Reflecting on the year and setting goals for 2015

With the 2014 show season done, I figured it’s time to reflect on the goals I made this past year and set new ones for the 2015 show season. It’s never too early to start preparing, right?

I'm bad about picking up ribbons, so I'm missing them from about three shows. Also, I take blurry photos. It's my thing.

I’m bad about picking up ribbons, so I’m missing them from about three shows. Also, I take blurry photos. It’s my thing.

My 2014 short-term goal was to take Sabra to as many shows as I could to give her as much experience and expose her to as much as possible. Mission accomplished. We went to three GCHSA shows and three GHHJA shows, competing at three different venues. Sabra and I learned and grew at each show (sometimes in the middle of a class!), and went home from each with a lot of homework. Sabra became more confident at each show, too — after our last class at the last GHHJA show, she walked out of the ring super proud and full of herself.

We finished third (still waiting on official results, though) in the GCHSA Low Hunter standings (after three shows), and 14 out of 43 in the GHHJA Schooling Hunter division (after two shows). Not bad for our first year showing and her first time out to all these places!

My 2014 long-term goal was to aim for the 3′ A/A Hunters or 3’3″ A/O Hunters — obviously, this goal will have to change after what we’ve learned over the past few months.

For 2015, my short-term goal is to do well in itty bitty jumper division. We’ll need to work on tightening our turns, thinking ahead more and strategizing. I’ll need to adjust my timing, improve my position over fences and let Sabra make more decisions about where to jump. Sabra will need to listen better and come back to me faster so we can make the turns. Ideally, I’d like her to be as relaxed over fences as she is on the flat (she’s awesome on the flat) because, while I appreciate her enthusiasm and excitement about jumping, I also want her to be more relaxed so she’ll be more adjustable.

My 2015 long-term goal is to move up the jumper divisions and gain enough experience so we can hopefully do our first A show (probably Pin Oak) in 2016. I’d eventually like to be able to do the Low Adult Amateur Jumpers and the Take 2 Thoroughbred Jumpers, but we’ll need a lot of work to get there first.

Overall, though, I’m just super proud at how Sabra has taken everything in stride this year, and so glad that she loves her job. Our first show of the season will be in early January, and I can’t wait to see how the year progresses.

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