Friday, January 4, 2019

Here We Come 2019

This picture again because we're so cute :)
I realize that the start of the year is completely arbitrary for a new start but like many others I enjoy the perspective of looking ahead to the next year and making plans and goals. In fact, while it never was before New Years has become my favorite holiday for just that reason.

After spending the end of 2018 in potato recovery mode I'm feeling so refreshed (even with the cold) and ready to really knock 2019 out of the park. I'm going to do this similar to last year and share my big picture goals for the year and then each month I'll post smaller goals that are broken out of the big year goals. To leave myself a little wiggle room, if posting isn't happening as much as I'd like I may change that to quarterly goals.

So without further ado.

Pony/Riding Goals:

Blog more with more media:
I hadn't truly realized how much I've gained from blogging and being part of this community until I wasn't posting much this year. It's amazing how this connection to everyone, even those of you I haven't met yet, motivates me and how everyones comments keep me pushing forward sometimes. I've also truly appreciated the advice I've gotten throughout the years.

Regarding more media, I'm awful at remembering to take pictures and video while I'm at the barn and  typically haven't had anyone to help. I'm going to try to do more myself this year and remember to capture more, especially since I always have my phone with me, but also push myself to ask others to take pictures and video when I can.

Motivational quote board in our arena

No Excuses:
This could be a personal goal but more than anything it relates to my ability to consistently go to the barn. I'm an over thinker and in the past this has led to me trying to have a perfect plan rather than just a plan. I'll be thinking about going to the barn and my brain will start worrying about interrupting feeding schedule, the potential for bad weather, traffic, other people at the barn, the cold, etc. So far the last few months I've been working hard to not overanalyze and just go to the barn when I can without over thinking it. It's been great and a big part of why I've gotten out there as consistently as I have and haven't turned winter and an unheated barn into a Thing. I want to continue with this mind set into the new year.

Track my rides:
I have the Equilab app on my my phone and have had for awhile but I've used it maybe for one ride. While the data isn't going to be as good at the Equisense it's still data that I'd like to have and if nothing else it should be enlightening regarding things like trends in the amount of walk/trot/canter I'm doing each ride and how long my rides are. I already ride with my phone, all I need to do is remember to start the ap before I ride so that should be very reachable.

Continue with dressage lessons and maybe increase frequency:
I've loved having weekly lessons and right now bi-weekly is working for me but I'm also hoping to take advantage of clinics, outside instructors, and riding with my current instructor more. In addition I'm hoping to have K put at least a handful of rides on Katai this year to help us break through the 1st-2nd level barrier that we're struggling with currently.

Vary Our Work:
In the past I've often had something on here specifically about trail riding. The problem is that multiple people close to me have gotten into significant accidents/been significantly injured while trail riding. Plus current pony is hot and can be explosive so it just hasn't been my thing. This year instead of specifically calling out trail riding I just want to introduce more variety including trail walks and other things in the arena such as pole work. I've picked up Jec Ballou's most recent book and plan to post more about that soon!

Get Back In Shape:
This one could probably be in the personal goals but my main reason for increasing my fitness is to be able to ride better. At various points I've been significantly more fit than I am now and it's been so helpful from a riding perspective. I've felt more in control of my body parts, less anxious about pony shenanigans, and just less anxious in general.

I'm setting really easy goals with this one to make it reachable. Mainly I want to get back out there this year and do at least a show or two. Even traveling to a clinic would make me feel like this was a win.

Spend Less:
I'm already on the right track. Last year I reassessed costs for supplements and moved to making my own instead of doing SmartPak. I also moved to a less expensive barn instead of a more expensive one and I'm taking bi-weekly lessons instead of weekly. However, I'm still buying too many unnecessary things (like more saddle pads gah) and while I bought them all on huge sales they aren't necessary items. Things that will make this easy are that I have a great tack set up for saddle, bridle, girth, etc. and shouldn't NEED anything else. I also don't plan to change barns or instructors so that should help to keep my costs lower than in past.

Things that will make this difficult are that I really need to replace my winter boots, I still need a couple more pieces of cold weather gear now that I'm in an unheated barn, and that I'm still hoping to buy a trailer. Plus showing is expensive! Ultimately if I can spend less in unnecessary purchases I'm hoping that I'll net out to close to what I spent last year.

Personal Goals:

Continue to Budget Better:
My BF has been amazing with this and has really gently been guiding/teaching me how to better track my spending. He's got me using more auto pay and keeping track of where my money goes. In the past I would just white knuckle the bit yearly expense, now I'm saving for them ahead of time so that the money is there when I need it.

Pay Down Debt:
I've been working on this for the last couple of years and made a ton of progress when I was paying next to nothing for rent and living at my grandma's house. Last year my expenses went way up and then I ended up needing to pay two separate apartment deposits and moving costs associated which added to increasing the balance on my credit cards. My goal is to get at least one credit card paid off this year and hopefully two

Get a New Job:
I LOVE my current job but it's time for me to move on. I'm not in a hurry on this one because it's pretty bitter sweet to think about but at some point this year I plan to move to a new role/company.

Stretch Goals:

Showing stretch goals:
Ultimate goal is to ride at rated shows and get my 1st level Bronze Medal scores and maybe try out a second level test toward the end of the year even if it's at a schooling show.

Get a Trailer:
This one is going on the list AGAIN. It's definitely a stretch goal but at the very least it's a thing that I need to keep working towards. This certainly doesn't jive with the "Spend Less" goal but part of the spend less goal is to allow me to do something like this.

Lose Some Weight:
Awhile ago I posted about how much weight I had lost over the past 5-6 years or so. Unfortunately I've crept up a bit and while I'm nowhere near to my heaviest I have climbed up significantly further than I ever wanted to. Being in a relationship is just so good for gaining weight :) It's time to lose this again both to make it easier for Katai to carry me and just for my health. This is a stretch goal because just with my goal of getting more in shape I'll likely get back to where I had been stuck pretty easily and I now just want to move past that and lose the last 5 pounds or so this year.


  1. Good goals! I need to blog more, too - I get so sad when my favorite bloggers don't post much, and then I remember...I'm doing the same thing ;) This winter is gonna change that for the better, I think.

    1. Thank you!! Yes, I miss seeing more posts from you. I hope that both of us are able to have more time to post this year :)



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