Nearly every goal I set for 2022 is firmly in “personal” territory instead of “horse-related” territory. None are very exciting! They are very boring:
“exercise four times a week”, “meditate every day”, et cetera. I suspect this is because goal setting (and achieving) is not particularly motivating for me. Maybe this means I’m a lazy cretin or I subconsciously have a paralyzing fear of inadequacy or I’m setting the wrong kind of goals. I don’t know, and at this point, I am not very interested in finding out. I’ll just accept this as a personal flaw and move on with my boring, safe, mostly-easy-to-achieve goals.
The only real horse-related goal I set is this: qualify for a year end award from my local USDF GMO on Madigan. To do so, I need to accumulate at least 7 scores at a particular level with a overall median score of at least 57% at GMO shows.
Practically speaking, this means I need to be able to competently pilot Madigan around a Training Level test. I can manage two tests per show, which means I need to plan to attend at least four shows. My GMO has 13 schooling shows on the calendar this year, four of which are reasonably close. (The other nine aren’t terribly far away, but given a choice, I’d rather haul 74 miles round trip than 144.)
The “competently pilot Madigan” part of this equation might be tougher than I think it will. I’ve spent the last four-ish years primarily trail riding and foxhunting on Gina and surviving Candy’s anxiety-fueled meltdowns. Madigan is an easy ride because he’s had a great start and is sensible, but he’s still very green. Half the time I ride him I feel like I’m going to slide off during the canter transitions. Of course, I am not a total beginner, and know (at least in theory) how to ride a horse, so I don’t think this will go too poorly. Weekly lessons ought to help.
The first schooling show in my part of the state is in April, so I have plenty of time to memorize a couple of tests, practice, and locate the can of sticky spray hiding somewhere in my trailer.