I don’t actually bother making New Year’s Resolutions. Its not out of a lack of ambition or that I feel I am fine as is. Actually, its the realization that I seem to apply some of the principles of dressage to my entire life – no matter how hard I try, I will never actually achieve my goals. So why limit putting pressure on myself to one point in the year? I can feel that I am falling short and should strive harder 365 days a year. Happy New Years!
Last year was filled with its own share of struggles and victories. Cosmo’s owner is in remission, so that is pretty huge. Getting to a couple hunter paces was pretty satisfying in that case. Ries, as usual, struggled with soundness issues. Dealing with that and a lot of soul searching led to the decision that he and I are not on the same path. I am not ready to throw in the towel on eventing yet, and Ries is just never going to be comfortable enough (at least not on my budget) to go beyond Novice. That was a hard decision because he has the mind, movement, and jumping ability to go much higher – what we don’t have is the back and hind limb soundness. Forcing the issue seems like it would be completely defeat the goal of a seamless partnership. It seems as if I can have a sound horse or one with heart. Whitman didn’t have a show season due to my schedule. We had a rough autumn, but now that he is on a “rocket fuel” diet and some very helpful lessons, we seem to be back on track.
That doesn’t stop me from having hopes and goals for 2014.
We will see what the year brings, but I would like to get Whitman to some recognized dressage shows and have some solid and fun Second Level tests. I am hoping that he remains quite the showman and that I can get him more in front of my leg and dynamic. For Reis, hopefully I will either win the lottery or find him a situation where he is happy and content. If I can free up a stall, I’d like to see if I can get a OTTB through the Murphy’s Law hang ups and have a solid event season. The problem is that with a new horse it will be back to square one. However, Mary King was 61 when she was first and second at Rolex, so I should hopefully get to Training Level again before I turn 40 (the last time I went Training I was 29). Under no stretch of the imagination am I putting myself in the same league as Mary King.
For my students, I’d like those that are competition minded have a successful (as in fun and safe) competition season. I’d love to see Cosmo and Chunk getting a chance to publicly show off their scope over fences. I’d love to see Flynn and her rider gain some relaxation and confidence and get to go have fun with the rest of us and for Tas to get to go strut his stuff and get a starter season as an event horse. Tas has been to a few shows and loves the social scene. For those not bent on showing, I’d like to see everyone get their confidence levels up and meet any personal goals they have even if that is just lapping the outdoor being happy and care-free. Mostly, I’d like to see everyone be safe sound and able to avoid the law of gravity.
Whitman is just hoping that he and his pet cat can continue to try and pull cameras out of the hands of his admirers.