Thursday, January 1, 2015

Looking back on 2014, looking ahead to 2015

2014 had a few low points, but compared to 2013 it's been fantastic. On the horse front, really the only negative thing that happened was Paddy got hurt in April and had 4 months off, but rehab went great and he's been 100% ever since. We've had a great series of shows, made tons of progress, and overall have worked on a great partnership. Hubby got an amazing new pony who is the perfect match for him. I'm not sure I could ask for anything more!

Looking back on my 2014 goals, here's what I had:
  • Be lighter and more obedient to the aids in dressage.  - YEP! We will always have lots of work in this area, but compared to where we were at the beginning of the year, we have come MILES.
  • Work on first and second level trot work. - YEP! First level trot lengthenings are in the making, and we're also working on collection, which we'll need for second level.  Of course, trotting in a relaxed manner, over his back, with consistent contact and bend is uhhh... a work in progress. But we are starting to have a lot of the pieces!
  • Solidify canter leads until there's no doubt he'll get what I ask for. - YEP! His leads are great and we're getting 7/8 on our canter departs. Woot!
  • Work on balance and collection in canter. A 10 meter canter circle by December would be a nice Christmas gift. :) - EH. We CAN do a 10 meter canter circle when he's very balanced, but he's definitely not confirmed in this movement. Plus we can't canter in a straight line and be balanced, but that's not on the list. ;)
  • Have a great working partnership built on trust and good basics. - YES!!! And this is the best part of Paddy!
  • Put in a first-level dressage test, either at home or at a show, and do a good job of it. - YES! I'm not sure if I'd call it a "good job" but I'm pretty happy with both of the first level tests we did. Lots of improvement needed, but it's a start!
We also qualified for our local GMO's championships (sadly cancelled) at Training, and apparently we are getting a year-end award. That wasn't on the list, but WOOT!

The bestest, squeeziest Haffie EVAR!

We had some goals around jumping, none of which we accomplished. After a
disappointing schooling HT in February, I reconsidered whether or not I wanted to get back into eventing seriously. I haven't jumped Paddy since that show, and oddly, I haven't wanted to. Not even tempted to pop over an X in the arena. It's weird, but I'm rolling with it. 

I also had some Haflinger registry goals, which I failed miserably at because I didn't keep track of my rides and didn't send in my scores. Lazy = Fail. As for my crazy-ass dreams, I didn't do a recognized show in 2014 but am planning on one mid-January, and I didn't do a freestyle at a show but I did do one at home. Alas, now I don't like the music so I don't think I'll ever perform it, but we'll see.

Now, looking ahead for this year:
  • Be lighter and more obedient to the aids in dressage. Because really, can you ever have enough of this?
  • Be more consistent on first and second level trot work.
  • Canter, canter, canter. Strength, balance, and we need to find some lengthenings and collection in there, along with counter-canter, simple changes, and walk-canter-walk transitions.
  • Laterals - we have the start, we need to solidify leg yield, shoulder in, and haunches in.
  • Continue to have fun with Paddy and work on our partnership. I love him more every time I ride him, so really, this is the most important goal!
Show goals:
  • Show at USDF recognized shows, at levels we will be competitive. Right now this means Training, I'm hoping later in the year we'll be able to go First.
  • Improve our scores at First level.
  • Get off my lazy ass and send in our scores to the Haffie Registry. Seriously. Just dooo eeet!
Crazy-ass dreams:
  • Qualify for the Region 9 year end championships, and go if we qualify.
  • Get scores at Training/First toward a USDF rider award.
  • Get scores at First toward a USDF Bronze Medal.
  • Ride 2-1, either at home or at a show.
And I would totally get started on all this today, except that it's 34 degrees and raining here, and our arena has standing water in it. What a great way to start the new year!

27 comments:

  1. Y'all accomplished so much even with him being off for four months!

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  2. 2014 was pretty awesome! And I personally think the crazy-ass dreams are the best goals.

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    1. 2014 was definitely one for the books. :) Not sure about the crazy-ass dreams, but we'll see.

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  3. I am really looking forward to following your goals :) Good luck!

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    1. Mostly I am looking forward to accomplishing our goals BECAUSE our partnership and my riding improves. Not just for the sake of having goals. :)

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  4. Looking forward to more dressage-ing + extraordinary cuteness. You two make a great pair. :D

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    1. The cuteness factor is high, it's true!

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  5. I also failed at the breed registry score turn in thing. Mutual goal for 2015?

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    1. It's a deal. Let's make sure we each do it!

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  6. You guys had a fab year in 2014 despite the injury doing its best to derail things. Onwards and upwards for 2015 & who knows maybe a euro blogger meet up!

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    1. Aoife, I sure hope for a euro blogger meetup! That would just be the icing on the cake!

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    2. When you have a better idea of what you're doing and where you'll be. Drop me an email and we'll do our best to sort something out ☺
      I would dearly love to make the Texas Feb meet up but sadly funds are not fluid enough for this year...maybe another time :-(

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  7. Congratulations on your accomplishments and a great list for 20151 And never mind the eventing, real dressage divas can live perfectly with circles and shoulder in on a 20x60 only - no more excitement needed :D

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    1. I agree, that 20x60 sandbox is just so much FUN!

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  8. You did a great job on your 2014 goals!! I bet 2015 will be even better! Happy New Year!

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    1. We'll see how 2015 goes. Sometimes the best laid plans ... well, you know how it is with horses!

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  9. Amazing how goals change through the year - ie jumping. So good to just do what makes you happy. Best of luck next year

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    1. Isn't it interesting? I spent a lot of time thinking about not jumping any more, and now I'm quite happy with what we're doing now. It's all about having fun with your pony, whatever that means!

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  10. Ooooooooooo, I especially like the Bronze Medal goal :)

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    1. Heh... yeaaaah, we'll see how that goes... ;)

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  11. Cutest picture!! Love a horse that will let you give them a good face hug!!

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  12. congrats on a solid 2014 (and yay for unexpected year end awards!!)!! love your goals too - go get that medal!!!!!

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    1. The unexpected year end thing sure is a bonus. We'll see about the crazy dream goal, lol!

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