2016 Goal Review | 2017 Goals

2016 Riding/Horse Goals
Keep Pig's stifles, other arthritis issues, and bare feet managed appropriately. Soundness and happiness are the keys to success this year.
- Pretty well managed. I went into this year with a no-holds-barred approach when it came to managing Pig's multiple issues. Overall, I think we have done a lot with my tiny budget and his rapidly aging legs.
Find a trainer I like for both myself and my horse, and get my budget and time together enough to take regular lessons.
- While I don't have a regular local trainer, I do think our semi-regular lessons with Stephen Birchall and keeping us moving forward at a pace we can handle.
Attend 2-3 recognized show weekends.
- Three full weekends of recognized shows in the books for this year!
Attend 1-2 schooling shows, either at the farm or off property.
- One schooling show at the farm in March. Hoped these would be more beneficial than they turned out to be. I think for my horse, expecting him to mentally handle an on-property show is kind of unfair.
Up our score averages. Average a 60% at recognized shows, and a 62% at schooling shows.
- The curse of the schooling show continues! While our scores weren't unfair at all, I couldn't keep Pig's brain at local schooling shows. Bigger recognized shows we were pros at all year. By the end of the season, I was feeling very confident about our tests.
Get our 2 remaining 3rd level scores for our bronze medal.
Bronze is done and prominently displayed on the mantle. Done, and done.
Clean up changes, so they are clean and prompt 90% of the time.
- This one needs more work. I'm calling it done because they are prompt and on my aids 90% of the time. But the cleanliness and relaxation of the movement can vary wildly.
Improve collected gaits to 4th level quality.
- I feel our collected gaits are ready for 4-1. Crazy.
Assess whether Pig can do 4th, and begin to look hard at his future.
Assessment completed: We will be working hard over the winter to try to put together a somewhat less embarrassing 4-1 debut.
[Stretch] Put on half steps.
- I'm going to mark this as completed even though all we really did was start them. I don't know how much further we will get, but the little bit that we messed with these improved our trot immensely.
[Stretch] Go foxhunting. This is easily doable, if I just make the contact and have the funds/time.
- Time and funds were lacking severely by the time foxhunting season came around. Instead we went out the day before opening day and galloped the hunting lanes with my own hunting dogs.

2016 Personal Goals
Get financials recovered from move + funemployment time.
- Still on the path to recovery. Damn vet bills and other unexpected costs murdered my ability to really get this goal where I want it.
Put up online storefront for design goods, and at least break even.
- Hahahaha. No.
Figure out grad school focus, and get in application for Fall 2016 or Spring 2017.
- I think grad school might be out for the next year. Instead I cultivated my job prospects and looked toward the future of my career path.
Do a little bit of yoga 3x weekly.
- Does a little bit of yoga 3x monthly count? 3x yearly? Oh dear...
Read 1 physical book a month for a total of 12 books at the end of the year. (Maybe recap reading in a post at the end of the month?)
- I really want to call this one a success, I read 8 books fully and listened to 12. I could have made a little more time for reading, but I think I greatly improved this year over last.
Join a gym again. Weight lifting needs to be back in my life.
- Joined a crossfit gym for a few months, then quit to train at home. Ended up joining a local "globogym" close to work and the barn, which is convenient enough for my concessional lifting needs.
Run 3x a week. Keeping basic 5 mile times under 10 min per mile (sub 9 optimal).
- While recurring bronchitis and a bout with really terrible pneumonia kept me from running as regularly as I would have liked at the end of the year, the majority of the year saw me running even through extreme Maryland jungle temperatures. That's enough to indicate success in my book.
Run from my house to Meridian Hill Park and back. (12 miles total city running, with several huge hills)
- Never did have the stamina or time built up to do this. Really want to, though. So I'm keeping it on for next year.
[Stretch] Pick up project horse.
- Hahaha! See above on "finances".

At the end of 2015, I really wasn't sure what the future was going to hold for my old horse. As of today, it seems he has stabilized enough to continue as my training companion for another bit of time. While I'm always watching and evaluating his abilities and happiness, I currently can't look forward to retiring him and picking up a project for myself.
Photo by StitzPics

2017 Riding/Horse Goals

  • Continue to manage Pig appropriately as a riding horse, and stay within my budget. Research ways to keep me more comfortable while doing his feet, and better ways to keep him pain free while working hard.
  • Continue to finesse Pig's understanding in the double. He really started to get it this year, and I would like to see how much better he and I can get with the tool.
  • Get those 3 changes across the diagonal for 4-1 without totally losing our brain. 
  • Show 4-1 at a recognized show.
  • Get the 4th level scores for my silver.
  • Develop plan going forward with Pig. Will he be leased? Will he be retired? His work days are still coming to a close.
2017 Personal Goals
  • Average 10-15 miles a week when running.
  • Average 2-3 trips to the gym to lift, weekly.
  • Run from my house to Meridian Hill Park and back. (12 miles total city running, with several huge hills)
  • Improve my running time back to an 8:30 minute mile pace. 
  • Keep average hours of sleep daily above 7 hours for a week.
  • Read 12 books this year. 
  • Stay open to the moments that present themselves. Don't forget to make time for friends and a personal life. It's necessary to keep me grounded.
Onward! Toward 2017!
Photo by StitzPics


  1. You had a lot of success :) Great goals for next year!

  2. You knocked it out of the park this year! Still can't believe you and the old man are going 4th now.. craziness! He and Dino can be trail buddies once their work in the show ring is done. :)

  3. YES 4-1 NEXT YEAR! Penn and I will be there to see it! Yay for other goals too, but I'm excited about that one lol.

  4. Huge successes this year and I love your goals for next year. Maybe I can get you to a 50-miler by end of 2017, too. ;-)

  5. Look at you go!! Very impressive list of accomplishments.

    1. Way more than I thought we'd do this year. Old man surprised me.

  6. I'm always impressed with your management skills (both physically and mentally) with Pig. You guys accomplished a lot this year!

    1. Thanks! It's not easy, but I try not to complicate things either.

  7. <3 those quotes (and the pics too!)

    1. Maaaaaaybe spent too much time doing those.

  8. The pictures and quotes really are fantastic

  9. You TOTALLY have 4-1. I like it so much better than 3-3! And you can get by with a little bit of winging it for those 3 changes. Speaking from experience. *cough*

    1. Lol!! I'll take your experience and just run with it.

  10. I feel like we need to somehow get out stretch accountability back. Make stretching great again 2017.


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