Looking Ahead to 2016: Goals

Happy New Year! Wow, 2015 was a jam-packed year for us at Sioux River...for a quiet little stable in the woods with minimal boarders and a small lesson program, we sure had a lot going on! Looking back, I am amazed. And looking ahead, I am not entirely sure what to expect...

My life is about to drastically change. I hope that my little buddy will be cool with hanging out at the barn and at horse shows. I hope that my own passion, drive and commitment to riding doesn't waver or fade. I hope that I can find a balance between horses and everything-else-in-life that works for my family and me. But these are all just hopes at this point. All I know for sure is that things are going to be very different.

We're all up against our own unknowns as we embark upon a new year. My hope for all of you, and for myself, is that we can stay focused and–even if we don't accomplish everything we set out to–we at least check a couple of the really important boxes. What's your strategy for 2016? Mine has always been, and will be again this year, to set goals for myself.

Last year, a big goal of mine was to compete at First Level without completely emberassing myself. Done. Phew! I actually can't believe we pulled that off, considering what our canter was like last spring. There were days I really questioned if it was possible, but I just kept working towards that goal, and it worked out.

I also wanted to beat our Training Level scores from the year before, and we did, earning a Mastery Award from our local Dressage Association for that level.

I wanted to be more self-sufficient, and really pushed myself in that area–for example, I worked on learning how to hook up the trailer, park it, back it up, and confidently haul my horse by myself.

I wanted to push myself as a trainer, and to continue my own education, so that I can pass that experience and knowledge on to my students. I hope I accomplished that in 2015, and it will always be one of my yearly goals every year.

And I know for sure that many of you accomplished big goals of your own this past year, because I got to witness many of them happening! From bridling a horse without assistance, to getting more confident at the canter, to jumping for the first time, purchasing your dream horse, owning your own trailer, and attending your first off-property clinic(s)...you all should be very proud of what you accomplished (I'M proud of you!) As we all know, those things don't come without hard work, sacrifice and determination.

What's on the docket for 2016? Some of my goals for the coming year include getting back in shape after having my baby, getting my horse back in shape in time for show season, competing at First Level again and beating last summer's scores, and maaaaaaybe coming out at Second Level towards the end of summer. I'd also like to attend one show out of our area, to compete against some different horses and riders, since in the past I've stuck to our local association's shows and haven't traveled further than 30 minutes away. It's not going to be easy, but my eye is on the prize because I know the power of a good goal!

So, friends and students, make those goals and make them happen! Cheers to a healthy, busy, wonderful year ahead. I can't wait to see where 2016 takes us!