It’s funny to reflect on my 2017 Goals post from 12 months ago, not in the least because there is some definite foreshadowing about what the year would bring.
Take this paragraph:
Part of the reason I’ve struggled since moving back to NYC is that in some ways I feel as though I lost my horse-y identity. I of course enjoy taking lessons and spending any and all time at a barn – but I’ve come to get a tremendous amount of satisfaction and pride out of horse ownership. Obviously I knew this was a big part of my life, but I underestimated what a gaping hole it would leave. It’s been a challenge to find a new normal and start to navigate what my horse life can and should look like now.
Of course, I didn’t anticipate that I would fill that gaping M-shaped hole with Marley himself, but life is funny!
Here were my goals from last year, and my grades for each:
Lesson 1x / Week
This is almost an A! Some weeks it just doesn’t happen, but I’m lessoning regularly and feel as though I’m progressing steadily. That’s sufficient for me. As a bonus, those weeks I don’t lesson Marley is getting a training ride – at this rate he’ll know more about riding than me in about two months.
Ride Anything and Everything
Even though I’ve basically only ridden Marley since shipping him out here, I’m still giving myself an A because I’ve been in the saddle more than I anticipated last January – and for the first half of the year I did enjoy spending time on different horses at the barn.
Participate in One Event or Schooling Show
I set this goal while I was still just considering maybe leasing, and let’s be honest – leasing is a LOT cheaper than owning. We did make it off-property once last year, but ultimately my work schedule and budget were not conducive to official shows. Maybe this year!
Move Them Hips!
Ugh, tight hips. The struggle is real. I do feel as though I’ve made solid progress here, and believe my out-of-saddle fitness efforts are paying off.
Maximize Out-of-Saddle Fitness
This is a solid, solid A. I do CrossFit and LOVE it – like to the point where if I had to give up riding or CrossFit, it would be a difficult choice. My gym in particular is amazing and has a balanced, holistic approach to fitness that has changed my life. I’ve dabbled with other CF gyms that just pale in comparison. I started regularly CrossFitting again last February, and have kept up a consistent 4-5 days per week schedule throughout the year. I am so much stronger and more flexible than I was 12 months ago, and it definitely translates to being on the back of a horse. My core is still not as strong as it ultimately needs to be, and of course there is no substitute for actually spending time in the saddle – but while I’m living 90+ minutes from the barn, this is a worthwhile and satisfying thing to focus on.
Bonus: Ship Heart Horse to NYC
Shocker, this wasn’t on my original list of 2017 goals but I sort of have to mention it, right? Bringing Marley to the East Coast was both one of the most wildly unpractical and one of the best things I’ve ever done. He’s just a special horse and I’m so thankful for every opportunity I have to spend time with him.