Setting New Year's Goals with our Horses. Photography by Annalise Janine Photography | www.annelisejanine.com
Happy New Year, Horse Lovers! A New Year means new beginnings, and what better way to start fresh than with our beloved four-legged friends? As equestrians, we understand the importance of goal-setting and planning for the year ahead. This year, I have a lot of personal riding goals, specifically with my trusty steed Kevin, and I am eager and excited for the New Year, a new show season, and new beginnings.
Kevin has become my steadfast companion over the last 18 months while we have been in training, and I have big plans for him in 2024. I am very excited to bring him home after a year and a half of training. I have been waiting for this moment for a very long time, and after owning him since January 2021 he will finally arrive at the Abbott Farm.
I plan to spend the first couple of months getting him settled at his new home, and working with him in a new riding arena, and field. I know he will adjust very well so I am aiming to attend the West Tennessee Hunter Jumper March Schooling Show. This show will be a great opportunity for us to continue growing as a team and have fun as we progress. We’ll be practicing at home, but also trailering over to a few trainers’ barns to help us progress, especially in jumping.
In April, Kevin and I will be participating in our first combined training event at Panther Creek Stables. This event will test our skills in both dressage and jumping and I’m excited to show how far he has come in his training with Robyn Miller at Point Pleasant Farm. It will be an exciting challenge for us both and I fully expect him to make me look good since he has become a steady teacher.
Throughout the rest of the year, I plan to cross-train Kevin in dressage, hacking him out in the open field at my farm, and progressing in jumping to see where we both thrive as a team. I feel he is very well suited for the Hunter ring, but I’d love to see how he progresses in lower level Show Jumpers as he becomes more seasoned at lengthening and shortening his stride between jumps. I know there may be some challenges along the way, but I’m excited to see how we progress. And the ExEL Shows and other Memphis-area schooling events will help us both get more comfortable in a competition setting.
In closing, a New Year means a chance for new beginnings in every area of our lives, including our time spent with our beloved horses. It is a great time to look back over the accomplishments in the previous year while looking ahead to things one hopes to accomplish in the New Year. I returned to riding and the show ring after eight long years away. That was such a huge goal of mine in 2023, and now that I have checked that off my list my next goals include maintaining a consistent training schedule, having fun, and to practice gratitude for the life I once thought of giving up. Always remember that you’re never too old to start something new, or to return to something you loved. The New Year is a perfect time to make big, hairy, and scary goals that will help set the pace for the next twelve months ahead. Cheers to tackling our equestrian goals in 2024 and Happy New Year!