I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. I think about it… eat healthier, exercise more, volunteer frequently, but it always seems like life gets in the way – and the next thing I know, it’s December 31, and I surely haven’t “resolved” anything.
But looking to 2014 – The Year of the Horse, I thought to myself, “there are certainly things I can do to better myself as a ‘horse person,’” as even trips to the barn have become rushed or pushed off.
This year I will:
- Dedicate at least one half-day a week to ‘barn time.’ No kids, no spouses, no work, no drama. Me and my horse. I have felt this way since I was a little girl, and there is no place I would rather be than at the barn. I NEED to make this happen – it’s therapeutic.
- Make the most out of each riding lesson. I will challenge myself with new horses, harder courses, stronger exercises. You get out what you put in, and that is that!
- Read one educational article on horsemanship each month, and apply what I have learned. We all crave that ‘ah-ha’ moment. Sometimes that comes in written form. Horsemanship is one of those things where you will never stop learning, so I might as well help myself learn.
- Enroll myself in a clinic. A fresh set of eyes on my horse, and me as a rider, may be just what I need. I like to soak up new teaching styles, and I suppose as we grow as riders, it’s only natural to want to get new, fresh feedback.
- Clean my tack regularly. Ugh. Such a dreaded task, but we all know it needs done (and I love the smell of leather cleaner). It’s just time-consuming. Maybe I will lump this in with #1.
- Clean house. Over the years I have accumulated saddles, bridles, halters, brushes… more storage bins and trunks are filled with old tack than I know what to do with. I shall donate them to a lesson program or camp. They aren’t broken, just unused, and can absolutely be repurposed.
- Take advantage of the opportunities given to me. When the time comes, I will make time to attend horse shows, expos and clinics. No more excuses.
- Learn how to drive the horse trailer. Who wants to teach me? Any takers?
- Attend a horse show just to watch – not ride. I can’t remember the last time I was on a show grounds and wasn’t running around like a chicken with my head cut off to get to this ring or that ring, or tack up this horse, or bathe that one. Sometimes, it’s just nice to watch.
- Make a bran mash – just because. You know, in all my years around horses, I have never made a bran mash? In this cold weather, I have seen photos and recipes of such fun and delicious-looking ones. Ponies deserve bran mash. And I deserve to learn how to make it.
And although this looks wonderful on paper at the moment, I really hope I can stick to this list – it is, after all, the Year of the Horse!