With the arrival of a new year, and a new decade, I’ve wracked my brain over the final days of 2019 to figure out, “What do I need to do to become a better me?” especially when it comes to time at the barn.
If you’re anything like me, a busy, working adult trying to keep the career, bills, riding, sleep – oh, and MAYBE a social life – all in check, you know how overwhelming and chaotic it can be. Add owning a horse into the mix, let alone trying to find time to ride in between managing shots, deworming schedules, farrier bills, massage appointments, Reiki sessions (because Millennial) and it’s downright exhausting. To be honest, there are days (or weeks) that go by that I do so much FOR my horse that I don’t actually get to spend time WITH my horse!
So on January 1, I made a list of New Years Resolutions of all the bad habits I will break…. and within the first week of the new year I broke them. And I realized, instead of putting myself under all this pressure and stress (with a side of lingering guilt) why not put my energy into making a list of the things I WANT to do and a list of things I absolutely DO NOT want in 2020 that keep me from enjoying myself at the barn.
So here’s the list I came up with:
- Ride at least 3 times a week, including 1 lesson
- Get smart! Read up to become a more well-rounded horsewoman (like this one for my fellow English riders!)
- Attend at least 2 clinics – whether an auditor or a participant
- Submit my application for the 2020 RRP Project (Retired Racehorse Project)
- Get measured and order a pair of custom boots. I’ve been dying to get a pair of custom DeNiro’s for years to replace my current tall boots and would love to do something crazy like a patent leather toe and boot crown!
- Ride in the Cleveland Metroparks or on the beach at Lake Erie!
- Groom for one weekend at the Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic
- Attend one show every season (winter, spring, summer, fall)
- Be a better boarder – if that means being 5 minutes early for my lesson, bringing my farrier a heating pad when he’s stuck putting shoes on in subzero temperatures, and being a positive role model for the younger girls that ride with me.
- HAVE FUN!
I think whatever your goals are for the year, whether you’re an active participant in any discipline or the World’s Best Cheerleader, it’s important to be mindful of the time you spend. So often, we get stuck in the daily routine – and while it’s comforting – it can also be limiting. Growth and positive change never happens by standing still. It doesn’t matter if your goals are riding once a week or qualify for Washington International Horse Show or cleaning that moldy bridle that’s been sitting in the corner of your basement. Just give yourself something to shoot for, write it down, and GO DO IT!
So relax. Hug your horse. Trust you’re doing the best you can. And remember to check in with your inner horse crazy child, to remind yourself why you fell in love with these amazing creatures in the first place.
Enjoy the ride, Colleen