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2020 Goals

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    My goal for 2020 is to qualify and show at Regionals at Second Level with my mare. I actually got the scores by the skin of my teeth this year but didn't pay for qualifying scores since its my first year at Second Level. I figured I wouldn't be competitive so it wasn't worth the expense of hauling all the way out to Texas. We're still working on cleaning up a few things and building up our strength again after a horrendously hot and wet summer.

    I may end up doing a First Level freestyle with my mare also. I've been dying to do a freestyle but just haven't had the motivation to put it together. But I've been talking with one of my friends who does freestyles, so now I just have to get her some video. No excuses now!

    I have a feeling I'll be searching for my next horse next year. I'm selling my gelding (had someone try him out this past weekend and she loved him, so fingers crossed). He just wasn't happy doing straight dressage, so he can go have fun doing some jumping. What this means is that I need to have a serious conversation with Mr. Neon on what my budget actually will be. We've been having light discussions about it but I'm not looking forward to having the full-on serious conversation.
    My May boys: Beau, Neon, Criss


      Well, I still have one more show in October this year, and even though it is technically for the 2020 season, I'm not working toward year end awards, so I consider it still part of this year. I am on the fence about riding a second level test at the show - need to decide soon so I can send in my entry!

      Regardless of how the October show goes, next year we will be showing at second level, and hopefully get scores toward our Bronze. I would also like to go to a working equitation show. We play around with the obstacles once in a while for a change of scenery, so I know he can do it, and it might be fun! Also we need to get to the beach one day.

      "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham


        My goal is to start competing Training Level at actual recognized shows with my 4 year old in 2020. We probably won't be competitive, but I've never done a real dressage show before so I'm more just wanting us to get some experience. I'm hoping we can add in a bit of jumping too for cross training.

        I really want to get my mare sound to ride again, figure out her mystery lameness. I would LOVE to be able to do Tadpole/BN eventing on her again, but if I could even get her able to do some dressage I would be thrilled. And if she is sound for low jumping, then she can go to the barn I keep my 4 year old at and give some lessons in exchange for cheaper board. Having horses at two different places is rough, but I can't afford full board for both at this place, as much as I adore it there. And the place I have her now is just temporary.

        I guess that's another goal, see if I can find a magical place where I can keep both of them that is close to where I live, and could just trailer out for lessons with Rain, if I can't get maresy sound for lessons. And isn't like 800 a month for one horse.


          My goal for 2020 is to get back in the show ring again. I had a tough 2019 riding wise with lots of roadblocks and personal things coming up.

          To get there both my pony and I need to get back in shape, find a show buddy or get my own trailer, and get back to consistent lessons and time at the barn.
          My little girl, Katai - 13.2 Haflinger/Unicorn
          and her blog

          "Ponies are the new black. Welcome to the darkside!" - Manahmanah


            If things continue to go as planned, I hope to start working on the flying changes over the next year. As for show goals, I just want to build strength and self-carriage and deliver competent second level tests. If those two goals take me 'anywhere' show-wise that's great but my focus won't be campaigning. My real goals are longer term and I'm still just focusing on all the building blocks to get me there.
            Ranch of Last Resort


              Original Poster

              Thanks to everyone who's shared here - it's been really illuminating and interesting to read! Wishing everyone the best luck on the continuing journey and for the best possible new (horse) year.
              Mr. Sandman
              sand me a man
              make him so sandy
              the sandiest man


                Goal # 1 - keep my coming-18 horse sound and healthy (thankfully he is that right now)
                Goal #2 - Qualify for regionals at I-1 and GO. This year they are too far away for my travel preferences.
                Goal #3 - Begin showing Intermediare A - All the parts are pretty good ex the 1x changes. I can get 3-4, (we need 7) but it requires some work to get him correctly balanced and then I'm still not feeling the rhythm...

                I also am getting older, and feel a bit like I'm running out of goal #4 is to keep me fit and healthy too.


                  Hopefully by next summer I’ll be ready and most importantly my kids pony will be ready to show training level/first level. I’m too tall for him, but he’s bored and at the young age of 16 starting to act like he’s got some sense.
                  "Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested." Ina Garten


                    Well, I was hoping to qualify for regionals in 2020 - they are in my backyard next year, so why not? however, Little Brown Mare injured her SDFT so we are on stall-rest - I don't know if regionals are in our future next year.
                    So, revised goals:
                    1) Rehab the girly, and get back to where we were training-wise - cusp of 2nd level. If we show, we show. If we aren't ready.... we wait till 2021.
                    Goal 1A) IF IF IF she is back in full work earlier than expected, I'm going to qualify her at First Level. I don't care if I win or not - I just want to experience it.

                    2) Take one of the big boys out at 2nd and 3rd to finish my scores for my bronze.
                    Which means: goal 2A) clean change L-R

                    3) Keep my back from falling apart - so adding in more strengthening work for myself. I guess I have to go back to the gym again. Riding these big horses is no joke.


                      I feel much less alone - how many of us are dealing with retirement decisions due to age/soundness, and dealing with speed bumps in getting the youngsters to progress?

                      'm in a similar boat - I thought 2019, my now 18 year old mare would improve/move up in First, maybe to Second, after an upward progression in 2018, but she just felt fussy/sticky starting back to real work this spring, so now dealing with what looks like hind end lameness, Adequan, joint supplement, easier work. With winter coming, we'll see if she's truly retired or she recovers in the spring...

                      My youngster is the one I bought for my husband, but my other horse also had to retire, so now he's my main horse! He's a STB, and he's so cool and improving, and we're just now getting canter on the flat (not off jumps or in fields), so work on that. He's shown a bit this year and gets distracted, but instead of counterbend or unsteady contact, he PACES! Lol. So hoping to trail ride him a lot, and go as a non-compete - just get him to relax about things and then we could show off his trot, not his pace!

                      Next spring is all about seeing what I have. I have horses at home, so could theoretically go shopping, but if the mare needs light work to maintain health or comes back into work, and the younger one keeps improving, I'll wait until the mare is fully retired to shop. I really only have time/interest in working two, not three!

                      But thank you again - us AAs - it's not a linear progression!


                        I'd really love to earn my bronze someday (maybe not 2020) and go to GAIGs at 1st level if they are close enough (I'm a teacher in a behavior support classroom so it's hard for me to take off a lot of time during the school year to travel).

                        I just got into "real dressage" from eventing this spring but my horse did advanced level eventing so like 3rd level. We're having SO much fun and I actually moved him to a dressage barn this fall (I have my other horses at home so spending the money to have someone in training is a big deal when it's free to have them at home!)

                        We're doing BLMs in Oct which will be my first BIG show and first overnight show. yaaay!
                        Attached Files
               - Lets build your dream barn


                          I've still got one more show in a week but I'm hoping it'll get my my first set of scores for regionals next year. I'm taking over the ride on my mother's horse (whom she rode in the 3rd level champs a week ago) so I've got extra goals this time around!

                          1. Move my main man up to PSG, and (fingers crossed) get my scores to complete my silver medal.
                          2. Qualify for champs at 4th or PSG on my main man. He is a tough horse and so far at 4th we haven't quite managed the scores we'd need to qualify but this winter should be better than last year so we should make more progress.
                          3. Qualify Mom's horse for 3rd level champs.
                          4. Move Mom's horse up to 4th. This one is a bit of a stretch for him, he can school the movements but he is on the older side and so his work has to be managed well to keep him happy and comfortable and I don't know if I can get him sharp enough to reliably get the 4s and 3s.

                          If all I achieve is my silver medal, I will be so thrilled. This horse has already gotten me my bronze and at his first show at 4th, got me both my scores for my silver and it means so much to have this horse as a partner as I move into the world of dressage.
                          Attached Files
                          "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline


                            I'm aiming to really develop a relationship with my mare. I'm a returning rider (@20 years off); I've owned my mare a little over a year and she's been PG most of that time. She now has a rather plucky (to be kind) colt by her side, and aggravated an old DDFT injury in July. On top of that, I recently rediscovered classical dressage training, so Stella and I will basically be starting from scratch together. For 2020 I'd like to show at TL, with scores good enough to qualify for regionals, but I won't be pushing to actually go next year. I travel 50% for work so it'll be one light week for Stella followed by an overdose of her owner the following. More than anything I want to get us both back in shape and working together as partners.
                            Last edited by mereditho; Sep. 28, 2019, 11:47 PM. Reason: Spellering


                              My 2020 goal is to finally show at a recognized show. We're in the process of moving up to first level and will have done three schooling shows by the end of this month. I'm hoping we'll be solid enough in our leg yields and lengthening his stride that we don't have to step back down to training level to have a shot at being competitive. He's a Chincoteague Pony so this dressage stuff doesn't come super naturally to him, but he seems to like it all the same.


                                I love hearing about other rider's goals. I like that they can be so varying yet all within the same sport.

                                I won't solidify my goals until December-ish as I want to see how my gelding takes to learning flying changes and I have a few more clinics to ride in. Those clinics will help my define my goals for the next year I think.


                                  My mare is about to go for a stint of rehab to hopefully push her fitness back to 100% instead of 95%. She had surgery last year to remove a significant lump on her fetlock and the resulting scar tissue has reduced the flexion in the fetlock. She'd had a round of shockwave which has helped immensely. So the hope is for some more intensive shockwave (three treatments in 3 weeks) with some cold laser and theraplate, along with swimming will get her back 100%. I have all fingers crossed for it.

                                  All going well with her rehab, I'm hoping to have her ready for Small Tour by the end of next year. Before her surgery, we were pretty solid at Medium Tour, it was only the one times letting us down and my lack of transport to get her out. There's a local CDI in July, so even competing 4th level at that would be amazing.

                                  My gelding is moving up to 2nd level. He's pretty clever with his changes, always has been, so I'm hoping that next year he'll be ready for 3rd. A lot of next year will be just strength conditioning and getting him really solid. He's really grown up with the big break he had from competing, so thankfully no more lunging for 15 minutes before getting on at competitions and still wary when I put my foot in the stirrup. He's still cold backed and that will never change, but a 5 minute quick lunge is so much easier!

                                  The ultimate goal is, whatever level, to quality and compete at the Adult Amateur National Championships, even if it's just with my gelding.

                                  My goal for myself is to get rid of my competition nerves and really brush the cobwebs off after not competing seriously for a long time. I tend to make silly mistakes which really drag our scores down with things like riding to markers, getting flustered before my entry and it ends up being wonky. Really silly things that ultimately drag our marks down where I know we can and have gotten really good marks in the past.

                                  I'm doing my graduate entry to medicine entry test next year, so riding is going to be the thing keeping me sane.
                                  Not my circus, not my monkeys!


                                    Had a great season at Training level with my stallion... he has to manage a breeding job and his job as one of my riding ponies, so he’s been brought along slowly and carefully. I am hoping to get him out at First next year and qualify for our Gold Championships again. We also event, do the Jumpers, hunt and hack... so... I may have to focus a bit more :P He’s willing and enjoys his dressage schooling so, I’m happy about that.
                                    Wonderful ponies for family or show!


                                      UPDATE (sorry, it's not the point of this thread but I'm going to update my previous post. Sorry OP!!)

                                      My gelding got simple changes this quickly. OK! He can make rookie mistakes at times but that's fine right now, he understands the mechanics.

                                      Soooo, a 2020 goal is to get reliable flying changes early in 2020 and tempi changes later in the year. He's really smart and really athletic, and I don't foresee a problem if he can concentrate on the aids being asked, which might be the thing!!
                                      Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                                        I sat down with my book of all the things and I just purchased the horse I've been leasing for the past year so goal 1 complete!

                                        I purchased him as my eventing partner but I also really love dressage so have decided to work towards my bronze and hopefully do First level in 2020

                                        I would also like to Qualify for AEC's 2020 since it's in Kentucky again

                                        Mostly I want to enjoy the horse and have good rides, lessons, and tons of clinics on him so wea re prepared for each show/Horse Trial

                                        May the soundness Gods be in our favor for 2020!
                                        when the world turns on you your horse will be there.


                                          Original Poster

                                          Originally posted by J-Lu View Post
                                          UPDATE (sorry, it's not the point of this thread but I'm going to update my previous post. Sorry OP!!)

                                          My gelding got simple changes this quickly. OK! He can make rookie mistakes at times but that's fine right now, he understands the mechanics.

                                          Soooo, a 2020 goal is to get reliable flying changes early in 2020 and tempi changes later in the year. He's really smart and really athletic, and I don't foresee a problem if he can concentrate on the aids being asked, which might be the thing!!
                                          Really cool! And actually I like updates - I'm into them if others are, totally would keep me accountable.

                                          My updated new goal is to vanquish the lingering aggressive handling issues with my young mare, who now has to be ridden only by me because I can't trust her being tacked up by other people after she kicked my trainer's groom - how nice. She doesn't act aggressively with me but I want to focus more on manners and figure out exactly why the heck she was being bad with this other person and get her to 100% trustworthiness with strangers. I'd really like to go back to training rides since it helps having coach hop on 1-2 x a week and I can't manage more than 3-4 lessons a week with my work schedule anyway. Happy to ride weekends but would prefer back on a me + coach training schedule to keep her forward, new goal!!
                                          Mr. Sandman
                                          sand me a man
                                          make him so sandy
                                          the sandiest man