Monday 8 January 2018

2017 Goal Review and 2018 Goals

2017 Goal Review

Goals re-written with comments added in bold
  1. Keep Kachina happy and healthy - Semi-success - Kachina had a vet check recently and she is objectively healthy, but something is not quite right and she sometimes seems uncomfortable, investigation ongoing
    • Stretch: build good topline and muscles - Semi-success it's not better than it was but not worse either
  2. Be able to do a good training level test pattern - Success! 
    • Stretch: do a good training level test actually at a show in front of a judge - Success! It even happened at a rated show and got us a ribbon!
  3. Start First Level work - Success - At a couple clinics this year we did prove that we are capable of the lengthens and lateral work in First Level so I'm counting this as a success, but for the most part we are still plugging away at the all the fundamentals which we need to improve consistency of for any level
    • Stretch: be able to do all components of First Level Test 1 and 2 - Nope - I wouldn't sign up for First Level Test 1 yet, we have some of the pieces but they aren't together yet (but this was a stretch goal so it's not a fail that I didn't reach it)
  4. Get at least six lessons/clinics - Success! This year I had so many lessons! 2 with Danielle, 4 with Kt, 4 with N, 2 with Judge, 3 with Robin Hahn, 6 with Elaine, and 7 with Sandra! 
    • Stretch: host and participate in 6 clinics with Sandra in this area and go to additional clinics/lessons too - Semi-success - I was only able to organize 4 clinics with Sandra but I made up for it with other stuff!
  5. Compete in at least one show - Success! I competed in 4 shows, my own one in May, Bronze show in June, local show in July, and Schooling show in September
    • Stretch: Get above 65% at a show - Nope, my top score was 63.7%
    • Stretch: Earn a ribbon - Success! multiple ribbons including fancy ones!
  6. Trail ride somewhere new - Success! - We had a great time at the Cypress Hills Wish Ride!
    • Stretch: do a full out gallop somewhere - Semi-success - we did canter out in the fields a few times but I wasn't confident enough in her balance to go full gallop yet
  7. Improve my position - Success! Always more room to improve but I know my position is better than it was at this time last year
    • Stretch: be comfortable bareback or without stirrups at walk/trot/canter - Nope, still not here yet
    • Stretch: get to a healthy weight and fitness - Semi-success - I'm a few pounds lighter and a bit fitter than I was, but still a long way to go
  8. Continue to do ground work - Success - this requires constant work but I have been putting in the time. Our leading and lunging are much better now. 
    • Stretch: train Kachina to stand still in any situation - nope, I can get Kachina to do most things, but getting her to not do things is still a challenge
  9. Do some desensitization work - Success - not a lot, but we did do some with plastics bags etc. She is getting a bit braver about exploring weird things now.
  10. Keep being involved and further develop the local dressage community - Success! We have a local dressage community now! 
    • Stretch: host a local dressage show - Success! It happened and it was even good!
  11. Have fun - Success! Not every day is fun, but I've had some truly fun times with Kachina this year. 

Overall I would call this year a success! I liked having both goals and stretch goals. I made most of my normal goals and even met quite a few stretch ones. 

2018 Goals

As mentioned in my Note on Goals, my 2018 Goals are going to be a little different. I also broke things into a few sub-categories so that I'm focused on more than just riding goals.


  1. Increase Kachina's trust in other people so she can be caught and handled by someone else
  2. Keep Kachina happy and healthy
  3. Develop plan for Kachina for if/when I might be grounded (lease? liberty work? need to think about this)

Horse Community

  1. Organise a second local dressage show
  2. Be an active participant of my area dressage association
  3. Be an active participant of the community equestrian facility board
  4. Attend a dressage judging clinic (this should happen in August and I'm super excited!)
  5. Audit a clinic 

Dressage Riding

  1. Have Kachina and I improve in dressage through methods that build our cooperation and trust
  2. Improve my position and hands
  3. Test ride regularly to determine weaknesses
  4. Video my rides at least once a month and critique them myself
  5. Compete in at least one show (level TBD)
  6. Ride a First Level test that feels good (this can be at home)
(These are essentially my goals to make sure that I'm on the right track with a trainer, if the training isn't helping me then I need to make a change)


  1. Have fun
  2. Experiment again with clicker training
  3. Go on trail rides with friends
  4. Canter or gallop out in the fields
  5. Figure out how to mount from the ground (I know using a mounting block is better for the horse's back, but I need a solution for trail riding in bald prairie #shortpersonproblems)
  6. Settle on a boarding situation (I've been considering a change and need to figure out the best option for both Kachina and myself)

Stretch Goals

  1. Show at First Level
  2. Earn above 65% at a show
  3. Place in a competitive class

Well there you have it. In some ways it's a lot of goals but I think they are good things to keep me focused and moving forward in a year with a lot going on. 


  1. congrats on checking so many things off the list! even the ones that weren't fully successful seemed pretty close!

  2. DAYUM You really accomplished a lot and I don't doubt that you will accomplish so much more in 2018!

  3. Well done for 2017. You have worked hard and it paid off. Here's to 2018- you've got this.