Sunday, 30 November 2014

No Goal December

After the great ideas of 2 Pointober and No Stirrup November, I'm officially implementing my own brand of rider improvement: No Goal December.

I could brand it all fancy and promote it to the cool kids, but let's face it, that's too much like work.

I either just scraped through or failed the majority of my November goals. I won't depress myself further with a recap - let's just say November was all about real life problems and it wasn't my month to shine on the horsey front. 
How I feel too - Bridget being so tired she can't even hold  her own head up :) 

This morning, I had about a million things to do before my lesson, and I was getting STRESSED because I had set a goal to bring Ginger and I was late and had no time to prep and the roads were icy making me second guess whether riding and ponying a second horse on them up to the ring really was a smart idea anyway and what if the ring was covered in snow and slippery, oh shoot I forgot to drive by and check first and maybe I should have bought a membership to the indoor arena but then I'd have to borrow a trailer and I feel like that's a big favour to keep asking  but I'm not sure I want to buy my own yet and what if I suck at pulling a trailer and never use it anyway.... (yes it seriously went like that...just one big panicky run on sentence going through my head). I've also had  multiple frustrating rides on Bridget mare and that's not how my plan is supposed to go and what if I'm ruining her or what if she's sore somewhere and maybe I'm doing something wrong or maybe we both need a better fitness program. and and and! 

Deep breaths! Smile. Horses live in the moment and don't care about plans and schedules and goals or what happened last ride, remember? This is supposed to be fun, right? And then I had the most brilliant idea of all: No Goal December, where the only plan is to enjoy my horse time and for everyone to survive intact. January is only a month away and is all about goals and resolutions anyways, right?
Ginger is always smart enough to come right up to the barn AFTER it's apparent Bridget is the one being captured.
So, I tacked up Bridget, because she came up to the barn when I called. I walked her up the road because it was icy. We made it just in time for our lesson, but when I got to the ring I saw it was still covered in snow. I tried to think about how fun riding in the snow would be, and then it was fun. Funny how that works. We worked on walk/trot spirals, leg yields, counterbending, and halt/trot transitions on about a 15m circle where the ground had thawed a bit. Then we did turns on the forehand and haunches. We didn't try to use up the whole hour. We had fun. Bridget pony got a lot of 'good girls' and scratches. I checked all my mental stress baggage at the door, and she tried her heart out and marched out of there afterwards like she was the best pony ever. Which of course she is (tied with Ginger, naturally ;)

And then I went back to the barn and played Princess Ponies and brushed and detangled Bridget's tail in the sunshine for a really long time. Because that's just fun.



19 comments:

  1. "Enjoy horse time and everyone survive intact." That is a plan I can get on board with!

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  2. December is always my vacay month where I jsut go and ride and that's it ;) so I love this no goal december!

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    1. Who can resist an entire vacay month? Not me!

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  3. I suck at planning goals so I'll join! lol

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  4. i love everything about this post! goals help me stay motivated -- but if they're starting to mess with my mental state and get me all stressed... that's pretty counterproductive. so i love the idea of just taking some time off!! enjoy it :)

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  5. A no-goal month is a good thing! :)

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    1. I think so. I'm usually pretty driven so I think it will be a good thing for us all if I just focus on having fun for a month!

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  6. Try not to get too down on yourself -- sometimes we all need a break!

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    1. My default when things start to go sideways training wise or stress wise is to trail ride everywhere - it's like a mini break on horseback with friends, what could be better :)

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  7. I am loving this idea. It's always good to take a deep breath and just enjoy life. :)

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    1. I am always needing to remind myself of that!

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  8. Glad that you found a way to de-stress and enjoy your pony :) Thanks for the reminder!

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  9. Heck yeah, right on! I think blogging makes the desire to constantly push push push even worse, because you can get into the trap of constantly looking at everyone else. It's good to take a step back and do things like No Goal December. :)

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    1. I see everyone doing such cool/fun things with their horses and am really inspired, which is GREAT, but you're right, the flip side is the desire to push harder to try to be more like the cool kids rather than having patience and moving more at my own pace :)

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  10. LOVE THIS!
    ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡
    I suck at achieving goals so I'm 100% down with No Goals December ☺

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