Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 Goals


I again copied my headings and pictures from last year because I am apparently highly unoriginal and like the format. Once again, my main and stretch goals are all competition result oriented because that's how I am. End of story. I hate that I am lost without a competition goal, but it's how I find purpose in what I'm doing, and to be honest, it's how I make progress towards my end goal, Grand Prix.

Attempting to keep this in mind.
Hopefully I'm better this year than I was last year when I started.

2018 Main Goals
  • Start working in the double and get comfortable with it - We're working 3rd/4th, let's do it!
  • Complete Centerline Scores 1* Rating - I have 6/10 points towards it already.
  • Complete Centerline Scores 2* Rating - I have 3/10 points towards it already. Needs 1* rating.
  • Complete Third Level Horse Performance Certificate - If all goes according to plan, we'll compete at third more than enough times to make this happen.
  • Qualify for Region 1 Championships at Third Level - Go there and compete, and do it well (top 10 or 62%+).

2018 Stretch Goals
  • Show 4-1 at a recognized show - GP Trainer actually OK'd this!
  • Earn two Fourth Levels Scores towards my Silver - OMG progress on my silver!
  • US Dressage Finals at Third Level - Because Finals is ALWAYS on the table.

2018 Other Goals
  • Go swimming in GP Trainer's pond again.
  • Take Penn to herd cows.
  • Give Penn some kind of vacation mid-year or near there to give him a mental break.
  • Ride a horse that is not Penn at least 5 times.

I decided to add the "Other" category to offset my competition focused goals... and these would just be fun. But looky, 12 goals!

Such a sweet face.
PC: Austen

Main Goals:
  • Double Bridle Comfort: I started working Penn in the double at the end of December. Austen lent me her NS Thoroughbred Weymouth, and Penn seems to have taken to it well. I'd like to work in it once or twice a week, and possibly show in it.
  • Centerline Scores 1* Rating: (Click here for more info about the ratings) 10 points at second level. I am ready to be done with second level, so I'm hoping to knock out those last 4 points quickly. It'll take me at least 2 tests, and hopefully at most 4 tests.
  • Centerline Scores 2* Rating: 10 points at third level + 1* Rating. I'll be riding third level a lot, so this shouldn't actually be too much of a problem even if it takes me 7 more rides to get the 7 points, assuming I can finish the blasted 1* rating.
  • Third Level Horse Performance Certificate10 scores at 60%+ from at least 4 different shows and 4 different judges, where at least 4 scores need to be from the 3-3 test. This "should" be easy to obtain. Penn needs 8 more scores, 4 of which need to be at 3-3. Based on my proposed schedule, that shouldn't be a problem.
  • Qualify for Region 1 Championships at Third Level- 2 scores at 60%+ in 3-3, from 2 different shows. This will be a make it or break it thing. The qualifying score is 60%, which means you're either satisfactory at 3-3 or you're not. I'll certainly be riding 3-3 enough times this year, but hopefully it doesn't take too many tries to qualify. Going is of course dependent on Penn's health, but barring any unforeseen circumstances, we should be going.

Competing = Fun! Right?

Stretch Goals:
  • Show 4-1 at a recognized show: GP Trainer actually thought this would be doable by late summer 2018! I hesitantly mentioned it to her when she was here for the clinic at the beginning of December and she was like, "For sure!" I've got my eye on riding it at a schooling show in mid July, but we'll see how that goes.
  • Earn two Fourth Levels Scores towards my Silver: If I'm going to ride 4-1, I'm hoping to get above a 60%, so let's try to ride it twice with scores above 60%!
  • Third Level Finals: Top 2 or 65+% for a Wildcard invite. Finals will always be on my radar because it's the biggest show of the year, but I'm not expecting or planning on it. We aren't even working 3-3 properly at the start of 2018, so I'm not sure how doable the wildcard score of 65% will be.

Being "off-task" is fun sometimes!

Other Goals:
  • Swim in the pond: Swimming in GP Trainer's pond is simply fun. We'll be there enough times to be there in the summer when it'll be the most fun!
  • Herd cows: I think this will really help Penn's self confidence, and I found a place that keeps cows and chases them with their dressage horses!
  • Vacation time: Penn went on a short vacation at the end of December because of the super cold temps. I didn't ride him, I came out a couple times to rub his face and give him some treats, but that was about it. His anger levels seemed to drop and his body soreness went down, so I need to remember to give him some horsey time without training or even trail riding.
  • Ride different horses: I used to ride different horses all the time, but not anymore. I've only ridden Penn for the last two years. Sure, I rode a couple horses once or twice, but I need to start riding different horses as they become available to me to use. I've been passing up opportunities lately to ride other horses out of a lack of confidence... so let's ride some other horses!

2018 Small Goals:

Per the usual goal post, I've planned out the shows for the year too so I can start budgeting money and vacation time in addition to ensuring I have a plan for getting my goals done. This also lets me book hotels in advance. Who knew that booking the hotel for champs almost a year in advance would mean I had slim pickings? There were only a couple rooms left at my first choice hotel.

"O" in yellow is a slot I could technically fill with another test, but don't want to.

If we go along with this schedule (which is up for debate/changes):
  • 5 Schooling Shows
    • 2-2: 3 rides
    • 3-3: 3 rides
    • 4-1: 2 rides
  • 9 Recognized Shows (over 6 weekends)
    • 2-2: 3 rides
    • 3-3: 10 rides
    • 4-1: 3 rides
That's 11 weekends over 8 months, and Penn only goes showing two weekends in a month in May, July, and August. That's much better balanced than past plans have been (show heavy schedule in May and June then nothing until September). The recognized shows with more than one test on the first day worry me a little- Penn was not OK with this at the end of last year (I mixed 3-1 and 2-3). I think he'll be in much better shape by May, and I'll have a good handle on it with the schooling shows too.

I'll have 3 shots at finishing my CL 1* rating (I need one test to be 65+ to finish in those 3 tests), but if I qualify for championships earlier than anticipated, I can swap a 3-3 for 2-2. Hopefully I don't need 5 or more rides to get the job done! I'll have plenty of opportunities to qualify for third level champs, which should leave a few rides for 4-1, and if I'm successful there, that should boost my confidence in 3-3.

So that's the plan for this year. If it actually pans out, it'll be one hell of a year!


  1. So exciting! Also I am tired just reading this and feel way behind in my planning.


    1. You know I'm OCD with a little extra time on my hands... so I plan and plot!

      I'm looking at you to do 4th with me, btw!

  2. damn girl, get it!!!!! so exciting to be looking at working on your silver!!! :D

  3. Woohoo! I always love reading your goals posts and it's so exciting to see 4th level on your list :)

  4. Huge plans! If anyone can conquer them, you can!

    1. I hope I can! We definitely have a lot of work to do.

  5. Oh you may go to the Ohio shows? I was flip flopping back and forth on those since they are a bit of a stretch trailering wise for me. BUT if you and Penn are going .... :)

    And and 4-1 won't be a problem for you. Especially after you get a hold of 3-3.

    1. Just the ones at Brave Horse outside Columbus. It's apparently a really REALLY nice facility and isn't all that expensive. I figured I'd give it a whirl! It's about a 5 hour drive for me, so we should def take long drives and meet there!!

      That's what I keep hearing, 4-1 will be ok if you're ok at 3-3. I sure hope because right now it feels like we won't be able to do 1-3.

  6. If you want a challenge, you're welcome to come ride Fiction :)