January 5, 2017

2016 Goals Review

I was in a strange place for goal setting last year.  I hadn't yet fully committed to the idea of an all-Dressage season when I wrote my goals,  (In a lot of ways, I'm still not fully committed to that.) and I still had hope that Connor and I would event by the end of the year.  I also wasn't experienced enough (at all!) to know what to shoot for in Dressage.

So, how did I do?  From my 2016 Goals post on January 7, 2016:

- Show rated First Level Dressage
Success!  Surviving and finding success at a rated Dressage show is definitely my biggest accomplishment of 2016.

Our haul from our first rated show.  Also my all-time favorite photo of us.
- Show unrated Second Level by the end of the year
Failure, on purpose.  I had the opportunity to stumble through a Second Level test at a "hide them behind the barn" show at the end of the year that wouldn't show up on our permanent records for any association...and I decided against it.  It would have been unfair to both of us to push for that just to make this goal when we weren't really ready to do well at it.

- Take him to a schooling jumper show so Mary can show him
There's a very good and adult reason this didn't happen: after I set my goals, Mary got a great summer internship in Florida in her chosen field (UX).  She did make it back in September so we could take this picture though:

- Trail riding with Connor's breeder and Dr. Marks
50% success!  We did haul over to Lisa's for a pony sleepover and went trail riding, but unfortunately, Dr. Marks couldn't make it.

- School XC enough that Connor gets bored at BN...maybe...hopefully...
Failure.  We focused so much on Dressage and hardly jumped at all.  I'm realistic in that if/when we return to eventing, it will be at Starter.  He hasn't completed an event since the beginning of 2015, going BN now, even with a lot of schooling, is too much to ask.  Plus, positive experiences, etc etc.

All in all, this was a good year.  It had its share of ups and downs, but we're ending the year having shown more times than ever (8 shows total!) and with a sound and happy horse.  On to 2017!


  1. I think making yearly goals with horses is so tricky! Something that seems easy enough on January 1 might end up being impossible, and something that seems insanely far fetched might be closer than you think 😀 sounds like you made solid progress on the 2016 goals though!

    1. Totally. Quarterly goals would be more accurate, but ain't nobody got time for that. ;)

    2. I tried monthly goals like the last quarter of 2016. Nopenopenope. Done with that 😂

  2. Even if the jumping didn't happen the way you expected, it seems like your dressage work very much hit your planned trajectory!!

  3. Yearly goals are so hard. I can make whatever goals I want but really, it's all up to the horse at the end of the day. And sometimes I think they look at our goals, laugh, and then try their damnedest to do the opposite!

  4. Sound and happy - yes! Most important of all!

  5. The progress in dressage though is unbelievable and lovely to see from afar! I can't wait to see what this year looks like :)

  6. I think its just awesome how well you manage to juggle your intense job and riding still!

  7. I think that's actually pretty stellar goal setting you did there!

  8. 2016 was a pretty great year for you!!