Looking Ahead to 2017

This post took me a lot longer to write than all of the other posts this week put together. I was all gung-ho to set these very specific, measurable, ambitious goals so that I can charge headlong into 2017. Then I sat there for a while and reflected on what my real challenges were in 2016… did the goals I had written down address that? Would they help drive me to fix the areas I really needed to work on?

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Trainer said it quite well at our last XC school… I had gotten very frustrated at my inability to do something perfectly and started to just shut down mentally, and she took me aside for a lecture that was a combination of “suck it up buttercup” and “you can do this” where she called me Type A. For some reason that part stuck in my head and I kind of laughed at that on the drive home. I’ve never been accused of being a Type A personality ever in my life. Those people are super high strung workaholics that are mega organized and get anxious about everything, right?

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Eh, turns out no, it’s not quite that simple. I started looking into it and while my general personality is only a little Type A, when it comes to riding, I’m about as severely Type A as they come. Super competitive, super intense, and never satisfied with anything. My biggest struggle this past year was letting go of my own mistakes and trying not to overanalyze or put too much pressure on myself. No one can ruin my own good time like I can. Therefore what’s my biggest problem? ME.

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So with that revelation in mind, I scrapped almost all of my original goals and started again. 2017 is to be the year of “chill the hell out and have fun with it”. I’m not aiming for anything super ambitious, I’m not setting out an intricate show plan or worrying about qualifications or scores or points or any of that stuff. This year I’m fixing my brain (I am my own worst enemy) and working on having confidence in myself.

Complete at least 4 Training horse trials – schooling or recognized, whatever. I don’t care how I place or what our score ends up being (that’s a lie, I care a lot, but I’m trying to convince myself not to care) I just want to complete and put a deposit in the confidence bank.

Score under 35 in dressage at Training – it would be nice to get a respectable dressage score, even if I don’t finish on it.

Take at least one lesson a month – I’m hoping we’re back on track with this now, but it’s still worth writing down.

Attend another course/seminar related to the Young Event Horse program – I had so much geeked-out fun at Fair Hill, I really want to continue that education.

Get Baby Horse registered, inspected, and microchipped with RPSI – This is all fairly obvious stuff for a baby, but it’s a milestone, so here it is.

Get Baby Horse lifetime recorded with USEF – This is kind of a reminder to myself, because if you do the USEF lifetime recording the same year they’re born, it’s $35. If you wait til they’re 3 or older, it’s $200. He may or may not ever actually need to be USEF recorded, but for $35 let’s do it.

Chill the eff out, you psycho – ha, j/k. But really, dial it back like 12 notches in general.

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Finish half marathon under 2:40 – I feel pretty confident that 2:40 is doable… I did it in 2:15ish in 2013, but I’m also definitely nowhere near as fit now as I was then (at the peak of my triathlon “career”). 2:30 would be the stretch goal, but I’d be satisfied with 2:40.

Keep running 3x a week – even after the half is over, I want to keep running just to keep my fitness level up. It’s helped a lot.

Work on my core strength – The rest of my lower half has gotten so much stronger from running, but my core is definitely still lacking. If I want my dressage to get better, I need to work on that.

Take a non-horse related vacation – Chicago in the summer, maybe?


Look at me, over here ready to chill out and relax in 2017…

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but I’m gonna try not to do it like that.



P.S. If anyone has some Christmas money burning a hole in their pocket, Riding Warehouse has 20% off sitewide through the 2nd! Time to stock up on Henry’s favorite rock salt and some new clipper blades. Even the sale stuff is 20% off! Hope no one’s 2017 goals included “control my spending”…

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25 thoughts on “Looking Ahead to 2017

  1. ohhh off to Rw site I go since i do have a gift card burning (PS Magyk Equipe Purple boots are LOVE!! Seriously LOVE the fit love the material. just love thank you for enabling me once again! 🙂
    Love that you ‘relaxed’ your goals a bit. HA

    If i ran 13 miles in less than 3 hours it would only be cause zombies were chasing me 🙂 HA

    PS Add to your list COME BACK TO FAIR HILL in 2017. It was a blast and I may go with you this time to the YEH workshop if they offer it again!


  2. I think some of your goals are slightly challenging, but they’re also 100% attainable! You know as well as I do that so much of this sport is in our heads, but adjusting your mentality when riding is much easier said than done. Luckily, Henny don’t care about no Training level, he is the XC unicorn!

    Oh, and I second the vote for Chicago in the summer. It’s one of my favorite cities 🙂


  3. Writing good goals is really a skill you have to learn, I think. My coping mechanism has been to write realistic goals and then have a bucket list for some of the more competitive items I’d like to accomplish — that way if sh*t happens and I can’t do them, I don’t feel like I’ve failed.


  4. Great goals! I love the flower smelling champion pic haha. For some reason I’m really easy on myself in other areas of my life but am incredibly hard on myself as a rider… when things are not perfect I get super unglued. Working on that too!


  5. Correction – what she actually said was “Knock it off, I would never ask you to jump anything that you couldn’t do, I would never risk your safety. You are not a horrible rider so quit saying that, you’re just a HORRIBLE PERSON.”


                    1. I can’t tell the difference between the interior of your vehicle and the compost bin – they both smell the same.


  6. Good goals for having fun with it, especially the vacation. I need one in 2017. Not a horse one, not a busy-visit-all-the-family one, a legit, I-am-here-to-vacation-leave-me-alone one.


  7. I heard the quote differently and attributed to someone else as well. Before I whacked my head and most other parts of myself on the very hard earth. I believe it went more like “Just because you are a horrible person, doesn’t mean you are a horrible rider”. I have never really made this list, but kind of thinking that maybe this is the year to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This all sounds very familiar. It’s really hard not to feel competitive when you’re, you know, COMPETING! But when you put the least amount of pressure on yourself, you usually manage to stay out of your own way. (That’s a general you, not directed at you personally.) You and Henry are coming back super strong and I think you’re going to go get those goals next year.


  9. I am classically 100% Type A in literally every other area of my life but riding, where I am much more laid back. All things being relative, of course! It’s interesting how sometimes horses push different parts of our brain.


  10. Oooh if you go to Chicago in the summer let me know! It’s close to where I live and we could meet up! (Meeting up with another blogger does not count as making it a horse-y vacation, I checked the vacation rule book.)


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