Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016 Goal Review

To be totally honest, I didn't look back on the goals I made for myself much - if at all - during the year to check progress. I made the goals very carefully at the beginning of the year though and despite not looking at them, things went pretty damn well in the success rate department!


Griffinis6 (1 of 1)-3

- Stay healthy and happy physically and mentally

Mentally, I think this horse had a great year. No huge issues with insecurities or manic spooking. She certainly had her moments, but nothing insane. We're definitely on the up-and-up which is VERY EXCITING. Unfortunately, the lesions in her suspensory have halted all things and make it impossible for me to consider her 100% healthy at the end of the year.

- Build confidence and relaxation in all things, but particularly under saddle on trails 

A great year for confidence and relaxation - under saddle especially! I think the highlight of the year so far as her confidence on trails was definitely the many miles of success I found with her when leading on trail for pieces of the 100 during the 3rd leg of the ride.

- Have a safe and fun competition season

I'm calling this a "success" because while she may have initially injured her suspensory during a competition, it didn't show up for realsies until weeks after a slow LD where she received all A's and had CRIs of 48/40.. 

- Move up in distance (competitively) this year

Hell yeah. Completed the Old Dominion 100.

- Log many miles in Canaan/Dolly Sods

While "many" could be argued based on what I had in mind for myself, we did log a lot of miles in Canaan in the spring. Somewhere around 50 miles up there this year.

- Build understanding on basic dressage with a goal of lots of "long and low" work as this is the effort Q is least inclined to give

 While I built my knowledge of dressage, I didn't apply it to Q much!



- Stay healthy and happy physically and mentally

He's fitter than he's been in awhile and with the cessation of his short-lived lesson horse career, he's more fun to be around than he's been since he was a youngster getting handled daily and saw me as his best friend.

- Advance skill within dressage and jumping

Oh hell yes. The dressage transformation is far more photo-evident, but the jumping has improved, too. He's more balanced (thanks, dressage), more rateable (thanks, dressage), and 3' doesn't make me nervous like it used to. In fact, up to 3'6" I'm pretty comfortable and confident now. We haven't schooled those heights much when they weren't at the end of a gymnastic grid, but thanks to the work we did do with them, I feel a lot of trust in Grif to navigate them. In tandem, he definitely is more confident, too, and doesn't hesitate or suck back in the slightest when presented with heights above 3' now.

- School on some XC courses

Big fat nope. Didn't happen.

- Spend some more time on trail this year than we did in 2015 

Absolutely. We conditioned for our first LD and have enjoyed numerous other trail rides including multiple Canaan Valley jaunts.

- Compete in something (endurance, eventing, jumpers, I'm not picky!) 

First completion of a 30 mile LD!


sunsetKenai (1 of 1)

- Stay healthy and happy physically and mentally

SUCCESS. Thank goodness for a far less stressful year with this guy. Careful management is forever our future, but I'll take it over 3 surgeries in as many weeks!

- Continue to strengthen body through rehab exercises

We get glowing reviews every time we go to PT!

[Stretch] Develop our "sit pretty" into a true, classic looking pose - this is an exercise we've been working on for rehab, but I'd love to get it even more developed

He doesn't perch his paws super cute every time, but he can sit up and hold the pose for many seconds now. I'm so impressed.



- Stay healthy and happy physically and mentally 

 I'm healthy and happy!

- Audit several clinics for dressage and jumping

Dressage clinic auditing success! No jumping yet though.

- Try to find somewhere to take periodic lessons for the above that is within budget 

Clinics with Stephen Birchall a few times a year are working for us right now! Although, some last minute trailer issues kept us home last weekend when we'd planned to attend our second.

- Try to match # of days skied to # days climbed

It was similar, but I honestly didn't keep track of the numbers this year. #sorrynotsorry

- Continue to lead climb and build my comfort level / lead-head

I didn't get back to leading until our last trip of the year, but I led 4 or 5 climbs that trip and pushed myself through fears that stopped me in my tracks previous attempts. I also walked up to a few totally new-to-me climbs and just led them instead of climbing them on top rope first. Proud of myself for this continued progress.

- Hike or bike N. Fk. Mtn. trail from end to end (23.8 miles)

Spontaneous drunken plans are the best plans. Biked the hell out of it. (Okay, and hiked-a-bike a fair bit.) I must say, an LD on a horse is far superior to one on my bike/own two feet!

- Continue to mountain bike and increase my skill/comfort level on the bike and trails 

Accomplished and knocked out of the park. I still have work to do, but the work I have left to do is on a totally other level from where I began. Living in an area with some of the most technical trails in the country has made me far superior than I dreamed I'd be in a two-year period. I'll never be perfect, but I'd like to be able to ride through at least some of the trails on Canaan Mountain (my arch nemesis) without hike-a-biking in another year!

- Continue to build on my skill playing the mandolin

 I didn't pick it up consistently very much at all. I haven't forgotten what I taught myself last year, but I haven't learned any new chords either.

[Stretch] Go fox hunting

Nippity nope. It was a stretch for a reason!

[Stretch] Take a polo lesson - this just strikes me as fun and I want to learn more about it

And another nope - stretch goal for a reason.

30 before 30 goals accomplished this year

- Continue to knock out states left to visit

Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas were crossed off the list. Hoping to continue ticking them off next year! Only six (LA, MS, ND, OR, WA, ID) to go...


72.7% success rate for the horses, 100+% success for Kenai, and 87.5% success for my personal goals. (Stretch goals not included, though the + on Kenai's success rate indicates the achievement of a stretch goal.)

I hope 2017 is even better. I attribute the success rate in 2016 to carefully made goals. I plan to do more of the same for next year - and maybe I'll check in with my list a few times during the year for a change!

2016 Highlight Reel to follow soon with more detailed look at the year and the goals achieved and lack thereof!


  1. I started reading well after you made these goals, but can I say that I LOVE them?! They are all that perfect balance of challenging and achievable! Congrats on a great year!

    1. Thank you!

      I'm glad to not only have a new reader, but also a new blog to follow and enjoy!

  2. Congrats on a great and well rounded year! That picture of Q is perfection. It needs framed!

    1. Oh my goodness, I have so many photos of Q already framed lol. I need to come up with a better manner of displaying photos of the critters...like reviving my old digital frame that will cycle through photos...adding to the to-do list haha.

  3. Wow you had a lot of goals and accomplished quite a bit. Now I'm feeling super lazy. I think I need to write some out....

    1. I love looking back on my hopes for the year to compare what I hoped vs. reality.

  4. while it's a bummer that Q got sidelined in what was otherwise an incredible season, it's still so awesome to look back at all the progress you made with both horses!! and i can't wait to see where things go with Griffin and really REALLY hope it includes meeting up at some competitions!!!!

    1. Yes, please to competitions! Griffin will need a buddy to commiserate with ;-)

  5. You've had such a great year goal's wise. I should check my stats, but I don't think I'm at 70% achievement!

  6. I love reading your goal posts. They inspire me to set goals for myself. I have not committed to writing mine down in public yet, but every time I read one of these entries it's a reminder that I really should. Congrats on such a great success rate! That's something I admire about you.

    1. I never wanted to write mine out for fear of jinxing myself, but then I wouldn't be very accountable for following through with my goals at all! So now I just make a point to make relatively general goals that are very achievable on a host of levels so that success should be warranted in some manner.

  7. Whew, great year! Big accomplishments with Q, Griffin, and Kenai (yay no surgeries)!

  8. Well done! Here's to a even better 2017 (:

    1. Better and injury free for true! That's my biggest goal.