2012 Ambitions

Let the record show that 2011 was a year of much upheaval…and much blog neglect.

I realize the point of a blog is to write daily or almost-daily, and that starting one in the first place was probably one of the single most self-defeating tasks I could set out on as someone who is in a constant struggle to balance two, sometimes three jobs, training a filly, having a social life and getting some sleep once in awhile. But January is a new start, and despite the fact that I’m roughly 3 weeks behind in laying out my plans for the new year, it’s all part of the plan.

I tend to be a person of (too much) structure. My brain, and my Google calendar, are littered with self-imposed deadlines. Nearly every minute of every day is on a timetable of my own making. I developed this skill (/curse) in college after I burnt out on one job and had moved on to another, while pushing myself to make Dean’s List (which I did, twice) and starting Jitter. It seemed like there was never enough time for everything, like there were too many ideas and projects in my head and only so many years to tackle them before I got too old, too tired, too whatever.

This carries over into my work with the Filly. We came so far in 2011, from the days of barely cantering on a 20 meter circle, inverted neck and all, to our basic understanding of dressage, field jogs and gymnastics jumps. And there were plenty of days I was too pressed for time, too tired, too sick to ride that I rode anyway. There were plenty of weeks she could have done with a dressage-free day or even a work-free day and I dragged us both out there, twisting on our serpentines. And you know what? I don’t think we were any better for it.

I just kept thinking–we’ve lost too much time. If we’re going to get to a show this year, if I expect to get her jumping, we’ve got to hurry up. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be.

Had 2011 gone the way I’d anticipated, I would be getting married 4 months from now. I must admit part of my initial panic when the whole thing fell apart was, among many other things, that this constituted failure. There were certain guidelines to how life was supposed to go, and I had fouled out. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. But in the time since then I’ve realized that the rules of the game? Are only what you make them. We aren’t all going to end up the same way in life, so it’s absurd to expect us all to take the same paths on the way.

So I’ve resolved this year, to not make resolutions. Ideas, yes; resolutions, no. It’ll be a list, but not a “to-do”. Nothing rigid because, if I planned it all out, the whole thing would be turned on its head by 2013 anyway.

So, in that spirit my list for the Filly–

  1. We will master the trailer. This is the only exception to the “no resolutions” rule, because it’s a safety issue that we’ve left for too long. We did make progress in 2011 in that we can now get on a trailer with our nose in the grain bucket, but we’ve got to be able to close it up and go.
  2. It would be awesome if we could get to a show this year. If we can’t, we can’t. The world won’t end. Unless you believe Nostradamus, in which case none of this matters anyway. We don’t have to pin, if we do make it there but it would be nice to go.
  3. Equally awesome would be getting out to Masterson at some point, as observers or for a ride ourselves. Either option would be progress.
  4. I really want to work on our canter this year; for a downhill draft cross, this will ultimately be our most challenging gait, I think. Someday, I want us to remain balanced on turns with a consistent pace and sane transitions. Someday, it would be great if we could canter outside the arena. We’ll see.

We began our 2012 a little differently. We’d had three weeks off so I’d planned to put her on the longe and get back to work with our sidereins, but in the spirit of my anti-resolutions, I reconsidered. I hopped on my filly for a bareback walk around the arena. The sun was setting. Her ears were nodding toward me, and she was stretching her neck down into the bit without being asked.

It didn’t even feel like work–which of course, was the perfect way to start.

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