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2020 riding goals?

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  • 2020 riding goals?

    I'm curious what everyone's goals are for the year ahead? I would love some inspiration from all of you fabulous horse people!
    Last edited by west coast re-rider; Jan. 7, 2020, 01:43 PM.

  • #2
    I have a baby horse (3.5 years). Right now he walks and trots IF you can get on him (mounting is scary for him).
    My goals this year are:
    -To be able to get on and off him without it being a big deal
    -To start cantering on him
    -To take him to the 3-5year old model and undersaddle classes at two A shows (August ish -will involve trailering him, which is not his fave.)
    -To ride him out of the ring in the field sometime this year.

    I know. I'm so very, very exciting.


    • #3
      LOL, I was going to start a thread like this, but you beat me to it! I was going to throw in how 2019's goals turned out for you guys, as well. As for me...

      2019 accomplishments: attending an away (schooling) show (we actually attended more than one and ended up with surprise year-end ribbons for that series!); showing my horse without any riding prep from my trainer; building our confidence in each other so that we can just pick up a canter & jump around without thinking "don't screw up;" majorly improved right lead canter departure

      For 2020, I would like to do our home show series' amateur hunter derby, see my horse move up to 3ft with my trainer (these are holdovers from last year that we didn't quite get to), get more confident at our showing height and do the schooling series again at the next higher division. I guess that's all I have right now...
      "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"


      • #4
        Aside from "ride more", my goals are mostly for my young horses:

        - Get one 2017 filly going under saddle all by myself
        - Get my other 2017 filly out and exposed to more experiences (she hauls like a dream and we actually went and rode in a "lesson" last weekend - turns out traffic is terrifying since we always ride by ourselves)
        - Figure out what to do with my 2016 filly; she was under saddle for 120 days last year but I think needs a few more wet saddle blankets before we decide to sell or keep
        Veni vidi vici. With a paint pony, nonetheless.


        • #5
          I was just whining to a friend that I feel like I've become one of those people who owns horses, but doesn't actually ride them. For the past several months it seems like I've either been consumed with work and unable to ride or it has been too cold, too wet, or, more commonly, too cold and too wet, to ride.

          At the moment, my only 2020 goal is to ride, not just slip out under cover of darkness in the rain to groom.
          "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
          that's even remotely true."

          Homer Simpson


          • #6
            Like most, I hope to ride regularly and continue to go out and compete. I often fall victim to my own mental mind games and have a tendency to get discouraged at events when things don't go as planned. That being said, my ultimate goal is to go out and get experience in competing and build my confidence as a rider.


            • #7
              A friend recommended the Dressage Rider's Journal and I couldn't resist when I found it on Amazon, so it came in the mail yesterday. I am not a dressage rider, but I have aspirations of becoming one, someday, before I die.

              It's really neat and helped me break down my (very rudimentary) goals over the next months and years. Then helps you be really specific. Some of it won't be applicable to me (lots of room for show dates and test scores... won't be needing those this year!) but it did give me a good boost. So instead of just "ride more" or "ride 4 x a week" it helped me to break the goals down and be specific, so I have a much better chance of accomplishing them.

              So, basically, my goal is to ride more Specifically, consistent w/t by April. Consistent w/t/c by July. Hit up a schooling show by September. Be ready for a real dressage show by 2021


              • #8
                I just had a total shoulder replacement in mid -Dec. My goal is to be riding again by May.


                • #9
                  I just had (hopefully) my final breast reconstruction surgery so hope to be back riding again goal is to finally enjoy a complete, full healthy year riding and to get back into the show ring! Oh and to attempt to get bucked off less LOL
                  Breast cancer survivor!


                  • #10
                    My goals are to trail ride more this year, including hauling out more instead of riding on the familiar (admittedly extensive) set of trails accessible from the barn, and and continue to encourage relaxation in both of us. We might try camping depending on how she does. She's come a long way in the last year - we only hauled out once and she handled it remarkably well for a nervous horse (she jogged for an hour without breaking a sweat - Arabs! - but minimal spooking and she retained breaks and steering) and calmly walked through a puddle and drank out of it, with her ears forward the whole time. Now we just need to do more of it!


                    • #11
                      I would just like to ride more, and hit the trails more often.


                      • #12
                        My home bred is coming 6 this March. We hope to solidify second level (schooling show this Saturday and recognized show in 3 weeks) this year and hopefully conquer the flying changes. Those are the pinnacles of what we hope to achieve; but, the goals really include focusing on the basics by continuing to improve the quality of our gaits, developing better engagement and strength to carry himself. We've kicked up the mileage this month and hope to maintain the momentum throughout this year. My SO installed some killer arena lights for me and fixed my arena footing so riding after work is much more appealing
                        Ranch of Last Resort


                        • #13
                          I have lots of them lol

                          With my RMH mare that I competed on last year for her first year of endurance riding, this year- the number one goal is to finish another 50 for our second year towards being a decade team. But I would really like get at least 200 competition miles on her

                          With my new KMSH gelding (if I don't strangle him for being the most annoying horse to keep ever first), I'd like to attempt the Triple Crown rides (3 tough endurance rides in VA)- LD distance and maybe if possible get to the Vermont Moonlight ride which is a bucket list ride for me

                          With my Morgan mare who lost an eye last year and had lots of time off, I'd like to get her back into ride shape for at least some CDR's and maybe (big maybe here and all the cards have to fall in the right place) breed her

                          With my retired Morgan mare, fingers crossed no more laminitis issues and we can keep her happy and comfy

                          Also- I added up every mile I rode in 2019 (1063 miles). This year, I'm aiming for at least 1250
                          Last edited by tabula rashah; Jan. 14, 2020, 01:32 PM.
                          Wouldst thou like the taste of butter ? A pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?


                          • #14
                            At this point, I'd like to get to ride 😂 I'm so unmotivated to do anything in the winter. Though, as I have a coming 5 year old who could benefit from the extra time off to grow, and a mare trying to come back from an injury, it's not a bad time to be taking an extended vacation from riding.

                            Goals for 2020 with Rain (the 4 year old):
                            * Go to our first recognized dressage shows at intro and training
                            * Possibly be schooling first level by the end of the year

                            Goals for Twi (my mare, short for Twilight):
                            * Try to get her sound again. If unable to get sound in the next couple of months, find a place for at least temporary retirement and hope Dr Green can make her better.
                            * If she does go sound, either get her back to where she can be used for lessons at current barn or find her a good lease situation.

                            I wasn't expecting to get Twi back though, or the crazy vet bills trying to figure out what is wrong with her that have me basically broke and in a lot of debt. So I have been preparing myself to have to make a decision on one of them. Maybe lease out or sell Rain so I can keep trying to get T better, maybe just retire T if I can find a cheap place or someone who would want a very pretty, low maintenance companion horse/pasture ornament. Or try to find a barn to move to where I can afford to have them both (kinda limited on options there, the only place I know of is so far away that I would never get out to do anything with either of them, and I reeeeally don't want to leave where I am, it's literally the best place I have ever been).

                            So, really, this year is totally up in the air...I guess my ultimate goal for 2020 would be to find a way to keep both of them where i can have T around but be able to ride/show Rain.

                            ...hmm this turned into a bit of a vent...


                            • #15
                              I posted my New Year's resolutions to share with everyone: Ride my horse!

                              I actually do have a goal, which is to get ready for our Century Ride in 2021. This year we turn 98 (26+72). We've been fairly lazy for quite a while and that needs to change. We had a Susan Harris clinic at our barn a few months ago, and I added a private lesson. His back has dropped and I didn't realize how much. It affected him more than I thought. At the end of the weekend we were trotting up a storm. Susan got my saddle where it belongs with a rear riser pad, and I had my saddle fitter adjust the flocking to raise the cantle. Susan got me adjusted also, those modest changes in position that got me on the front of my seat bones and off his back for transitions. One of my barn friends videoed the lesson and put it on YouTube so I can watch it regularly. That helps a lot.

                              It's all working nicely. We can ride a test to join the Century Club at the Dressage Foundation on 1/1/21. The official date is 6/21/21, the first day of Summer, my birthday. He's in better shape than I am, but we are on track, and I'm getting excited. I never thought we would make it so far.
                              "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019


                              • #16
                                This year my mom and I will finally be buying our own horses and bringing them to our new property (well, it's my mom's farm right down the street from my house). My goals for this year expand beyond riding, since this will be the first time I will be solely responsible for taking care of my horse (I've only ever boarded horses in the past). This year I would like to find the right horse and just spend quality time riding, training, and bonding with it. I wouldn't mind going to a few low-level Hunter shows, but more than that I would like to build a solid foundation with my new horse so that we are ready for the 2021 season. I would like to trail ride with my mom after a lifetime of waiting, and just enjoy being a horse owner.

                                I've been riding for 12 years and this is the first time that I will be able to ride freely and do things my way. I still plan on trailering down the street to my trainer's barn on a regular basis so that I can get professional guidance on my riding, as well as to keep my horse acquainted to an arena since my place does not have one.


                                • #17
                                  Much like autumnmoment, I also have a baby horse (he'll be 4 in May) and I am decidedly not in a hurry with him (our training philosophy is "we will do [x thing] when he tells me he's ready for it" with the current focus being developing correct flatwork and teaching him to use himself properly). Current goals for the year with him are the following:

                                  - Take him off-property as much as I can, whether it's for a local schooling series (~half hour from the barn, it has W/T pole and 12" cross-rail classes and the trainer who runs the whole thing is very accommodating for those of us with babies who just need to have positive experiences) or hauling him out to hack out on some of the XC courses at local barns/for trail rides
                                  - Ride him in a few shows (likely just the aforementioned local schooling series) to get him used to the environment/being in a warm-up ring
                                  - Get him used to dogs (we don't have a barn dog and he's currently terrified of them when he sees them elsewhere and I don't need that issue to continue when we go off-property)
                                  - Develop an organized canter under saddle (spent the last ~six months just doing W/T work to slowly strengthen him because he has a sticky stifle (he's now perfectly sound, hallelujah), so we only just started trying to canter under saddle last week and he's still in baby racehorse mode when asked to go any faster than a trot)
                                  - If we actually develop said organized canter, start him lightly over fences (read: cross-rails and maybe some baby verticals - I just want to get him out there to see things and maybe do second flight at some of the hunter paces in the fall that have a bunch of tiny jumps, but we definitely won't be drilling him if we start jumping)
                                  - Lesson regularly with my childhood trainer (read: at least once and preferably twice a month, if not more)

                                  Then there's also the personal goal which will have a major impact on my riding, which is to find a new job this spring so that I'm no longer working somewhere where I lose four months of my year to 60+ hour weeks and can only ride once or twice a week on the weekends during those months, since that is not even remotely conducive to having time to show or, you know, just ride him regularly from January to April every year.

                                  I'll revise all of these goals as necessary, but that's where I'm at two weeks into the year, so we'll see what happens.


                                  • #18
                                    I haven't ridden in so long, I might have forgotten how.

                                    My youngest horse (11 years) was green broke and ridden by my trainer, a few years ago....hes the only one who has.....shes s 17 hands and, has such a strong, forward moving stride, I fear she may be too much horse for me..... she's as gentle as a lamb on the ground.

                                    My other, is a very well broke/trained, been there done that, ex rope horse.....maybe 14-2 hh, as sweet as can be GH Palomino gelding.

                                    My goals? Well, they would have to start with, just getting on one of them.


                                    • #19
                                      2019 goals: Start riding again after a decade-plus break! Achieved, and so happy I did.

                                      2020 goals are a bit more ambitious, so I have goals and stretch goals for each item, which follow:

                                      Goal #1: Become a rated member of Pony Club! I'm currently unrated, since I just joined at the beginning of 2020.
                                      Stretch for #1: Achieve my C-1! This is a stretch in the sense that I'm not sure how easily I'll be able to get it done in the timeframe based on availability, since all the ratings have to be done sequentially and I'm currently relying on others' horses. I think right now I'm between a D-3 and a C-1 at my greatly diminished level of proficiency (both riding and HM), and would expect to be at C-1 level by the end of the year.

                                      Goal #2: Acquire a full-time horse (likely via full lease)! This will let me ride five or six days a week and continue to unsuck. I've been looking for about half of 2019, but gonna keep trying to make it happen in 2020.
                                      Stretch goal #2: Actually purchase a horse! This is a pretty exciting one, since this has been a goal for about a quarter of a century now.

                                      Goal #3: Get around a tadpole event (and finish on a number)! Pretty self-explanatory, but obviously depends on finding the right horse and whether it'd be safe or appropriate to do so. (A PC eventing rally would also meet this goal.)
                                      Stretch goal #3: Get around at BN! This might be the stretchiest of the stretch goals, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. I've competed jumping about this high, done harder dressage, and schooled a fair bit of cross-country in the past, but putting the pieces together may be quite the adventure.


                                      • #20
                                        2020 Goals
                                        Hopefully clinic with Danny Foster again! Our Clinic with him last Spring really jump started our show season... even if we had a cellulitis set back...
                                        Summer is our busy season in the Wine business, so its hard to get off for rated shows. So we enjoy a lovely local schooling series.. and this summer we hope to move up to 3'. I want to end the season at the New Vocations All Thoroughbred show and hopefully using the hardship exemption, qualify for the TIP championships. Would love to get to ride in the Rolex Ring! Bucket list... i know it won't be the same as being in a big rated class, but sometimes its just the little things in life.

                                        I also want try and get my Swedish WB mare going as a hunter. She just oozes hunter and we have had a bunch of set back over the years, culminating in many unsuccessful breeding attempts. But i have figured out a way to shut down her estrus and she is better able to focus and trust. So baby goals of just even going and doing hunter under saddle but no pressure goal of maybe doing baby green hunter over fences. ( trust me you will all hear about it if we even get into the ring for over fences classes because it will be a huge milestone for her and I will bragging/ugly crying about it!even if it is only a summer schooling series show )

                                        And not to end on a downer note, but spend more grooming and snuggle time with my retired jumper. He is 26 this year and sadly the melanomas are spreading ( vet even found some in his mouth when doing his routine float) . But he seems super happy and healthy otherwise, so i am not planning his passing anytime soon, but I know at this point everyday is a blessing. I don't want to take for granted the days i do have with the grumpy old man. He taught me so much and I'm super blessed to be able to retire him and have him at home.