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2020 Goals

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    2020 Goals

    I know it's not the new year yet, but post-championships kinda feels like the "new year". I've been depressed and stressed lately for just about everything that's not riding so thought it'd be fun to think positively for the future. I'd love to hear folks' training, showing or other dressage goals for next year, if you would like to share.

    For me, I wanted to try for silver next year but my old schoolmaster's soundness has taken a downturn sadly, so this is off the table. My goals for my own horse and I are:

    1) Show First Level and qualify for Regionals
    2) Show Second Level and qualify for Regionals
    3) Learn to ride on trails by ourselves
    4) Get an 80% (this is insane but I feel like maybe within our reach on First Level and who knows the next time that'll be something in my reach, so why not)

    I'm in California and spoiled for availability of shows, so I'd plan to show First starting in maybe November of this year and then try for Second starting next summer (we're currently training Second but need more canter strength before doing a show).
    Mr. Sandman
    sand me a man
    make him so sandy
    the sandiest man

    It is the beginning of the season for me in New Zealand.

    With my 'old' boy, I need to nail our counter canter. He's a very talented schoolmaster and I'm Grade V para. I would love to see 70% next to our names, but that would be a freestyle.

    For my young 'un, just want to get him out and happy at Level 2, perhaps some 'baby' para classes.

    Other than that, ride in the forest more often!


      I am hopeful that my mare can move up to 4th.... possibly PSG late next season. I just put her in a double bridle, and we are starting pirouettes. Since it’s the blind leading the blind, I am bringing her along myself, it’s a slow process. I also need to get way better in my tempis, they are a struggle! I am thrilled with just getting to this point though, and shows will not start till late April. We have brutal winters though, and I am stuck in a tiny indoor.
      Mare number two, is a total blast to ride. She unfortunately had most of the summer off though due to a nasty case of scratches, then she sprung a shoe. 2020 goal with her is to build canter strength and hopefully get her out at first and second level. Might put her in foal too next spring, so that will be fun stallion shopping! She really struggles in the small indoor, it will be a long winter for her.
      I am fortunate to have a 4 yo warmblood gelding too. He’s just started WTC, shows great promise, and has a fantastic brain. I want to just play with him this winter and try some schooling shows next year. I think he could be special, and am not going to push him. I am so lucky to have three wonderful horses!


        With my mare show and qualify for Regionals at 2nd.
        With her younger brother show and qualify for Regionals at Training.
        Take them both to Dressage Pony and Small Horse Cup.

        The mare's goals are doable. The younger brother goals are debatable after a bad fall this summer, trust and confidentce issues to overcome with him. More realistic goal might be Intro at a single show but we'll see.

        Crayola Posse: Violet Blue


          OK, 2020!

          My goal is, by the end of 2020, to have my horse comfortable at third level. Right now, he's learning simple changes but has everything else at second level. He can do flying changes but not always when I ask. We should get that by next year. His simple changes have improved so much in just 1 month.

          His huge problem has been his brain. He is SOOOO hypervigilant, spooky, afraid of anything out of place, and can get mentally distracted. And he can wind up pretty easily. You sort of have to see which horse shows up for the ride.

          I couldn't show him at lower levels - there wasn't enough to keep his brain engaged. I tried, but it's hard when your horse won't go all the way into one end of the arena because someone is standing 30 feet away with a clipboard - A CLIPBOARD) or spooks at the flowers and won't go near the letters). I'm hoping I can show him in 2020 now that there's enough going on in the tests and his brain is mellowing with age and experience. I really dislike throwing money on entry fees away!!

          I will say, in 2018-2019, he's mastered going on trail rides with other horses, moving cows, and just last week mastered (in only a week and 7 rides!) understanding that the cow feeder in the area next to the arena was nothing to slam on the breaks for, bolt from, or get stiff as a board about. Did I mention I would daily walk him up to it and let him eat cow pellets from it? 7 days, people, 7 days until he would reliably stay on my aids riding by it. *sigh*
          Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


            Trails! Do you have trails adjacent to your barn or do you need to trailer out? If adjacent you can handwalk the trails with horse until he is relaxed. Either adjacent or away the #1 thing is go with just one other person to start and make sure that person has a solid horse that can take the lead and completely respects your comfort level. If you want to just walk every ride for 6 months that's your choice. Start with easy trails and work up to challenges in terrain and environment.


              My goals are to show recognized at First level and qualify for championships. I did two schooling shows this year and sent Pony with my trainer to two BIG shows where she learned what the overnight show and different warm-ups and arenas and horses were all about. She got respectable scores and we learned how best to "manage" her at shows.

              I've got a saddle that I mostly like and it is better than what I had. It is certainly workable for both Pony and I, but I think we could do better so I'm still looking and hope to have that sorted by spring.

              I have fantasies about breeding Pony to a very cute and fancy Hungarian stallion that my trainer rides, but then I'd also want another horse to ride, which would mean getting another horse.

              My schedule has been wonky with various family health issues and balancing work and such, so I don't know that I have time to do more than one horse anyway, but you never know what is on the horizon.

              I'm going to bring Pony home from the training barn in November for the winter. I have a small indoor here and if it is going to be a mucky winter (versus snowy, we don't know yet!), then my paddock footing is better and she'd have lots of turnout.

              But mostly I want to show next year!
              "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                With my young horse, my goal for 2020 was to start next season showing 1st-2 and 3 and hopefully move to 2nd level if we were ready. However, once I did my last show this summer ---I have been spending more time hacking out. She has really seemed to enjoy it. And last weekend, I decided to take her out to a XC course. I was schooling my other horse (who is a legit event horse) and thought I'd bring her along to hack around. We ended up doing much more---and it turns out she was a complete superstar. She popped over little logs, baby tables, a small ditch and was trotting and cantering through the water complex! Was completely game for it and started locking onto other fences out there! So now, I am going to play more with her out on the trails and perhaps do another XC school before we are stuck indoors for the winter.

                So my goals are changing . . . I was mostly aiming at dressage with her, but we may do some starter events or derbies mixed into our dressage shows next year! Mostly I think it's good for her brain and will make her stronger too (without having to drill in the arena).


                  Originally posted by J-Lu View Post
                  OK, 2020!

                  My goal is, by the end of 2020, to have my horse comfortable at third level. Right now, he's learning simple changes but has everything else at second level. He can do flying changes but not always when I ask. We should get that by next year. His simple changes have improved so much in just 1 month.

                  His huge problem has been his brain. He is SOOOO hypervigilant, spooky, afraid of anything out of place...
                  This is almost my story. Except my girl, while hyper vigilant, is almost always calm to a fault. The crazier the warm up ring the more she pays attention. While we got our scores (for Bronze) at Second this year I know that we have LOTS to learn before we can make the jump to Third and not embarrass ourselves. When I am riding well things can be fair (except changes) but I know that we will have to go to a bunch of schooling shows in the spring (at Second)to see how much I will retain from this season.

                  We we are both brave on trails, she is braver jumping then I am, so that might be something to ‘do’ in the off time this winter... I know she would enjoy that resembles jumping. I would like to use ground poles to strengthen her canter. We shall see.


                    Clean flying changes, in both directions... that's all I ask for To that end, we will continue to work diligently on the quality of the canter.


                      My goal - which has been a lifelong goal - is to show Third Level next year. Assuming my super senior stays as sound, healthy and happy as she is now, it will be a walk in the park for her.

                      For me, there’s quite a bit of work to be done. I’m just now after 2 months with her STARTING to be able to sit her trot well but that’s a long way from sitting and riding it well for a whole test, let alone the medium / extended.

                      Luckily we have 6 -7 months to work on it 😃


                        Those that have busy, easily distracted, anxious horses, have you thought of using the Andrew McLean method? I was introduced to it recently, and while I don't believe it is a one size fits all, some horses can definitely benefit from it.


                          My primary 2020 goals involve making saddling & bridling a non event for the young horse. It'll be a year before it's really necessary but I'd like the whole concept to be old-hat by the time she's ready to be backed. Likewise, looking to start long lining. We're limited in what we can do due to lack of arena, riding space, roundpen or other contained area, but she's pretty good minded that I'm sure we'll square something out.

                          The goals that aren't my-horse-specific, get back in the saddle more. I am out of serious riding shape and I have I figure, a conservative 18 months to get it all back before the young horse is ready to be sat on, so we've got some time but I need to find all that again. More lessons. I'm fortunate that my trainer is willing to always make time for me, much like the prodigal child, returned. Nothing that I have access to for riding right now is really schoolmaster material, so I'd really like to focus on just fundamentally solid riding - not even movements, but just a return to really sound basics. Good connection, good feel for rhythm, good feel for balance, diplomatic corrections that don't nag, throw away, or otherwise screw up the horse. Get the rock solid foundation laid down.


                            I didn't compete that much this year, but I did earn my silver at my only show of the season! (On my Amish-auction draft cross that I got as a 3 year old, no less!) But next year I'm hoping to qualify and go to Regionals at PSG and 4th Freestyle since they're a little closer to home in 2020. We're already schooling the I-1 canter zig zag and full pirouettes, so, if we're ready, I might try to do I-1. The thought of all of this (silver medals, I-1??) used to seem totally impossible to me, so even setting the goal is really exciting! Mostly, I just want everything to be stronger and tighter.


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                              For 2020:
                              - Buckle down and take lessons consistently. Go to some Arab and open shows and qualify for 2021 Sport Horse Nationals in dressage. Compete in training again and then move on to first.
                              - Perfect our trail work and qualify for US Nationals in English trail
                              - Keep having fun with my wonderful bay boy!


                                With my older mare, keep working on determining the root of her physical issues. Darned horse tries to hide lameness because of how much she wants to work, but I want her totally comfortable! Since nerve blocks indicated it's more than one place, we're working systematically from the ground up. I suspect an old neck injury is starting to show aftereffects, this the hard to figure out nature. If she's sound, rebuild her strength to get my bronze on her. Training wise she is there, just needs to be consistently sound to build the power for mediums and extensions.

                                For my youngster, learn to control her body even when she gets distracted by horse eating birds, because that control of her body is my gate before I feel I should be showing her. Given I'd be showing training and the worst she does is counter bend a few strides, my trainer thinks I'm too picky and wants me getting out there on her. We may aim for a January show. Hope is they'll both be FEI horses, so I care more about that foundation than showing lower levels.
                                If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


                                  Hope and pray I've gotten to the bottom of my OTTB's post-track issues and that going forward from now we can make some real progress. Spend the winter trying to get in lessons and a lot of focused, correct work so miss maresy becomes stronger which should **hopefully** eliminate the need for any further injections.
                                  And maybe, just maybe, next spring/summer/fall will be more fun than this one has been.


                                    After a succesful season showing Training Level with my moms young OTTB mare Veronica, we are hoping to move up to First Level next year. By the way she is going, she may even be ready for Second, but there's no rush.We are planning on going to some of the bigger overnight shows here in Ontario, for more competition and opportunities. Really looking forward to entering the more serious dressage showing world, as I have always been an eventer through and through.

                                    I am hoping to show that mares 1/2 sister Valley, who is a year younger, at our local CADORA shows in Training level. I might take my event mare Penny to some shows too, to keep improving her comfort level in the ring.

                                    Mostly, right now I am excited about going to see Ingrid in Caledon in October, and my coach is riding also so that will be a huge treat to watch.
                                    Boss Mare Eventing Blog


                                      My goal is to be able to RIDE again. Shattered my leg in February, so hoping by February 2020, I am capable of actually riding. I have been ON my pony 3 times in the past 3 weeks - a tall mounting block and a short pony helps, although mounting (and dismounting) are a bit dicey. I can't post the trot, but I've done a bit of walking and sitting trot (OMG I'm so out of shape), so maybe with another few months, I'll be back to slightly more normal riding.

                                      Oh, and I want to be able to wear a riding boot again - right now, that just isn't happening. But maybe by 2020?

                                      So, if all THAT goes well, I'm hoping, hoping, hoping to be back in the show ring, possibly 3rd level by the end of 2020. But there is a lot of "ifs" in that scenario... Including my neck and back holding up to it, as well as my leg. Ugh, injuries and aging are a b*$%ch....


                                        This year is a hard one for me. My little small tour horse flunked out of rehab and will semi-retire to a trail riding job if I can find someone who wants to lease him, or retire. My other small tour horse has a good start on everything for the GP, but lacks motivation to do it. We're preparing to put him on the market. So, the end of this year is a sad end to a lot of dreams that will never be, but also a hopeful start to some new dreams if I can get my act together and find horses I'm interested in.