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Thursday, November 18, 2010

2011 Goals

For 2011 my focus is changing – some sort of schooling is in my future and as a result my income and the way my single life is set up is going to radically change. Change isn’t bad…..but it will….well…change things, including the type of goals I have for me and Farley.

In case you think this post comes a bit early….the ride season for most of the organizations I belong too ends in November, so I tend to think of my “horse year” as November to November!

My endurance goals are simple –
  • Go to rides I’ve never been to before and have fun
  • Farley is 120 miles from her 1,000 mile mark – get her there happy and sound
  • Complete all 3 of the Nevada “Triple Crown” Endurance rides – The Nevada Derby 50, NASTR 75, Virginia City 100. I’ve never been to any of the 3 rides, and the total mileage exceeds 120, so this fulfills my first 2 goals.

I won’t go to as many rides this year. Tevis is not in the plan – I had so much fun at the Patriot’s 100, I’ll return there in July and give Farley, myself, and my crew a break. I’m sure I’ll miss the Tevis – there’s something magical about that ride – in fact I miss it already. Farley had a busy year and we will both be enjoying more down time.

Dressage, Jumping, & Eventing
The first 6 months of 2011 will potentially be the last time I will take regular lessons for a long time. Lessons are a commitment in time and money, two commodities that might look very different for the next 5-6 years.

  • I have made some sacrifices and moved items around to allow for 2 lessons a week – a dressage lesson, and a jump lesson – through at least April.
  • I firmly believe dressage is the secret to longevity in the horse, through both work done on horse and rider. By the time I enter school, I want to be firmly schooling at first level and have enough “tools in the tool box” to continue reinforcing correct work in Farley, and if I get another horse, start basic correct dressage with the new one. The focus will be less on showing dressage this year, which will leave more $$ for lessons and learning.
  • Continuing in my promise to Farley to do something “new and fun” for the next couple of months, I’ve committed to an extra lesson a week, jumping. Farley enjoys it and it’s a skill we should both have. You should see her ears perk up when she realizes we are going to jump instead of do dressage on lesson days! We won’t be stellar in 6 months, but hopefully proficient.
  • Do a 3 day event. Besides a few local schooling “fun” shows, this 3 day event will probably be one of the few “real” shows I do this year. The focus will be on having fun, being technically correct, and expanding my knowledge base about horses, conditioning, and biomechanics.

Overall Horse Goals
  • Stay barefoot. I have had tremendous success this year and in part it was due to being barefoot. Not necessarily because she wasn’t wearing steel, but because having a barefoot performance horse forced me to be extra attentive to those small details – which in turn made a large difference in overall performance.
  • Invest in knowledge. Meaning, spend my $$ this year in lessons and clinics and other activities that will help me advance my knowledge base. Spend less on tack, saddles, gadgets, and “stuff”. Realistically, I have everything I need to ride and enjoy my horse. Try to make do (where I can safely) rather than buy new.
  • Expand my website,, into an endurance resource that is useful for the new rider, and provides continuing education for the more experienced rider.

What does 2011 look like for you? Any radical changes expected? Are you picking up a new sport? Starting a new horse? Doing something completely different?


  1. 2011 must be the year for change! Boomer is getting a 6 month vacay while I have a baby. After that, my only goals are to continue to enjoy Boomer and try to pick my rides wisely. Honestly, at this point I can see myself being happy with a ride per year- enough to help us become a decade team. But I would really like to get from 350 miles to 500 miles while keeping our 100% completion rate.

  2. One move you've made that I think is really positive is giving up the fantasy that continually replenishing the "stuff" will add significantly to the horse and riding experience. Why I can say that is that I finally admitted that I had enough music books, tune books, method books, picks, tuners, instruments, recordings, polishes, that I needed. And I did need them. But now I had enough, and to use their continued acquisition to give the thrill that should have been gotten by acquiring skill and satisfaction was not going to contribute to long term rewards.

  3. Neither really here nor there, but what you're shooting for eventing-wise is actually probably a horse trial, not a 3-day event. A 3-day event is a specific thing--not a catch-all term for an eventing competition--and these days 3-days are relatively quite rare, and completing one is a relatively big deal. (Which isn't to saw that completing a three-phase of any sort at any level isn't also a big deal, because: yes!)

    A horse trial can be held all in one day or stretched across several, but even if it's held over three days, it's still a horse trial.

    Clear as mud? The USEA rulebook has specific definitions/descriptions, but for practical purposes, most of what most of us do, most of the time, are properly referred to as horse trials or events.

    Will be keen to see how all these goals go!

    Current eventer, aiming at a proper three-day in 2011, and someday wannabe endurance rider

  4. Hey I'm not done with this season yet! Man, you suck making me think about this now!! lol

    I don't have any big goals for next year other than to go on the two month long XP ride and have a good time. It will be the last one.

    I do have some standard goals which apply always. Such as, keep the horses sound and healthy, stay out of the emergency room, stuff like that.

    Good luck with your goals! Stay safe. :)

  5. If anyone in central California wants to come to the Pony Club Benefit Horse Trials at the famous Ram Tap in Fresno this weekend, it's 2 days instead of 3 this year for the first time. Dressage and Stadium Jumping on Saturday, and Cross Country on Sunday. Come and volunteer as a jump judge in Kaweah Pony Club's name and we'll get points!
    (Just had to plug the Club!)
    Aunt Sharlene

  6. Man 2011 is DEFINITELY the year for change! Gogo is out of commission until further notice (which might mean forever), so I need to reevaluate where I am with my own riding and what I want to be doing. I hope to pick up a free lease along my way. We are all heading to Southern Pines for the winter with our new boss, and then will all be coming back to MA in the spring, so you never know what we might find along the way. It's crazy when all your plans become so radically different!

  7. buymeaclue - I went at look at flintridges website, and you are the right, the event I'm shooting for is called a "trial"! Obviously I have a lot to learn!

    Andrea - I read about GoGo. it's amazing how fast things can change. I'm sorry for how things turned out, and I'm looking froward to continue to read about your adventures with her - riding or not.

    Heather - good luck on your goal!


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