. Money helps
too, and since I chose a career based on making the world a better
place I can assure you all that I will never be rich. My goal for 2011 is to
take at least a lesson in two totally different disciples just to see
what else is out there.


4 thoughts on “2011 Goals

  1. I’m the opposite. I have a much harder time with shoulder in than haunches in. Maybe it’s because Ozzy and I are crooked to begin with. Haha. Great list of goals. Good luck! Looking forward to watching you power through them 🙂

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