The Terror of Goals (or, how I'm currently stressing out)

Anyone else freak out a little bit when you're really close to accomplishing a goal? Turns out, I do. It's so rare for things to actually go smoothly for me, I immediately start to panic when an achievement is coming up. I basically expect all the bad luck in the world to rain down on me. Let's face it, that's often what happens.

What's it say about my life that a global pandemic isn't the worst luck I've had in the last few years?
(Thanks to Emma for coming out to Waredaca and snapping most of the photos in this post!)

A lot of times this leads me to keep my goals quiet. If no one knows about my hopes, then somehow it feels less monumental when bad luck or situations crush them. I guess. Seriously, anyone else out there like this? It can't just be me.

All this talk about goals and freaking out brings me back to the last show on my calendar and a goal attached to our performance there. See, when planning out our belated show season something on the Thoroughbred Incentive website caught my eye.

Specifically this.

I couldn't actually believe what I was seeing for a minute, so I scooted over to the USDF website to double check. Sure enough, Jockey Club was back on the list of All Breed Award participating organizations. Finally! I knew I wanted to sign up and try to qualify, if just to support the JC taking part in the program.

For those of you totally confused by my obsession with this, All Breeds is a popular USDF awards program. To some degree, it makes recognition in the sport a little more accessible for some of us, especially off-breeds (sorry if you ride a KWPN, I guess). Breed registries sponsor awards for each level, and the USDF tracks all the scores and calculates the median score. Riders/owners have to declare their horse as eligible with both the organization and the USDF to be considered.

Thoroughbred owners have been out of luck when it comes to participating in All Breeds with USDF for a couple of years. So, seeing Jockey Club step up and sponsor awards again made me so happy! I started digging into what is required to participate and pulling together all my paperwork. Even if I had no chance of qualifying this year, I wanted to pay my dues and support the organization's move to offer these awards.

Thoroughbreds make up a pretty sizeable number of off-breed entries at dressage shows. It makes me happy to see the registry acknowledge them in this way.

Of course, it would also be nice to win something. JC awards only the first placed Adult Amateurs at each level, and scores are ranked by the highest median of recognized scores. You must have a minimum of 8 scores from 4 judges, two scores over 60% from the highest test of the level, and a median score of at least 60%. Woof. No mean feat to accomplish that in 2020 of all things!

Still, I looked at my finances and the shows moving forward this year. It looked doable. In fact, I planned to do enough shows to get 10 scores, just in case I needed extra. Then Bast tangled himself in his fly sheet and we had to scratch my extra show. My goal is still valid and doable, but feels so much more fragile now. In fact our last show is today, and I'm totally losing my head over it.

Maybe my panic has something to do with the random vaccine reaction Bast suffered last weekend, causing him to develop a foot long, scorchingly hot lump where his neck meets his shoulder. That lump finally seems to have receded, and he's totally sound again. But my brain is convinced we're going to have another huge bout of bad luck at any time, and I can't convince it otherwise.

Massive lump on the left. Normal side of neck on the right. This horse has never had a reaction to a vaccine before, but of course he would sprout one just days before our last chance to show.

So today, if you can, send Bast and I a little bit of good luck. We've worked hard to develop our connection, bend, and impulsion for First Level. We have two scores well above 60% on the highest test of the level. We just need two more scores (that preferably don't suck) to qualify for this monster of a goal. The homework has been put in, I just need a little lucky fairy dust to get us the rest of the way. Maybe a little extra community sponsored good luck can get us through my track record of last minute problems? Eek!

"Seriously. Send good vibes, because my rider is starting to lose it right now." -- Bast, probably


  1. I feel the same way about goals! Best of luck to you!

  2. I am exactly this way! I try to achieve my goals most quietly and talk about them after, and honestly probably don't reach as far when making goals to avoid disappointment. There is just so much that can happen along the way. Best of luck today!

  3. Sprinkling fairy dust madly at you and Bast. :)


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