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Well, really “goals,” since we checked off more than one in 2017. Doing things on time wasn’t one of them, so obviously, this post is late, too. Even later, in fact, than last year! If only I could get my 20 meter circles to be as consistent as my lateness…

Actual footage of my 20m circles.

In 2017, I had a lot of goddamn goals. Some for me, some for the horse. While I definitely didn’t accomplish nearly all I planned to, I’m still pretty happy. Let’s break it down.

2017 Equestrian Goals – 6/13

  • Learn to stand at the mounting block consistently and wait before walking off. Lol. No. This is a work in progress.

  • Do a lot of walk hacks, especially early in the year. Success! I want to do lots more, but I’m now confident enough in him having a few muscles that I don’t need to do every hack as walk-only.

  • Build his trotting base slowly. Kind of? Except for that damn March knee bruise, and then the limited riding in the fall. He had some decent fitness going in the 3rd quarter of the year, so it’s a half-win.

  • Do a CDR (Conditioning Distance Ride) in the first half of the year. We did one! In the fall, but we did one!

  • Go to a dressage schooling show. That’s a big old fail right there. We went to one…but it was on the property. And we didn’t show. I just sat on him and watched some tests.

  • Take some lessons with a reasonable degree of regularity. Nope. I took and handful from Sam, who’s awesome, but not nearly enough.

  • Take advantage of clinics, and auditing counts! Success here. We did the Roddy clinic, and I audited a clinic with Daisy, his former assistant, later in the year.

  • Go swimming. I’m definitely counting riding through the pond.

  • Do a CTR (Competitive Trail Ride) or LD (Limited Distance) in the second half of the year. This just didn’t pan out due to his March knee bruise again, but we managed the CDR, so I’m not really disappointed.

  • Make ring work more effective with poles and exercises. I have stopped gluing myself to the rail, and while I haven’t been great about adding poles, I’ve focused on moving and bending differently so he doesn’t get bored.

  • Learn/practice how to braid. Critical failure.

  • Start some eventing lessons. Didn’t even get there. See above knee drama.

  • Do more stirrupless/sitting trot work. I didn’t even really try.

A lot of the issues here had to do with constant derailments that got in the way of consistency. He bruised up that knee in March and had more than a month off, then had to be brought back very slowly to be safe, I took on some evening work in the fall (not doing that again!), and then winter was sidelined by his surgery and a cold. I don’t have control over a lot of that, but this year, I’m scheduling rides with friends to make sure we get out and get in some miles. No more sitting around!

2017 Running Goals – 8/10

  • Become a trail runner. Handled. Most of my longer running is done in local parks and trails now.

  • Actually pay attention to my heart rate. Done! I try to stay in the 140-145 range to keep from going anaerobic, and I’m resting in the high sixties. I definitely want to keep paying attention to this and see the HR drop as I get more fit.

  • Run a 50k in the spring. Because 26.2 miles is so 2016. Success! It was raining and hellish and I didn’t run another race all year, but I can’t wait to do it again!

  • Run a marathon, 50k, or the Rocky Challenge in the fall. Nooooooope. See above. I dropped the ball on racing and training after this race, for pain reasons, etc.

  • Work on changing my heel strike to a midfoot strike. I think I’ve gotten this one down. If I overthink it, I fuck up and run weird, but generally, the new shoes and practicing barefoot has helped.

  • Transition into zero-drop shoes. I’m never going back to traditional shoes.

  • Volunteer at an ultra marathon. Spent the weekend at the Vermont 100, and it was an incredible experience.

  • Spend more time stretching. Any stretching at all would be good. I’m trying. I have a 20 minute “split” stretching circuit I use post long run, and it seems to help me feel less sore.

  • Do more core work and cross training. Not so great here, but I’ve got a gym membership now!

  • Start hiking. Find nature. Walk in it. Or run. Whatever feels good. Consider nature found.

These were changes I really wanted to make, and since they don’t hinge on the health of a 1,000 lb. animal, they were a lot easier. Not that running 32 miles was easy, but it was all on me. I didn’t have to train anyone but myself. This year, we’re stepping it up. Not in a stupid way, but in a “I will run more things and actually have a solid training plan” way. So 2018, what's good?

Oh, look! A ride! I miss those.

Due to Java's surgery and time off until mid February, I’m starting two months behind the jump here. Horsey goals are reflective of that, but ambitious enough that we’ll feel challenged. Consistency is what I want there. As for running, I'm looking to ramp up and get serious.

2018 Equestrian Goals

  • Learn to stand at the mounting block consistently and wait before walking off.

  • Ride in at least 4 CDR/CTR/Endurance events this calendar year.

  • Ride a test at a dressage schooling show.

  • Take lessons, goddamn it!

  • Utilize poles, patterns, and exercises to enhance our ringwork.

  • Practice staying in various pens (ie tape, panels, etc.) to be ready for rides.

  • Perfect the trot out and BC presentation.

  • Take Java to Fair Hill to practice traveling and seeing new places.

  • Do a fun show/farm fair/a barn Halloween party. Something goofy and lighthearted.

  • Go swimming again!

  • Ride bareback.

2018 Running Goals

  • Follow the GoogleDoc plan I’ve put together for myself to train all year.

  • Run the Vermont 50K as a Charity Runner.

  • Run a marathon again. Or another 50k. Whatever!

  • Put a few trail and shorter races on the calendar for fun, and to mix up training.

  • Start lifting again!

  • Stretch after as many runs as I damn well can.

  • Crosstrain/take classes/do abs as much as possible. Variety is the spice of life.

  • Take a running trip. Beach, mountains, whatever.

I can't wait to get out there and start making those miles ours. See you on the trail!


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