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Back in January, based on optimistic feelings about great spring weather and big plans, I set out some goals for us for the year. We’re halfway through now, and it’s too hot to do any real work this week, so I figured it’s a good time to check in on how we’re doing with that.

    •  Show in Ladies Sidesaddle Hunter
      We’re definitely meeting and exceeding this one.  I’d been hoping to get out and show a little as the year went on, but we were in the ring for the first show of the year, and we’re actually sitting 6th in the Zone right now!  Fingers crossed we can keep that and end up with a Zone Award for the year!  And I have been absolutely overwhelmed with what a wonderfully welcoming and supportive group the aside ladies have been.  We’ve been invited out hunting, offered gear to share when needed, offered advice and encouragement, and cheers of support.  It’s been fabulous, and I cannot wait to continue with more of it!

      • Do the Adult Eq/medals enough to qualify for MHSA Adult Medal finals, and for MAEF again this year.  
        This has been a little dicier.  We’ve been doing non-3′ eq and medals, but haven’t quite gotten ourselves back to the 3′ stuff, since we’ve been concentrating on a lot of sidesaddle stuff, and opportunities just haven’t presented themselves before it got stupid hot.  And since MAEF is the same week as the Election this year, and I’m hopping a plane for Florida that Friday to destress somewhere with a tropical drink for a week, I’m not worried about qualifying.  But definitely on track for more eq!
      • Qualify for Stirrup Cup awards in both the Adult Amateurs and Thoroughbred Hunters.  
        Sadly, this isn’t going to happen.  Both of the local series that ran as B/C shows (which is what you need to do to qualify for Stirrup Cup) aren’t running at all (MSA) or aren’t running as rated shows (WBTA) so there’s not really the opportunity to do this.  But we are working on WBTA Year End Award in the TB hunters!  So I think the goal’s just going to be a WBTA Year End Award.
      • Do a long weekend at HITS Culpeper in August.  We’d be able to hit all the big adult medal classes there, and get the experience of showing at one of the big circuit shows!
        We’ve already done one successful day of HITS Culpeper in July, and after my Monday lesson, Holly and I are going to discuss plans for the August show!  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be showing somewhere like that, and I’m so happy to have the opportunity.

    • Try to qualify for a PVDA year-end award at Training, hopefully all, if not mostly, aside.
      We’re almost there!  I’ve got 6 of the 7 scores we need, all aside, with our lowest score for the year a 62%, our  best year ever in the dressage ring!  I’ve been so delighted with how well we’ve done aside, and with the positive reaction we’ve gotten from management, fellow competitors, and judges.  I wasn’t expecting that, but it’s been great, and it’s looking like, given our great scores at R4L, we may even end up with another PHR Zone Award for Training Dressage!

        • Try a jumper class or two, and get around without getting lost.  I know we can do it.  It won’t be blazing fast, but should be good training for eq, and also just be fun. 
          On track!  We did two jumper rounds at one of the early BEST shows this year, and I really want to do a .80m round at HITS next month.  Not expecting any ribbons for that, but I definitely think it’ll be fun for both me and Cally, and get us thinking going and forward and responsive before we head in for eq stuff.
        •  Do a few lessons on horses other than Cally.
          Working on this one, too!  I did a lesson on the fabulous Sophie earlier in the spring, and I think I’m due to have a lesson on someone else soon.  It’s just been hard, since we’ve been showing so much and I want to lesson on my own horse before I show her.  But other than Culpeper, I think August is going to be a bit of a break month for us, so I’m going to aim for another lesson or two on someone else there.  And as a bonus, Cally is getting to do the occasional lesson with someone else, too!  She’s been getting along great with Liz, a junior at our barn, and I’m enjoying how well they go together and looking forward to the two of them showing together a bit more.

This is shaping up to be a really great year for us, and I can’t believe how well we’ve been doing at things I never even expected, a year ago, to be doing.  Who would have thought we’d be twelfth in the country at Ladies Sidesaddle?  I mean, I never dreamed we’d be nationally ranked at anything, ever.  Or competing at a big AA circuit show?  That was something I never dreamed we’d be good enough to do, or be able to afford.  But I realize that when I plan out my year and budget a bit wisely, and do most of the work myself, it’s really feasible, if just for a little bit, to make dreams come true.  This whole year is feeling that way, and I know I am so, so lucky to be experiencing it with my horse of a lifetime.