I remain convinced that New Years resolutions are a terrible idea. There are plenty of studies out there showing this is true. If you want to do something, you want to do it regardless of the day of the year. So I generally don't make resolutions. I made some "goals" last year and easily accomplished them. Of course they were basically just things I planned to do, not resolutions or real goals. A few months ago, Megan mentioned in one of her blogs that "people who make unreasonable/ optimistic goals and fail are happier and feel better than people who expect less of themselves and do better than they expected." And so I started plotting unrealistic goals for next year.
The hard part about this is: I'm not an optimist. It's actually my job to be the one who sits around thinking of all the ways things could go wrong. I come by this skill naturally, but I've honed it over the years. I sent this list to my husband and his response was "my wife in a nutshell?"
So it's really hard for me to think things are going to go well enough to have goals at all let alone ambitious goals. Nonetheless, I was determined to stretch myself this year. Back in October I discussed with my trainer my plans for 2016 and she agreed with me that we could manage it. She didn't say it'd be easy, but she thought it would be possible if I worked hard enough and Nilla stayed sound. Then Nilla kicked her leg through a trailer door and broke herself. We lost 2+ months of work and conditioning and we face uncertain soundness going forward. To my mind, this was basically punishment for having goals. I "jinxed" myself by even daring to think I could have such unrealistic goals and fate was here to put me in my place.
But I'm too much of a scientist/logical person to let the part of my brain that believes in fate be in charge. So you know what? Fuck anxiety, here's what I want to do:
2016 Dressage Goals
Compete at Training Level (both schooling and rated shows)
Qualify for Regionals at Training Level
Compete at First Level (schooling or rated show)
Before the injury, the plan was to be showing Training ASAP and then hopefully be qualified by May/June and then start working on First level. I don't think this timeline is going to happen now, but I should be able to make it by September.
2016 Endurance/Trial Riding Goals
Complete another 25 mile ride
Go Horse Camping as much as possible
Go Horse Camping in the back country
We own a ton of backpacking gear. We'd like to try to use it with some saddle packs and ride somewhere, overnight, and return to the trailer the next day. No trailer to tie the horses to, no truck to sleep in, no coolers filled with food; just us and whatever we can take with us. It'll take a lot of planning, but I think we can do it. The hardest part of this is really just not knowing if Shasta will be able to return to work. I also have to fix Nilla's hock issues if we're going to do another 25.
2016 Jumping/Eventing Goals
Compete at BN level (schooling only)
Go to a clinic or trailer out to lessons for jumping
Register Nilla and compete in American Mule Association Shows
I've seen the mules and riders we'd compete against and we have no shot at winning even in the green or amateur divisions. But we can still have a bit of fun. I'd love to do Mule Days, but I just don't think I can take that much time off.
Get Nilla to trailer without killing herself
Get Nilla over her aversion to bits - she needs to keep her tongue in her mouth
Have 3 happy, healthy, and sound horses
There's a decent chance I'll be going back to school this year in which case all of the competition goals go out the water since I will no longer be able to afford showing.