Thursday, January 1, 2015

Goals for 2015

Happy New Year!

I've always read that when you set goals, there are two important things that they should be: measurable and attainable. I've thought long and hard about my goals for 2015, and I believe that these are all very attainable (with the exception of the very last one perhaps) though they'll certainly take some work. I've done my best to give myself a way to measure my success as well, when I look back at these a year from now.

So without further are my goals for the year 2015!

Riding Goals:

1. Find a trainer in the area to take jumping lessons with. 
This is is going to be paramount to all the rest of my goals this year, so I'm going to make this my number one priority for my riding goals. I mentioned in my year end review that it's been a while since I've taken consistent lessons. Last year I got back into the groove of taking lessons with the dressage trainer next door, but I am in serious need of some help with jumping. It may even involve trucking out to another barn, but I've gotta do what I gotta do.

Because lets face it, my position is just bad. And this wasn't even the worst shot from the day!
(Photo by E. From the GHF 2-Phase, May 2014.) 

2. Keep up with lessons at least twice a month.
This was my original plan for lessons this year, but things got derailed what with vacations and Maggie's surgery. I wish I could do more (maybe I can,...we'll see), but twice a month is probably about all my budget can handle. I plan to start in January (RIGHT NOW) with the dressage lessons again and when I find a jump trainer maybe I'll do one lesson of each per month. 

3. Get more confident over fences and school XC more.
Taking jumping lessons again should tie into feeling more confident over fences (if it doesn't, then I've probably found myself the wrong instructor!) I'd like to pat myself on the back for just a second though and say I think I've done a pretty decent job of starting Maggie over fences all on my own. She's been a beast on all the stadium courses that we've tackled this year, which is really just the coolest feeling. I feel quite comfortable with her at 2'3"ish, but we need professional help for both of us to feel comfortable going higher. By the end of the year I'd love for her to be eating up 2'7" the same way she's eating up 2'3" right now. I think the stadium jumps come more easily to us than the XC jumps though, so I really want to make it a point to school XC more often. I think once the weather allows, once a month would be a good amount to aim for. Plus making "scary" jumps in our arena and practicing over those should be a routine for us. Getting confident at 2'7" over a stadium fence is once thing...getting confident over a 2'7" solid XC fence is a different animal in my brain (and Maggie's too I think.) As far as making "getting more confident" a measurable goal, I'll say this: By the end of the year, I want to be in the XC start box KNOWING that we can do it. Not just thinking and hoping that we can.

She clearly CAN do it! (From Pipestave, OCtober 2014)

4. Stay relaxed in dressage.
2015 shall be the year of jumping, but as an eventer I can't just forget about dressage! Besides, I actually enjoy this part of the sport! One common comment on our tests throughout 2014 was that Maggie holds tension in her back which is inhibiting her movement and impulsion. If I can continue to work on riding more off of my seat and legs (in true dressage fashion) and staying relaxed myself (which will keep me from grabbing too much rein), then I think Maggie will have an easier time staying relaxed as well. I would like there to be fewer comments about tension in our tests this season and I'd really like for our scores to stay competitive in the low 30's  

So nice and chill. (from Pipestave, July 2014)
5. Show at the Beginner Novice level.
This would be the culmination of everything if all of those four previous points go as planned. There are a few unrecognized BN divisions offered near me at Pipestave Hill and Groton House Farm. I'd like to move up from Modifed BN to BN at Pipestave and I'd like to try out the elementary division for the Summer Classic at GHF. Pipestave is such a small and local (but wonderful) event that I think their BN is actually less challenging than the E at GHF. If all that goes well, then I could try for BN at the GHF Fall Classic. The real icing on the cake though, would be if I could actually get geared up to doing a recognized BN event by the end of the year! Aim for the stars, right? Good options for me would be King Oak Farm (beginning of September),  University of New Hampshire (end of September), or Course Brook Farm (mid October). I don't know about everyone else, but moving up from little introductory/ elementary XC jumps seems HUGE and very daunting (maybe it's because I'm riding a pony?) I'm hoping that as 2015 progresses the idea of BN seems much less daunting.

Blog Goals:

1. Keep up with posting.
I'm pretty proud of myself that I've been able to do a decent job at this so far! My first post on this blog was on July 10, 2014 so I've almost made it to six months already! And as I lamented in my very first post I've actually never been much of a writer, so this is is kind of a big deal for me. I'd like to post twice a week at minimum, more often if possible. 

2. Participate in blog hops.
Not gonna lie, for the first couple months of my blogging career I was still confused as to what a blog hop exactly was (don't worry though, I've got it figured out now.) However, I've still been too shy to participate is any of them (well, with the exception of Fly On Over's gift exchange and social media link up.) But I see tons of you fellow bloggers participating in loads of blog hops and I want to get in the action. Why am I so weirdly shy about it? I dunno. I must get over it though.

3. Get a sponsored raffle/product review.
Perhaps this is a lofty goal, but I think it would be really fun to try something like this! 

Personal Goals:

1. Stay active outside of riding.
I would like to pat myself on the back one more time, because I've been doing an excellent job at this for the past few months since I got a gym membership at the beginning of November. For me, and I know this from experience, the tricky part comes during the summer when it gets nice outside again and all I want to do is be at the barn, not inside the gym . I'd like to keep with going to the gym at least 3x a week minimum. Another active thing I'd like to do is go hiking with my husband a couple times this summer. I've also toyed with the idea of doing a 5k. Could be fun?

This guy!
2. Pay off Maggie's surgery.
Maggie's surgery and nuclear scan cost me nearly $3,000, not including the blood tests leading up to her stay in the hospital. Good thing I had opened a new credit card the month before to help me build credit... As far as I'm concerned though, it's a small price to pay for my Maggie. Heck, her initial adoption fee from the MSPCA was only $300. I haven't crunched the numbers, so I'm not sure I'll be able to pay off the full amount in a year, but if I can pay of that credit card by $200 a month then I'll have taken out a good chunk out of it. We'll see if that ends up being doable, but it's something to shoot for!

So there you have it! Let's wait a year and see how things go! What are your 2015 goals?


  1. Excellent goals! I admire your ability to make a solid plan for achieving them, too.

    I always mean to do the blog hops, but then I get distracted and it's a week later and everyone has moved on to the next blog hop. Maybe I'll get better about that this year!

    1. I think that's been part of my problem with the blog hops too! Somehow I'm always late to the game...

  2. Love the goals. Also, she jumps FREAKIN' CUTE!!!!!

  3. you and i share a LOT of goals lol - good luck!!! riding lessons made alll the difference for me and isabel - and honestly trucking out to them does become pretty routine (which then makes trucking out for any other type of event feel more routine, bonus!). wishing you all the best in 2015!!

  4. Yay for the year of jumping!!