Wednesday 18 July 2018

30 Before 30

I turned the big 3-0 last weekend. It was pretty low key but a good birthday. As seems typical for new decades, it did lead me to have a bit of introspection about where I am in my life. In general I am happy with how things are at this point in my time on Earth so that feels pretty good.

Back in January 2015 when I was 26 (and a year before I started blogging), I made a 30 Before 30 list of thirty things I wanted to do before now. This was just for fun, I try and always be cognizant of the fact that life moves us in unexpected directions, but it's still good to have goals. The 30 items spanned all facets of my life, but I will just go into the horse-related ones here. So, how did I do?

1. Compete in 2nd level dressage
- Nope - I had very unrealistic expectations when I got Kachina about how quickly we'd be able to move up the levels. We both had to fill in a LOT of holes, but we are finally showing First Level this year :-)

2. Show Kachina at a horse show
- Yes - Yes x 11 shows actually!
Our first show
Our most recent show

3. Attend a recognized CDI dressage show
- Yes - I scribed at 3 of these and learned so so much!
View from the judge's box at a CDI

4. Play with horses in water
- Yes - we didn't actually swim but I did play in the Milk River with Kachina on our Writing on Stone ride
Playing in the shallows (we also crossed multiple times under saddle)

5. Ride under instruction of Grand Prix level rider
- Yes - I've actually done this with 5 different trainers who have ridden at Grand Prix! Not all riders at that level are good trainers but they do have a different view of dressage than previous instructors I had who had only ridden up to 2nd or 3rd. I've also found a couple really good trainers so I think it has been useful to search out this experience
Kachina and my first lesson with Sandra - this was a transforming experience for us
and we've both come a long way since then

6. Trail ride somewhere other than fields
- Yes - I've ridden by the river as well as in Writing on Stone and the Cypress Hills which were both great (but challenging) experiences
This photo still makes me feel like a badass

On the Writing on Stone ride
Coming back to base from Cypress Hills ride

7. Become a certified pair for mounted Search and Rescue
- Nope - we can do a lot of the stuff but I never pursued the testing. Kachina is a great trail horse but Search and Rescue is better suited to a different personality of horse I think. Also, while I appreciate cross training and the versatile horse, at this time it would hurt our dressage training to switch to doing one-handed maneuvers etc.

8. Gallop
- Sort of - when I wrote this down I meant do a full out gallop at top speed. We have had forward open canters in the field which were great but I didn't trust our balance/the footing enough to go full out.

I still want to go for a full out gallop on Kachina and compete at second level (and beyond!) but I'm pretty pleased with how much I accomplished. Also, in the last few years I've had some amazing opportunities that I never even dreamed of back when I created the list. Blogging, blogger meetups, organizing clinics, running a horse show, and being involved with the Alberta Dressage Association are all things I didn't even have on my radar but that have made my equestrian life richer.

Morning prep for 2nd annual dressage show

Have you ever made any similar kinds of lists? 30 Before 30, Bucket List, etc. What is on it? What would change if you made a new list today?


  1. Happy belated birthday! You've accomplished a lot with Kachina, and you should definitely be proud!

  2. I never made a list like that, and now I'm nearly 4 years past 30. I think I just have general life goals that I feel are achievable and would give me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. I'm moving steadily toward those goals!

  3. I have a generalized bucket list but not one pegged to a certain age or date :) I mean except yearly goals