Looking Ahead In 2019
Well, here we are already a full month into 2019 and I am only just now sitting down to think about what the coming year might hold for Team PONY'TUDE. As Dino begins his 21st year, I'm feeling optimistic about the things we'll get to do together this year. He's sound, he's in as full a work schedule as my own available time allows, and he's adjusted so well to the new barn over the last three months. I feel we've both fully settled in at this point, and are ready to buckle down and start preparing for some fun adventures!
That said, my goals and plans for this year are fairly soft. Dino IS going to be 21 in May after all, and while a horse trial or two would be fun, our days of eventing once or twice every month have come to a close. As I've said before, this pony owes me nothing, being successful in eventing takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears from both of us, and I want to keep his body fit and strong for as long as possible. It's a blessing in itself to be able to ride and enjoy my pony well into his senior years, and I am bound and determined to keep things fun for everyone! So in 2019 I plan on continuing to focus more on dressage and dial down the jumping, while still throwing in some work over low fences and cross country schooling for fun.
Without further ado, here's everything I hope to focus on and accomplish in the coming year!
- Keep Dino fit, sound, happy, and healthy. As always, this is my #1 priority for the old man. Especially as Dino gets older, listening to him and taking into consideration what he wants to do and is capable of is at the top of my list.
- Show at 1st Level at least 3 times. We only got to show once last year, and I would love to take a good crack at First this year and get comfortable and confident with the tests instead of just surviving. I'm also considering joining my local GMO and shooting for a year-end award, but I haven't made a decision on that quite yet.
- Continue to finesse bareback and bridleless work. This has been so, so much fun to work on this winter! Dino has taken to it quite well, and it's been a good mental challenge for both of us. I'd love to be able to get our steering and transitions precise enough to do a simple dressage test without any tack.
- Trail ride and hunter pace as much as we can. We both LOVE getting out on the trail - I hope to get out a lot more often this year than we did last year!
- Incorporate jumping or poles into our rides on a weekly basis. Even if we won't be competing much, or at all, over fences, we both still enjoy jumping! I want to keep my own jumping skills relatively up to speed, and jumping keeps Dino's work interesting and varied.
- Continue taking lessons and attending educational events and clinics as I can afford the time and money. There was a point at which I despaired that lessons and clinics weren't "worth it" if I wasn't going to be showing. Then I realized that was a stupid thought, and that learning for its own sake is a perfectly valid reason to spend my time and money on lessons. Even if my pony is a senior citizen and won't be moving up the levels, we can still learn and have fun in lessons!
- Go on some "no pressure" cross country schooling outings. I want to jump over tiny logs and gallop around until I start giggling and Dino pulls me over each and every said tiny log. I don't want to stress out by pushing myself to jump things that I "should" be able to jump. I want to have a blast playing around on XC!
I'm so happy that I've been able to keep riding Dino throughout his golden years. In 2019, I plan on continuing to enjoy every single moment with my Wonder Pony!