Plan of Attack for 2019! (And a 2018 Goal Review)

I realized yesterday this will be my 10th year blogging. It blows my mind that I have been sharing my stories about my opinionated red horse and our journey for a whole decade. Wow. Thanks for being with me along the way everyone, I appreciate every comment and cheer of support. You're all the best. Here's to another great year!

Around here I find setting goals to be a great way to ensure a year is productive and headed in the right direction, so let's break down last year's goals and set some new ones for 2019.
Bring it on 2019!
2018 Riding / Horse Goals
(ranked on a success scale of 1-5)
1. Keep Pig happy and healthy as long as I can, and not go completely destitute to do it.
(4) — We had a lot of downs at the beginning of the year, which resulted in blood tests and feed changes. But Pig is looking pretty good right now. I have some hopes for him in the new year I'll talk about below.
2. Take Pig out on the trail system backing up to the farm, which means I need to find someone there to show me the way.
(4) — I could have done this more, but I did extensively explore the trail system. Many of the trails out there are a bit too technical for Pig to make it through comfortably, so mostly we just stuck to wandering around the fields and galloping.
3. Get Bast comfortable hacking on one of the medium length regular trails I would take Pig. Alternatively, hack him out 3x a month and actually leave the barn property alone without a total meltdown.
(5) — We hacked alone and in company several times. We also did a ton of walking out through the fields on our own. He did super with the dogs out there, and also was a complete star for our forays off the property.
Look at us working alone in the field!
4. Take Bast off the property 2-3 times, including to a show. He needs to start figuring out how to travel to a new location and be a good citizen away from home.
(5) — I couldn't be happier with Bast's behavior at our two schooling shows. He was tense and nervous but behaved completely appropriately. In addition he moved properties and was able to go to work at the new place quickly and professionally. (read: only minimal screaming)
5. Take 4-5 dressage lessons with Bast.
(5) — I started taking lessons 2x a month halfway through the year. It's made a huge difference, and I'm so happy to have eyes on myself and my baby horse.
6. Show Bast training level at 2 schooling shows, aiming for scores above 64%.
(4) — Two schooling shows in the books! While we scored above 64% once, the scoring wasn't as important to me as the experience. Looking forward to more shows in 2019.
7. Find a saddle that actually fits Bast and myself, and procure it.
(5) — I'll be honest. This was a stretch goal that surprised me. The perfect saddle fell into my lap at the perfect price and I bit. So thankful every day.
8. Develop Bast's connection so that he is working over his back and salivating on the bit regularly, aiming to have him ready for 1st level by the end of the year.
(3) — Training setbacks really put us behind. Plus Bast is turning out to be a bit dry in the mouth. I just don't have his straightness and engagement dialed in enough to really turn on that drooly dressage mouth yet. We'll get there.
Reflective Bast likes to look back while snacking.
2018 Personal Goals
1. Run 500 miles.
(0) — This is laughable. I had so many setbacks and illnesses this year, this running goal never even got off the ground. Resetting and reevaluating.
2. Downsize the house and move into a 1 bedroom apartment, consolidating commutes and improving commute/life balance.
(5) — Not driving to work has changed my life for the better. Also having a house I can clean in an hour is amazing. I'm still not at epic commute/work/life balance, but the possibilities are there.
3. Read 12 more books (maybe less trashy fantasy this year, if I'm feeling up for it).
(5) — Definitely was not up for less trashy books, but did my best. On my favorites list from this year? The Hangman's Daughter, Evicted by Matthew Desmond, The Mermaid's Sister, The Paper Magician.
4. Keep on top of my health. I need to stop the pattern of getting laid out by a really horrific illness once or twice a year.
(2) — While I didn't have a doctor threaten to admit me to the hospital this year, I did have a ton of minor setbacks that kept me down. I would love to be less sick and more fit in the coming year.
5. Maybe get a second dog, and if so successfully assimilate it into daily life.
(5) — Dear Asterid. You are everything. I love your dumb howls and squirrel tail.
6. 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.
(5) — While I always feel like I could do better about this, I tried so hard to push myself more here. I can be the worst introvert known to man, but I tried to not cancel so many outings and actually show up to events that made me nervous.
Personal goal #1? Enjoy life.
2019 Riding/Horse Goals
1. Keep quarterly goals for Bast, and review regularly.
2. Set aside time weekly to read through my horse training books. Get through all 3 I haven't read through yet.
3. Show Bast at one recognized show at First Level.
4. Have Bast schooling most of Second by the end of the year.
5. Find a situation where both boys can truly thrive, and I can still afford to eat.
6. Hack Bast 3-4x monthly, with and without company.
7. Keep Pig in shape enough to be a good galloping companion for friends.
8. Jump Bast enough to develop his form and confidence over small fences. Maybe do a course.
Definitely need to keep doing cavelletti.
2019 Personal Goals
1. Maintain financial solvency, in the face of temptations like horse shows and quality boarding.
2. Commit to a fitness schedule that works for me and settle in.
3. Run 400 miles (no, but really).
4. Launch my photography side gig.
5. Get through the year with an established daily routine that stays intact.
When in doubt, always go forward.
I'm hoping 2019 is a positive year. On a personal level, the events of 2017 kicked me down hard. I struggled with my sense of self this year, as well as some really strong depression. Both of these issues made it very hard to stay positive or keep moving. Finally in the last third of the year things began to look up. Thank god for my animals and goals for driving me forward and keeping me from becoming a hermit. I would like to get back to a place where I can give my all to my passions and work, and end the day with contentment. However, even if 2019 isn't positive, I hope I have learned from the lessons of this year and know I'll survive to smile another day.

Let's do this thing called life.


  1. ❤️ I hope you're able to fully find your mojo again this year and absolutely thrive. Looking pretty positive starting with the move! I'm already looking forward to some spring gallops with you and the boys.

  2. girl you slayed the hell out of your riding goals. and the personal ones, really. The horse training book one is a great one. I keep them next to my bed and when I see them I'm like OH! GERMAN RIDING MANUAL! and flip through it before I go to sleep.

    1. I have so many awesome books, and I need to use them to think more about how to structure my rides and goals.

  3. I feel you on last year being tough. Glad to hear that the end of the year felt better and hopefully 2019 will continue that way for you too.

    Also, I love the idea of rating success on a scale vs succeed or fail. I’m totally stealing this for goal recaps in the future!

  4. Sounds like a pretty great year, minus the illnesses. Staying healthy can be tough! Best of luck for 2019.

  5. y'all are gonna kill it in 2019 ;)

  6. You really slayed it this year. I admire your work ethic and dedication.


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