For me, setting riding goals is easy; there’s a logical progression I have in my mind that makes sense. We started in the hunters so we could brush the rust off and get comfortable showing. Then we moved onto the jumpers, and I secretly/not-so-secretly want to place champion or reserve in the year-end standings of my division (2’6″ Itty Bitty Jumpers). Next year, I want to move up to the Schooling Jumper division (2’9″ – 3′), but probably do half as many shows, instead of almost all of them, on the local circuit. Eventually, I want to try the Adult/Amateur Jumpers and/or the Take2 Thoroughbred Jumpers.
I set goals, discuss them with my trainer, take steps to work toward them and then eventually get to check things off my list. Simple, right?
Not so much — because adulting is hard. Really hard. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a lot of fun, too, but there are a lot of responsibilities and just, stuff, you have to take care of that you’ve never even thought about before in a real way, but you now have to figure out and be practical about because you’re an adult and that’s what adults do. I think.
Needless to say, (un)foreseen circumstances over the last month or two have forced and given me time to think about my priorities. I’m still keeping my horse goals, but I’m trying to figure out how to make my other goals more concrete and more of a priority — basically how to find balance. I’ll need to plan smarter, ride smarter and be more efficient about life if I want to do everything I want without stretching myself (time, money and people-wise) too thin.
It started with making a budget. At first, I thought, ugh, followed by, OMG SCARY. As I started plugging in numbers into Excel, though, it was actually really helpful and insightful. Now, I know how much I need to save, how many horse shows I can actually afford to attend, how all my money goes to eating out and I have nothing left to spend on clothes, etc.
Now, the new goal is sticking to the budget. I’ve missed two horse shows out of the season so far, and will have to skip the next one. It really sucks because I love the horse show atmosphere, hanging out at the show grounds, point chasing and giving Sabra and me the show experience, but adulting requires making grown-up decisions.
Boo. In the meantime, though, there are a few upcoming non-horsey events on my calendar that I’m super excited about! And I’m of course, still riding three times per week (despite the Texas summer heat and humidity) so Sabra and I can stay sharp and continue to progress.
Anyone have suggestions on how to balance priorities and goals?