Monday, January 17, 2011

2010 Goals Recap

Alright! Time to get started on these goals posts.

First, I want to review last year's goals. I already did a short progress check in October, and we were well on our let's see how things ended up.

1. Pass C-2 rating in Pony Club [passed in May]
2. Master Novice-level eventing [considered achieved in October]
2b. Begin to school some Training-level eventing
3. Clean tack consistently
4. Get a dressage saddle that fits Pandora and me [done before I sold her]
5. Kill the Judge Stand Monster for Pandora [untested - sold before I got to a schooling show]
6. Stick to a fitness schedule for myself
7. Take monthly progress reports

Okay, so it looks like goals 2b, 3, 6, and 7 were the only goals that remained open after October. Let's take a look at those ones!

2b. Begin to school some Training-level eventing
At this point, I am calling this goal officially PASSED! We have only schooled a few Training XC questions, but since that is our strongest phase, I'm okay with that for now. Our dressage has been kicking serious butt lately: not only have we introduced haunches-in, McKinna now LOVES doing it at the walk and is beginning to learn to do it softly at the trot too. Also, we introduced walk-canter transitions, and those went swimmingly the first time we practiced them. After looking at a video of our flatwork from the prep clinic (which I will post soon!), we are doing really well in just going along looking like we know what we're doing.
As far as Stadium, we are moving right along there, too. 3'3 looks perfectly manageable, and it rides like that too. In our lesson on Saturday Devin had everyone working on dropping the hands lower for an automatic release, and it felt great - video of that coming soon too! And Devin's always got some crazy bending lines and angled fences in her lessons, plus this time we had a triple combination, so I think it's safe to say we are schooling Training-level SJ.

3. Clean tack consistently
Um, right. About that. I was more consistent than last year, which is a plus. But it definitely wasn't consistent. So, FAIL for this one. As I consider adding this goal to this year's list, I think: does it really matter? And I come to the conclusion that no, it doesn't. My tack gets cleaned probably once a month. Is that ideal? No. But I take good care of my stuff, it never gets grossly dirty, and it never takes more than a damp sponge with a little bit of Effax Ledercombi to get it clean. So not only do I declare this goal failed, I declare it not particularly relevant, because once a month is good enough for me!

6. Stick to a fitness schedule for myself
Not so much here either - another FAIL. Last year I really sucked at working on my own fitness. However, this one IS going to make it onto the current year's list, because one of the biggest things I took away from the Prep Clinic was the need to improve my core and lower leg strength. Luckily I am already making progress on this: I am in a Yoga class this term at the University, and I just ordered some Yoga DVDs with a Borders gift card, including one that's focused on core strength. Yay me!

7. Take monthly progress reports
Sigh...another FAIL. I pretty much didn't take progress reports. I think this is partly because I didn't have monthly goals - everything I had was either long-term (begin to school Training) or ongoing (clean tack consistently). So I will take this into consideration for the structure of this year's goals, which are going to include monthly goals to provide a checkpoint.

So there we have it, folks! Obviously we were highly successful in all riding/training goals and not so much in the personal responsibility ones. That's okay, though - it shows me what I need to work on.

Just for kicks, let's take a look at what things were like over the last year.We have made some really amazing progress, in my humble opinion.

In January, I took McKinna to our very first dressage lesson with Leslie because Pandora had just hit her head on our trailer. When Leslie saw McKinna's canter, she said, "Oh my." I went to the Pony Club ABC retreat and learned a lot of interesting things. And finally - perhaps most significantly - I revisited the idea of selling Pandora so that I could finally explore McKinna's potential. (Not such a bad idea, eh?)

In February, we had our very first jumping lesson with Devin. I took a deep breath and decided that the real world can wait, and after I graduate in a couple years I want to be a working student for awhile. At our JJPC schooling show, Pandora and I jumped our first 3' course together.

March saw yet more progress, though it was a light posting month because I was in the misery class of doom (AKA, Organic Chemistry 2). McKinna elicited numerous comments from jumping trainers about how nicely she jumped, despite that canter. And I mused: why horses?

April came along and Pandora was doing great in jumping and dressage lessons. At last, Pandora went up for sale on Dreamhorse. And I rode McKinna in the Show Jumping Rally, where despite a minor meltdown I was very pleased with her.

Spring was in full swing and May was a big month for us. First I passed my C-2 rating on McKinna! A few days later, after almost two years together where we made a lot of progress, we sold Pandora and she went off to her new and perfect home. McKinna and I had some ups and downs. I returned home from the Inavale camp, where my dad took my favorite picture ever.

In June, I had an interesting ride at the Eventing Derby. I finally wrote up a more thorough Eventing Camp Report. I rode in my first recognized Horse Trials at Inavale (!!!!), where we had a reasonable dressage score, one of only 2 double-clear rounds XC (including our first ever trakehner!), and then got devoured by the horse-eating piano fence in stadium for a sad elimination.

In July I supported National Helmet Awareness Day, groomed for Devin at the wonderful, educational, exhausting Event at Rebecca Farm, and got a happy update from Pandora's owner.

August was another busy month, in which I attended Quiz Championships in California, decided that I love dressage, and was seriously jet-lagged when I returned from an awesome 10-day trip to Taipei. 

In September things kept improving. McKinna and I had a great jumping lesson and played around with some clicker work just for fun. We had a great ride in a schooling show, then kicked butt at the eventing rally, with video of dressage and stadium.

October saw a chiropractor visit after a less-than-stellar XC school, followed by the conclusion that she definitely needed it. I spent some time thinking about how lucky I am.

In November I got tired of mud. Now aiming for our C3 in August, McKinna and I went to our first Upper Level Prep Clinic. I discovered that I can, remarkably, ride pretty much an entire lesson in sitting trot. And it snowed!

Finally, in December, I celebrated the end of Fall Term (at last!), continued to have a great time riding McKinna, jumped our first ever 3'3 course together - which McKinna rocked, of course - had the jumping saddle reflocked, and spent some great time with my family over the holidays.

What an awesome year. I can't believe that in January and February of last year, I was just taking my first lessons with Devin and Leslie! Just trying to get McKinna to soften to the bit a tiny bit...working hard on Pandora and deciding to sell Seems like forever ago.

I can't wait to show you guys my goals for this year. It's going to be even better than last year!


Checkmark115 said...

Your horse looks exactly like my first eventer! Also, I nominated you for an award. come by my blog to pick it up :)

Kate said...

Well, Checkmark115 beat me to it, but you've received the Stylish Blogger Award! Swing by my blog to check it out.

tangerine said...

wow, what an exhaustive post! I would have gone nuts posting all those links :P but it really does help :D

You guys have made amazing progress, all three of you! I was sad to see Pandora go, but it's so great that you found her such a perfect home. The mare I sold is doing equally as well, so hooray for both of us!

I can't wait to see what your goals are, I've been thinking about doing some monthly goals until a recent mishap which will probably set me back a bit :( but I still want to get some ideas from you. Good luck this year!

manymisadventures said...

Thanks for the awards, guys! I'll pick that up in the next couple days.

Tangerine - it took a long time ;) I'm glad the mare you sold is doing well. It's hard to sell, but it always makes it better when they do well, doesn't it?

starrynights said...

Congrats on a successful year.

If you really want to improve your fitness, try pilates. It's much better for building core strength than just yoga.

When I lost 60 lbs last year I did it with the help of doing pilates DVDs at home. Really helped with my low back issues too.

Barbara said...

off topic but…There is a blog award waiting for you on my blog (Nina’s Story) come and pick it up. I see that I have to stand in line to give you this, but I'm going to anyway.

DS said...

What a busy year! I'm looking forward to seeing where 2011 takes you guys. Btw, you have an award on my blog! Check it out.

Adventures In Colt Starting

Jess said...

Love your blog! It looks like you've already won a few of these awards, but here is another!

You've won an award!

Please go to my blog at to receive it!

manymisadventures said...

Aww, thanks for all the awards guys. I'll pick all of them up in one fell swoop, I think.

Starrynights, that is a good idea. I have one Pilates video but it's probably a good idea to spend some more time on it...there's a definite focus on core strength.

SprinklerBandit said...

Dear ManyMisadventures,

You are incredible.


Marissa said...

There's an award waiting for you on my blog too! :)

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