Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 Goals Review

Alright, goal review time. Back in January, I made some goals for the year. I can't believe I'm here in December reviewing them.

I think I did a good job picking them this year.

2016 Main Goals

  • First Level Rider Award
    • Complete! I finished this at our second recognized show this year.
  • First Level Horse Performance Certificate
    • Complete! Penn finished this at Championships, in 11 tries. 13 out of his 14 recognized First Level tests were above 60%. The only score that wasn't was the very first test of the year when I didn't have my head in the game, so not his fault.
  • Region 1 Championships at First Level - Go there and compete, and do it well (top 6 or 65%+)
    • Complete! We were 9th out of 29, but we had a 66.029% in the Championship test without any major mistakes. Even though the score doesn't reflect it, I think it was the best test we rode all year.
You will never be able to tell me otherwise. He was malleable and responsive and any mistakes were completely my own.

2016 Stretch Goals

  • US Dressage Finals at First Level
    • Incomplete. I'm happy with the Championship test we rode, and hey, we got a 66.029%. I needed a 68% to for sure go to finals, but I'm still happy with the quality of the test we put in.

Ribbons this year: 6 champion, 1 reserve, 9-1sts, 6-2nds, 3-3rds, 4-4ths, 6-5ths
No ribbons for 2-7ths and 1-9th

Some of these are from the end of 2015 (3-1sts, 2-2nds, 1-8th), but this wasn't a shabby year at all, definitely not a reason to be upset about missing Finals. However, I bet the ribbon walls that belong to the people who did go to finals are mostly blue!

Penn and I met all of my Main Goals for the year. Maybe I should have picked some things that we had a better chance of failing? I donno. Penn wasn't even showing First Level, and barely schooling first level, when I made my goals. The Horse Certificate was 10 recognized rides over 60%, which could have been tough if he decided he didn't want to play, or went lame, or any number of reasons could have stopped us from finishing that goal. I wanted attainable goals. Getting my Second Level Rider Award, or starting the Second Level Horse Certificate would have stretched Penn beyond his abilities and rushed him, which is not what I wanted to do.

I am sad we didn't qualify for Finals, but that was a stretch anyway. I think we came nice and close though, 66.029% vs 68%, while no cigar, it is close. The fact he came that close is awesome since this is his first major show season- his first First Level test was April 24, 2016. His first recognized show was May 21, 2016. His championship test was September 17, 2016. From first test to championship test was 147 days, or 4 months and 25 days. First recognized test to championship test was 120 days, or 4 months on the nose. Not bad, baby horse.


2016 Small/Training Goals:

The "Small" Goals were horse shows that tested my "Training" Goals. Below are all of the movements from Training Level Test 1 to First Level Test 3. I've labeled which tests the movements are introduced, then inserted a picture of our average score for each movement.
  • Training Level Movements/Skills:
    • Medium walk
    • Free walk
    • Working trot
    • Working canter
    • 20m circle in trot
    • 20m circle in canter
    • Stretchy trot (T2)
    • Shallow loop in trot (T3)
Training Level Averages Over 17 Tests

The free walk seemed to be his best movement at training level (yay for double coefficients on that!), with gaits not far behind. We struggled with all things left. Still, every average is above 6, so I was happy.
  • First Level Movements/Skills:
    • 10m half circle in trot
    • 15m circle in canter
    • Lengthening trot
    • Lengthening canter
    • Leg yield (1-2)
    • 10m circle in trot (1-3)
    • Change of lead through trot (1-3)
    • One loop in canter (1-3)
First Level Averages Over 19 Tests

Oh how things change at the next level! We struggled with all things right this time! Maybe not struggle, but the scores for everything left were higher than everything right. Constantly changing good direction eh? We REALLY struggled with the transition from lengthened canter to working canter, barely squeaking out an average of 6.01. I finally figured out how to ride it at the end of the summer (hint, you ride it forward thinking and don't pull back and don't lock your elbows), so this is a reflection of my failures as a rider and not Penn's failure to listen (hell, Penn is a good boy so every score is a reflection of me, for better or worse). His best score was his gaits at 7.07, closely followed by the stretchy trot at 6.99 (Penn loves a good stretch). We got significantly better at the first and final halts, both scoring above a 6.8. I am so pleased that my Rider Position and Seat score averaged 6.86. In fact, every collective mark increased somewhat from Training to First Level.

End of 2016 Record

We did 5 training level tests and 2 intro tests in 2015, so it's not a clear cut answer to the year's average, but that's not really important, so I just have Penn's record as of the end of 2016. Looks like he's a 65% horse.

All in all, not a bad year at all. Penn rose to the occasion beautifully, and I'm excited to make goals for 2017! Maybe I'll have a non-competitive goal... but probably not, haha.


  1. Love those tables haha! Congrats on knocking those goals out of the park this year!! They were certainly nothing to sniff at, and yet you guys made it look easy! Can't wait to see where Penn goes this year!!

    1. I love the tables too, they paint a neat picture. I keep track of the schooling vs recognized too because I know the debate is out there of where scores tend to fall (according to my data, over time, they tend to average out!). I'm excited for this year too!

  2. The charts are amazing! You and Penn have accomplished so much this year. I love following your journey :)

    1. Thanks! We really did a lot, and he was super for it all. Glad you like following us!

  3. Wow, so many numbers! I love how you broke everything down. Congrads on an awesome year!

    1. You should break your numbers down! I bet you have a ton of good stuff too, because you had an awesome year! :)

  4. Congratulations on meeting and exceeding so many goals! I still envy how you're able to put goals together that are appropriately tough but not impossible. Maybe some day I'll be able to do the same :)

    1. To be honest, I put things down that I would be disappointed not achieving since I planned on doing First Level this year and moving on! I'm hoping to be as successful with them this year!

  5. Great job completing those goals, and look at those beautiful ribbons :D