Tuesday, 17 January 2017

2016 Goal Review

2016 Goals

  1. Participate in at least 8 horse shows or clinics
    • Success! This year, Kachina and I did the following: Mini-clinic with Sandra in February, Cowboy Challenge Clinic in February, Carrots & Cocktails I dressage show in March, Carrots & Cocktails II dressage show in April, Chinook Country Bronze dressage show in June, Elaine clinic in June, Writing on Stone trip in July (not technically a show or clinic, but we went somewhere new to do new things so it counts), local open show in July, Elaine clinic in September, Sandra clinic in November. That's 10 things total and now I feel just as confident with Kachina in new places as I do at home so I consider this goal a huge success! 
  2. Achieve at least 62% on a training level dressage test
    • Not quite. Our highest training level score this year was 60.5%, but that was at T3 in a recognized show. We also did get 65% on a Walk/Trot test. We didn't technically reach this goal but I'm still pretty happy.
  3. Be schooling all of 1st level
    • Fail! We are still working on consistency and improvement at training level. I have a plan for introducing some more first level components in the near future but we aren't here yet. 
  4. Ride 100 times or more in 2016 / Go to the barn 150 times or more in 2016.
    • Fail! In 2016 I visited Kachina 113 times and rode 65 times. I generally say that I ride 2-3 times a week (a lot less than some bloggers, but that's my reality). When I actually track it, there are a lot of weeks where I do go to the barn 3 times and ride twice, but when you factor in the weeks where I can't ride at all due to work, being out of town, Kachina or I being sick, weather, etc, the average gets pulled down. I keep wanting to up my number of rides/week but it's not easy. 
  5. Get to the point where I would be comfortable cantering every ride, anywhere
    • Fail! When I made this goal my thought was that cantering was the only way our canter was going to improve. I've since learned that there is a lot more work we can do at the trot, and that will ultimately set us up for more success at the canter. 
  6. Teach Kachina to consistently ground tie or stand tied at home
    • Not quite. We've come so far with this and Kachina will stand with a lot less fussing than before. She also now respects my space and is safer, but there's still some pawing that happens. 
  7. Have Kachina consistently stand still for grooming/saddling/bridling/mounting
    • Not quite. See above. 
  8. Trail ride somewhere other than home
    • Success! The Writing on Stone trip was somewhere new and very different that pushed me way out of my comfort zone. Kachina was stellar on the steep trails, varied terrain, river crossings, babysitting other horses, taking care of me, etc. I would definitely do a trip like this with her again. 
  9. Be able to complete a trail class or cowboy challenge type course
    • Success! We did a cowboy challenge clinic early in the year. We weren't perfect but we tackled all of the obstacles. 
Overall we got 4.5/9. Not great. However, I realized fairly early on that these goals weren't the most realistic and changed to doing Quarterly goals instead. I think the Quarterly goals are more valuable, but I'm still going to do some 2017 year goals just for fun.

2017 Goals

  1. Keep Kachina happy and healthy
    • Stretch: build good topline and muscles
  2. Be able to do a good training level test pattern
    • Stretch: do a good training level test actually at a show in front of a judge 
  3. Start First Level work
    • Stretch: be able to do all components of First Level Test 1 and 2
  4. Get at least six lessons/clinics
    • Stretch: host and participate in 6 clinics with Sandra in this area and go to additional clinics/lessons too
  5. Compete in at least one show
    • Stretch: Get above 65% at a show
    • Stretch: Earn a ribbon
  6. Trail ride somewhere new
    • Stretch: do a full out gallop somewhere
  7. Improve my position
    • Stretch: be comfortable bareback or without stirrups at walk/trot/canter
    • Stretch: get to a healthy weight and fitness
  8. Continue to do ground work
    • Stretch: train Kachina to stand still in any situation
  9. Do some desensitization work
  10. Keep being involved and further develop the local dressage community
    • Stretch: host a local dressage show
  11. Have fun


  1. Lots of good stuff here - somehow I see some of these stretches become a reality!

    1. I'm hoping so! I'm actually already working towards a couple of the stretch goals, but it can be hard to know with horses.

  2. I love the idea of having goals and then "stretch" goals. It's hard for me set goals because I don't want them all to be too easy, but if they're too difficult then I don't accomplish anything and feel like a failure