2019 Stuff I Wanna Do

Well helllooooo 2019!

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If you’re anything like me you went to bed last night long before the ball dropped, then woke up briefly after midnight to curse those “damn rednecks and their damn fireworks” and soothe some quivering dogs. Nah? Just me? Well ok then.

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fun fact: I hate fireworks and all holidays in which blowing shit up has somehow become part of the tradition

Anyway, now that 2019 is here, it’s time to think about what we want to do this year. I feel like last year went pretty well, with looser, lower-pressure goals that were more focused on the journey instead of very specific ends or accomplishments. I think we actually got more done in the long run, and I definitely enjoyed it a lot more. I still liked making goals, especially because by the time we got to the end of the year it was really fun to look back on them and see how much things had changed. It’s easy to forget how far you’ve come when you never look back on where you’ve been. So with that in mind, we’re going to make a few goals for 2019, but keep them pretty loose again, thinking more about the big picture.


Keep Henry happy – let’s be honest, at this point the horse owes me absolutely nothing. As long as he continues to enjoy his job, I’m happy to keep plugging along. But if he needs to take some breaks now and then to trail ride or ride bridleless or wander aimlessly around the field, then we’ll do it. His health and happiness are my #1 priority.

Moar Prelim – Assuming we continue on the same track, we’ll see how things play out as far as what we do and when and how. I’d rather err on the side of caution than push to do something that’s a bit beyond what we’re ready for, but I’m hoping to continue exploring our new level, learning, and making improvements.

Continuing education (unmounted) – I’ve made this a focus for the past few years, and it’s kind of like the more I get, the more I crave. I like the more formal educational opportunities (like auditing clinics, attending seminars, watching lectures, etc) but there are just as many less formal ones to be found anywhere and everywhere. I’ve devoted a lot of time to my spreadsheet of the bloodlines of top level event horses, it’s up to 15 tabs now with all kinds of information logged and tracked in it. To me it’s a little bit of a pet project, and it’s been really interesting. Everything is an educational opportunity if you want it to be.

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It’s possible that I’ve already got a couple of educational things on my calendar, including something in Ocala in February.

Europe – alright for real, if I don’t get back to Europe this year, I’m going to be upset. I really want to see a few more stallions in person, especially Mighty Magic, and I’d love to tie some stud farm tours into another big event like Burghley, Bundeschampionate, or Lion d’Angers. To me it’s really nerdy and fun and fascinating and I freaking love it.

Be more positive/less self-deprecating – I mean I feel like this is kind of self-explanatory. It’s a tough one for me, because it’s much easier for me to see and focus on the things that went wrong or need work, and very much a conscious, continuous, concerted effort to be more positive-thinking. Even if it’s just shutting up and saying thank you when someone says something nice. It’s harder than it seems.

Volunteer – I have so much fun volunteering, and I think it’s really important to give back to the sport. I want to make an effort to volunteer as often as I possibly can. I don’t really have a set number in mind as far as hours, but if there’s a horse show happening and I’m available, I’ll volunteer.

End the year as a more educated rider than I began – I recognize that I’m in a phase right now where Henry is finally pretty “made” and I can really start to focus more on myself, both in and out of the saddle. After so many years of bringing up green horses on repeat, I find myself in uncharted territory for the first time in 15 years. Doing bigger and more difficult things than I’ve ever done before, or ever imagined doing. Challenging myself in ways I never thought I would. It’s uncomfortable and it’s awkward and the growing pains are real, and I LOVE IT. I’ve been given an opportunity here, and I don’t intend to waste it by feeling intimidated or afraid of failure.


Do some FEH – assuming he isn’t looking ugly as hell, I’d like to get Presto out to at least one FEH class again this year. I don’t really care how he scores or if he qualifies for Championships or not, although it would be cool if he did so I could continue to go support the new Central Championships. Mostly I just want to keep getting him out in the world and getting life experience, whatever that may look like, but it’s important to me to support to FEH program.

Get Presto more educated to the bridle – I don’t mean, like… going on contact or in side reins or any of that, he’s too young. I just want him to be totally comfortable wearing his bridle, and to be able to ground drive him with the long reins clipped to his bridle for steering, and have him be both good at it and happy about it. Just the very very very basics to prep him for what’s to come in 2020.


Get Presto gelded – The weather is really starting to piss me off with this. Seriously Texas, I just need like a 4-5 day stretch where we aren’t living in a mud pit but also it’s cold enough for the flies to be dead. Apparently that is a lot to ask, since I was literally spraying my mud-encrusted horses with fly spray yesterday. Reeeaaaaally hoping it’ll work out this month or next, because it has to. Once we hit March it starts getting hot again. And once he’s gelded he can start going out with other horses, instead of just his donkeys. I think he and Dobby will be GREAT FRIENDS.


What do you have in mind for 2019? Are you making goals, or just going with the flow?

19 thoughts on “2019 Stuff I Wanna Do

  1. Yes i still don’t know if it was rednecks with fireworks (and no idea how to use them) or just deciding to use guns as fireworks but we had 40 minutes of that shit. My dogs slept thru (as did Mark) but I sat there wondering if I should go out and check horses (I put them up for this very reason). It finally quieted down and I stayed inside but I was cussing immensely! (I was in bed by 9 woke up at 1059 thinking it was 1159 then no fireworks then was woke up at 1201 with the idiots shooting or using fireworks (as in five minutes passed between each bang) it was surreal (not in a good way LOL).

    You can send Presto to TN to geld. We have had nary a fly since November. Its been COLD!! Even on the days it warms up a bit no flies! The mud is another story 🙂

    I think all your 2019 goals are great. And oh the one you need to add is us seeing each other in person again in 2019 🙂 That is a must!

    Happy New Year!!!!


  2. I don’t really have any horse goals for 2019 other than finding a new barn which I think I might have already. I just want to be able to ride my ponies and do what we love. One loves to jump and the other loves to pole bend. We haven’t been able to do much of either this year and I miss it!


  3. Loose goals for the win. I’m still farting around with my loose-concept goals for horses this year, but the biggest of all of them will be buying land, setting up a nice dry lot, building a barn, and fencing my two small pastures. I’m excited and scared haha.


  4. This past year was spent regaining my confidence in the saddle. It had been about three years since I rode regularly, and when I stopped it was because I was scared. I was way heavy, uncoordinated, un-energetic, and just basically done with the whole idea of riding. I don’t show or anything, just ride on property and sometimes off – but I had completely lost any desire to do even that. Then I made some lifestyle changes due to a health concern, lost a BUNCH of weight, felt better and stronger physically, and found myself itching to be “horsey” again. Enter Reba, my rescue adoptee. I got her in October of 2017, and spent the late fall/winter working mostly on the ground. She’s a lot of horse, was a former broodmare, and basically just green broke, although she apparently had been ridden by kids some in her past. So we spent some time getting to know each other. And I rode her occasionally, enough to know that she would definitely test my resolve to win the battle of wills, a contest it appears she was fairly used to winning.

    So this spring I started riding more and more, we started to click, she began to lower her guard around me, and realize that I would be (as much as possible) consistent and fair with her. And she was happy, relaxed, and obedient (a real biggie for her) when she figured that out. So the more she began to work with me, the more confident I became, the more confident I got, the better I rode, and the better I rode, the more she would choose to work with me. Our crowning achievement was a couple of different trail rides off site this fall, one with some really nice people I never had ridden with before, and the other was just us by ourselves. And she was a rock star both times. Although some of my anxiety and even fear tried to resurface, I focused on my horse, made sure we were communicating and she was with me, and I forgot to be afraid.

    So this year, I want to build on that. I want to continue riding off property, going new places and meeting new people. I want to ride in at least one horsemanship clinic, where we start at the basics and I get help finding what I’m missing to enhance our communication. I want to work on building her skill set, instead of just trying to figure out what she knows – going from (somewhat) passive riding to actively training/teaching. At some point I would like to get back into competitive trail riding, although I’m not going to force it if it doesn’t happen for a while. But that is my long term goal, and I’m okay if it takes some time to get there. She and I both came a long way in 2018, and I see us going even farther this year.


  5. After a spectacular 2018, I think your goals are perfect for this year. And oh MAN jealous if you get to go to Europe… I mean, if you wanna take a friend to coo over shiny horses with, I am very good at that.


  6. My neighbor behind me usually does a giant fireworks display. I’m pretty sure they got in trouble for lighting stuff up outside of the permitted dates back in July (HAHAHAHAH) so if they did set any off last night, I was dead to the world, and I went to sleep at 20 min to midnight. I just couldn’t stay up later.


  7. I love this approach. It’s all about moving forward and not about the ribbon or the class or the height.
    For me, my goal this year is to find my next horse. No rushing this time, no buying off a video. I want to really take my time and find the right one.


  8. Blah. I need to review goals and make goals and all that. Yesterday, I was going to be all about setting the framework for 2019! And I went on a long walk down the road with my horse… It’s hard to have any motivation when mud is all you see hahaha


  9. I love getting to watch you check off development and training boxes with Presto! I totally live vicariously through you in wanting to buy a baby myself. One day!


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