The last step in my year-end review is a final analysis of my goals. This year I worked hard to make realistic goals that would challenge me, yet still be attainable. I also added some new categories, including a bucket list and tack wishlist. Overall, I’m really, really pleased with how this worked out. I liked separating my riding goals from my showing aspirations because with horses, you just never know what’s going to happen and I hate feeling like I failed. And truly, this list is meant to set me up for success. Each goal led in a sort of step-ladder to the next and really helped me stick to a plan to improve. For me, the process isn’t complete by just writing down my goals; I also need to hold myself accountable but at the same time not get overwhelmed with all the things I have to do. So in addition to publishing my goals, I also reviewed them quarterly. I’ve found that four times a year is my “sweet spot,” which allows me to keep my goals in sight, but not feel like I have so much to do.
Tracy’s Riding Goals
Increase flexibility (hamstrings, right ankle)Finally, finally I have been more consistent in my right heel and ankle! It’s a constant battle and I have to remember to stretch at least once a week, but at least I know it’s possible now. I’ve also been working on my hamstring flexibility through stretches, but because of my weak core I haven’t been able to see much of a difference while riding. Increase Leg StrengthThrough a combination of workouts, two-point and really thinking about which muscles I’m using while riding [especially at the posting trot] I’ve noticed a big improvement in my leg strength. They could always be stronger, but there has been improvement so I’m calling it a win.
- Improve Flat Position, with a straight line from shoulders to hips to heels I haven’t been quite as successful with this goal, but that’s largely due to the fact that I’m just not very invested in it. My position has improved, but it’s still not ideal. But… I’m not sure that I care as much as I thought. I want to be effective, which means my position needs to be better, but I’m not looking to win the Ariat Adult Medal either. I need to find a happy medium, which I’m working towards.
Improve Jumping Position Consistently jump 2’6” in lessons Show 2’6”
Yahoo! I’m really, really happy with all of the personal riding goals I accomplished this year. I made improvement on areas that I’ve been struggling with for a long time and it feels great to cross so much off the list!
Improve lengthening and shortening within all 3 gaits Improve balance Increase stamina/power to the left Gain more muscling in neck and topline
Stick to a workout planI finally figured out the trick to keep myself motivated, and I’m happy to say that I’ve been doing really well with working out consistently above and beyond just riding!
- Learn portion control This is a constant battle and work in progress for me. I’ve really done well with breakfast and lunch, but I still struggle with dinner.
Increase core strength
- Lose 25 pounds While I certainly didn’t even come close to accomplishing this goal, I did learn about myself in the process. Losing weight is even more difficult than I thought and in order to accomplish this goal I’m going to really have to focus and push myself.
Create a more inclusive budget
This was definitely my least successful category, but it was also my most challenging. Finding the motivation to improve my health is something I struggle with, but I am proud that I’m making strides. It’s finally sinking in that letting my eating habits slide and not working out consistently hurts me in other areas of my life and in turn directly impacts my riding, which is a big mental step for me. I’m hoping to make this category much more important to me next year.
Win a blue ribbon with Miles Win a division champion with Miles Show in a 2’6″ Equitation Over Fences class Show in a Hunter Derby/Special Class Go to an A-Rated show
- Go to an overnight (for me) show
Ride on the beach Trail ride with Sam
Close contact saddle Stirrup leathers Shaped fleece pad that fits my new saddle Liquid Leather Spanish top Tall Boots Helmet with removable, machine wash liner
- Tailored Sportsman Breeches
New hunt coat
In 2014, I accomplished 83 percent of my goals [25/30]. I’m really pleased with that! It shows just how much improvement I’ve made and how many accomplishments I’ve had this past year. Being able to cross off so many items on my Bucket list and Tack wishlist is truly a blessing and I feel very lucky to have had such a banner year. I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for us!