New partner, new goals

Every now and then something comes along that makes you evaluate your plans and want to establish some goals.

As an adult ammy with a full life and busy company, I’ve always assumed that it’s impractical to think I can have a regular showing career. It’s hard enough when a staff member takes a long weekend, how could I possibly sneak out to go play ponies?

And I was totally OK with that. Honest.

Never comfortable in the spotlight, I have a bit of nerves in front of a crowd. I also firmly believe that the challenges of bringing along a young horse are just as valid and rewarding as earning pretty ribbons.

An eventer in a past life, I haven’t competed since the days of the USCTA and plastic armbands with hand-written medical cards. My attendance to horse shows in recent years has been exclusively as a vendor with my tack shop. And sometimes to ogle at the perfect creatures in the ring. But never to compete. Heavens, no! My ambitions were more in the vague realm of “I’d like to piaffe one day“. Valid, but basic. Clear, yet not quantifiable. More than once I’ve had my coach ask me to think about my goals, and more than once I’ve pondered it for a day or two only to give up when I realize that I can’t think of anything actionable to put on paper. If you’re a dressage rider who doesn’t care about finding out your scores, are you really a dressage rider?

But when a talented young horse comes into your life, sometimes your goals need a bit of tweaking.

Insert Venti, who is as handsome as he is talented. A gigantic five year old with a dash of attitude and a boatload of shoulder. Don’t get me wrong; he’s a bit of a handful, needs to develop his booty, and sometimes forgets that he has frisbees for feet. But some day he’s going to absolutely sparkle. And the thing that is catapulting me into proper goal setting – he lives for a challenge. His curious nature overcomes most spooky situations and under saddle he prefers exercises that keep him on his toes. Developing his bag of tricks is going to be so fun.

The catch with making goals meaningful is that they have to be specific and measurable. Which my previous ‘goals’ couldn’t claim to be. Can we even call vague flitting daydreams goals? I think not. That doesn’t mean my newly formed ambitions have to be lofty. Small accomplishments are still accomplishments after all.

So here I am, a dressage restart in my mid thirties hatching up new goals and laying out path to achieve them. Long term, short term, and ongoing personal and training improvements – here we come! I’ll share our ambitions soon and hope you’ll help keep us accountable. Cheers to setting intentions and going after them with gusto.

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