I thought now would be a good time to review 2013, and maybe make some plans for 2014. Let's start with the 2013 in review :)
- Continue monthly training. This has been a lifesaver for us. We did this, through June, and then transitioned to just lessons which have become few and far between. 1/2 accomplished.
- Raise our Training level scores, consistently. Of course I want to earn the highest score possible, and will always try my hardest to do so. But I will be quite pleased if we can get consistent scores in the low to mid 60's. We did not do a single dressage test all year.
- Dressage Stretch Goal: Attempt a 1st Level test, preferably at a schooling show and not at home. This is going to take a TON of work to get to, but hey, I have 12 months :) While I can say we have SCHOOLED 1'st level movements, see the above bullet...no formal dressage tests in 2013.
- Start Ben over low fences. He'll be 5 in April, and for cross training purposes, I think it would be a nice, fun change to do something different once a week. Nope, didn't do this one either. I have popped him over some cross rails, and we did the ground pole course again at our Summer SAFE Benefit show.
- Outings: go on trail rides, go to schooling shows, get OUT. YES!! We went to 4 shows and a couple of trail rides. Ben won English High Point, Reserve High Point, Champion Rescue Horse, Reserve Grand Champion - a distinction at every show we attended.
- Outing Stretch Goal: attend a rated dressage show. NOPE
- Ride bareback. This one is an odd one, but I'll admit, I never, ever do this. I want to be able to just hop on my horse, if even to dink around at a walk. We did this...once.
- Spent 1 million dollars on saddle trials and finally purchased a Black Country Eloquence X.
- Moved 2 times
- Tried Trail, Showmanship, and Halter and kicked some booty!
- Show again. This time I'm gonna be smart and not say what type of showing, because I have little control of which shows I can get to!
- Start jumping, for serious
- Work on the canter...a lot...like enough to be able to do the canter classes at English open shows.
- 12 bareback rides (1 a month)
- Take regular lessons (2x a month)
- Take more pictures and video of us. We seriously sucked at this in 2013...not a single bit of video to be had anywhere.
Now, the one wrench that might change all this is if I a) put my little dude in training and/or b) sell him. I'm not entirely sure we're the best match, but he's also young and maturity level is changing, so it is hard to say. Additionally, I do feel like he needs to explore the world a bit, gain new experiences, and the most reasonable way I can do that for him is to put him in training with someone who can get him out places. IF I do that, I will be back to working with Ben and Ben alone...though with little spare cash to pay for showing, hauling, etc.
2014 stands to be an interesting year. I am going into it with less certainty than I did going into 2013, but perhaps with a bit more enthusiasm and wonderment on what the year will bring.