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While 2016 didn’t end up exactly as I’d planned it–I had some more goals for the fall that I’d have liked to work on, or at least another dressage show and jumper division–it did have a lot of great moments, and we did a good job of making the goals I’d set out at the beginning of 2016, though there was already some revision by mid-summer.

    1. Sidesaddle!
      This goal went even better than I’d hoped!  Not only did we make it out into the Ladies Sidesaddle division, by the end of the season we even attempted the Over Fences portion.  It wasn’t perfect, and I’ve got a lot of learning to do, but we’re getting there and looking fancy doing it.

      We finished with a 4th place year-end award from the VHSA for Ladies Sidesaddle, and finished 7th in the Zone by .5.  Which is amazing for our first year out!
    2. Adult Eq
      Sadly, this kind of ended up being a non-starter this year.  We did do some eq stuff, and finished 4th in the Low MSHA Medal at McDonough to qualify for finals, plus pulled a 3rd in the M&S Low Adult Medal at Culpeper.  But since I knew I wasn’t shooting for the MAEF this fall due to it being the week of the election, I didn’t put as much effort in to this goal as I originally planned.  It’s definitely something that is going to stay on the goals list for us, though.
    3. Stirrup Cup
      This just didn’t happen at all, and not from lack of desire.  Both of the B/C show series here ended up either not running at all (MSA) or running unrated (WBTA).  We did end up with a 6th in the TB Hunters from WBTA, though.
    4. HITS Culpeper
      So maybe we didn’t get the whole August weekend I’d originally planned, but we did make it down, and came home with ribbons in every class but one!
    5. PVDA Year-End at Training
      Goal met and delivered!  We did all our classes sidesaddle, finished the year with a 63% average, and were 8th overall in the Adult Amateur Training division, which tends to be PVDA’s most competitive.  We also did well enough at rated shows that we finihed 5th in the Zone for PHR’s Silver Stirrup awards!
    6. Jumpers!
      The goal was to just try this out a bit, but it turned into so much more than that.  I did a couple classes at BEST in the spring, then by the end of the summer, we ended up doing jumpers at rated shows at both Swan Lake and at Maryland Horse & Pony.  It’s a different ride than I’m used to, allowing and encouraging the forward pace, but we had a lot of fun with it, and are definitely planning More Jumpers for next year.

7. Lessons on other horses
This ended up being a big part of this year, after Cally got hurt this fall.  I not only did a lesson and showed Sophie once, in a pinch, at a dressage show (nothing like a dressage catch ride!), I also did a few lessons on Cat, who is a total blast to ride.  Easy and fun and I can’t believe someone hasn’t bought her yet.

Overall, I’m really happy with how our year ended up.  There are a few more things I’d have liked to do, but they got caught up in both Cally being hurt and me spending the last 2.5 months of the year moving.  I think we had well-rounded, ambitious goals, and we did a good job of meeting most of them, which really pleases me.

I’m looking forward to a great 2017, and already starting to think about our plans for the upcoming year.  I think it will involve a new trailer, more jumpers, a musical freestyle, and of course, sidesaddle!  Stay tuned as plans take shape for another fantastic year.

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