The past year has been a whirlwind of changes. On top of starting off this blog, I also moved back home, left my IT job for a part time tutoring career, started taking horseback riding lessons again, went to my first schooling show (and my second and third), learned how to jump, leased two different horses, and, of course, purchased a horse of my very own. It’s been a very transitional, goalless year… and now that 2017 has started, here’s some of the goals I’m setting for Ezhno and I in 2017!
⍟ Find a saddle that fits.
As it stands, I’m ending 2016 with two saddles: my old Wintec, which is on consignment at the Bony Pony, and my County Competitor, which is in my bedroom at home getting the neatsfoot oil spa treatment to soften it up before I sell it. Neither of them fit, which means I’m still regularly using the Trainer’s Crosby XL. I feel like a massive mooch and I really need to find a saddle of my own (maybe two) that I’m happy with.
⍟ Compete in the Triforce Ring.
I’ve competed at Bridle Trails in one of the Lake Washington Saddle Club shows before, but because I was competing in cross rails I was in the smaller ring instead of the main Triforce Training Ring. The jumps in the Triforce Ring don’t approach Evergreen Classic level of decoration, but they have plants/cute standards (see the GIF to the left). The 2’0″ division is the lowest division in the Triforce Ring, so it’ll take some practice first!
⍟ Ride a dressage test.
On top of their normal schooling shows, Eagle Mountain Ranch also has specialized dressage schooling shows where they offer Intro, Training, and Level 1-4 tests. Ezhno’s canter is still really sloppy, but I’d like to have him solid enough in the basics to ride a Training Level test by the end of next year (most likely in October or December). Will we get a great score? Probably not, but this is still something I want to try with Big Horse!
⍟ Introduce Ezhno to cattle.
Because when you buy a gelding with ranch horse blood in him, you might as well take advantage of it, right? Butlerhill Equestrian Center (well known in the Burlington area for its obstacle course and its despooking clinics) holds frequent Introduction to Cattle events that I think would be a good experience for Ezhno and I. I want him to be well-rounded, and look at how cute he is as a western pony!
⍟ Go on an overnight trail ride.
Before I purchased him, Ezhno was an out of work trail horse. It only seems fitting that when the weather gets better I take every chance I can get to ride him out on the trails. I like it up at the Pilchuck Tree Farm, so I want to do day trips up there, but I’ve been inspired by /u/ball_of_fury’s Reddit post featuring an album of Pacific Northwest trail riding photos to start thinking about the possibility of doing a multi-day ride during the summer.
⍟ Take Ezhno to a clinic.
One of my priorities for Ezhno is getting him as much exposure to new stimuli as possible. I have no doubt that we’ll end up at a few different schooling shows throughout the year, but I also want to take Ezhno to at least one non-R2R clinic, too. I think all riders can benefit from learning from multiple sources, and while I’m not sure which clinic I want to go to, I intend to keep an eye on what’s happening in the area in 2017.
⍟ Buy a truck and trailer.
It’s every horse owner’s dream, and I’m no exception. My mother and I already have a semi-formed plan in place for the truck part of this combo (that involves trading in her SUV—my mother is a wonderful woman), and I intend to pick up a cheap (but safe) two horse trailer off of Facebook or Craigslist. My hope is to have this goal checked off before summer’s in full swing so that I can take advantage of Washington’s two months of sunny weather.
As for myself… in the past I’ve been a very goal-oriented person, but I’ve found that I have a tendency to pick unfulfilling, money/career/success related goals that leave me burnt out and stressed. I spent all of 2016 with no goals at all, and I ended up much happier because of it, so this year when I filled out my YearCompass I decided that my main goal is to maintain the happiness I’ve cultivated in 2016 while making goals that I’m truly glad to be working towards (see above, since all of those make me super happy 🙂 ). The main three I’d personally like to focus on are writing a novel, ending the year with no credit card debt, and spending more time outside in the Pacific Northwest (particularly if I’m with Ezhno!). But no matter what…
I’m ready for 2017!