Where 2020 Took Us, Where 2021 Is Going

2020 in a nutshell - Pandemic Gear and Unexpected Success! 

It's been a hell of a year, hasn't it?

2020 certainly wasn't anything like any of us expected. When I sat down and wrote out these goals for the year in January, there was no way I would have dreamed that a global pandemic, racial tension, civil unrest, and a contentious election would be things that deeply impacted my life and mental health this year. 

But, here we are. It's been a wild ride. 

Despite that, I managed to achieve each and every one of my goals for the year! I think, in part, because I've stopped making as many performance-based, competition-centered goals as I had in the past, and kept things manageable. Each goal had Dino's and my own well-being in mind, which I think really helped in my being able to achieve them. 

Keep Dino fit, sound, happy, and healthy. This took a bit of doing in 2020! We had a rough summer plagued by mild unsoundness and a very unhappy pony. After a lameness workup, some good drugs, an increase in Prascend, a bit change, and some remedial training, I was able to get Dino back to fighting fit. This kind of effort is not unexpected with a senior sport horse, and I'm happy to have the means to be able to keep Dino sound and happy in his work. 

Show 2-1 once without completely embarrassing ourselves. Success!! We showed 2-1 three times: twice at schooling shows and once at a rated show. While we never quite reached 60%, the capability is there, and we are right on the cusp of breaking that barrier. 

Continue lessons with Ashley as often as possible. Another total success! We took a lesson with Ashley at least once a month spring through fall in 2020, and made enormous strides forward in our training. 

Do more things that Dino thinks are fun, making time at least once a week for a "fun day." I think I did pretty well on this one, too. We didn't do as many trail rides as I would have liked (having to keep to scheduled barn times made riding with friends or hauling out a little tricky), but I really tried to make time for easy, fun days. We did a lot of bareback wandering around, some liberty work, tackless riding, and loosening lunge sessions. 

I also managed to achieve a few things in 2020 that I didn't even realize were possibilities at the start of the year: Dino and I started working in the double bridle this fall, and competed at First and Second Level at our very first rated dressage show. I never in a million years would have thought that these things were something Dino and I were capable of, but with good training and lots of support, we went further than I could have dreamed. 

When I think forward to 2021, this is what I have in mind: 

Keep Dino fit, sound, happy, and healthy. This is always the first goal, every year, forever and ever, amen. This year, I learned that making this goal a reality has so much to do with listening to my pony. It's about hearing him when he's telling me he's uncomfortable, watching him for changes, and tailoring my management and training accordingly. I'll probably expound on what's been working for us in the latter part of 2020 in a separate post, but listening and adapting are a HUGE part of this goal. 

Finish My 1st and 2nd Level Bronze Medal Scores. God-willing, I would LOVE to complete these scores this year! As always, it will depend entirely on what Dino is up for, but the progress we've made in the last year has me really encouraged that getting these scores could be a real possibility. 

Go to Riveredge for a Bootcamp Weekend. Our trip got cancelled because of COVID this year, but I'm determined to make it happen in 2021!

Show 2-2 Once, Schooling or Rated. Do you know what this means? This means that our canter-walk needs to get SOLID because this test has LOTS of those transitions in it! I also need to clean up the walk pirouettes/turn on the haunches for this one, but to be honest that's less of a concern than the darn canter-walk! 

Make Time for Fun Days and Masterson Method Massages. Dino really benefits from both of these things - they relax him mentally and physically, and he always seems to feel refreshed after a play day, trail ride, or massage and stretching session. 

Blog Twice A Month.  I really fell off the wagon with blogging this year, but twice a month seems like a doable, regular pace! 

Here's hoping that 2021is a much, much better year! 


  1. Love everything about your 2020! You guys have had a phenomenal year, and I can't wait to see what you do next year!

  2. Ugh, those canter-walk transitions! I was stuck at the equivalent of 2nd level for literal YEARS because of them. But, you're right on the money with needing a more self-sustaining collected canter to get them. Once you have it, they'll feel absurdly easy. Love your goals!!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts