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I haven’t been riding much.  I don’t like riding when it’s below freezing, and it also seems a bit cruel to the horse to make her work too hard when it’s so cold. My dog’s got a thicker coat than she does, and if the dog doesn’t want to be out for a walk, I can’t imagine that Cally much wants to be working, either.  Fortunately, she’s a good girl who as long as she’s ridden semi-regularly, retains pretty well.  It’s when she’s parked for long weeks or months at a time that we start back from square one.

So, needless to say, since I’ve been stuck inside, and in between binging on Netflix and the plethora of HBO options (have you been watching “True Detective”?  Wow, on several levels!), I’ve been scrounging through show prizelists and the USEA Omnibus to start shaping up our 2014 plans.  Since there are things, especially unrecognized ones, without 2014 dates yet, it’s a little hard to start saying I’m showing at X or Y, but I’ve got an idea, and have started a file of things that work with my weekends off work.  I got a little burnt out on showing last year, so as much fun as we had, I want to try to limit it a bit, both for budgetary purposes (since one of my Real Life Goals is paying off all my credit card debt this year), and to prevent horse show burnout, plus give me time to spend with WBBF and Daisy A Dog, particularly in the summer during prime sailing weather, which coincides nicely with Sticky Nasty Gross Unshowable Heat.

Anyway, Goals! 

1. Compete at Ride For Life.  This does have dates up, and falls on a weekend I’m off work. 

2. Finish more events on our dressage scores.  I’d like her to get much more consistent XC, and feel like we’re ready to move up to Novice.  Maaaaaybe see about having Kelley take her out at the end of the season once at Novice.

3. Compete at a CT or two at Novice, hopefully easily accomplished at the Southwind events.

4. Get to a H/J show and put in some miles over fences.  I’m eying a few things locally, not sure whether I want to go recognized or schooling, though none of the HCHSA or Lehigh dates work for me, so it may be either WBTA or Swan Lake, schedule pending.  I’m also agnostic as to hunters versus jumpers; she can do the hunter thing if I’m riding well, but it’s really not her forte, whereas jumpers is more laid back, though tends to encourage the running we don’t want from her.

5. Earn a PVDA Year-End Award at an actual-Dressage division, rather than Eventing-Dressage.  I’m undecided between Training and 1st, as I feel like we’re capable of the latter, but safer at the former, especially if we’re doing any recognized competitions.

6. Earn a MCTA Year-End Award, at Beginner Novice.

7. Volunteer more!

That’s a good rough plan to start the year with, right?

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