So about that going dark thing…

It is still happening, but I thought I would knock this post over now seeing as I most likely won’t be back on board before 2019 hits us.


I made these goals after 5 rides on the big B, so let’s see how it all stacks up.


Goals for 2018:

  • Consistent weekly lessons (either dressage or jumping)

This didn’t happen.

I can’t even explain all the ways in which this didn’t happen.

Partially due to funds and scheduling conflicts.

Mostly due to funds.

We did do quite a few clinics before the wheels fell off though which was really nice!

  • Monthly cross country excursions (minimum)

This actually was going pretty well at the start!

He had his first ride in December, and our first XC outing at the start of January to Narrandera

Followed by another XC outing to a clinic at AWEC at the end of January

We then did the Shawn Dillon clinic at Wagga in March which I wrote about here, and another XC clinic with Simon Tainsh on the same course not long after (which was lucky given the absolute travesty of the Shawn Dillon one).



The clinic with Simon was definitely a highlight of the year. We tackled jumps I would never have thought to do, and his instruction after such a terrible one only a week before allowed me to put some demons to rest.

Maybe we…

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Horse or sausage dog?

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View this post on Instagram


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Completely suck!


  • Off property excursions at least fortnightly – preferably weekly

I don’t even want to talk about all the ways this did not happen.

So I won’t.

It just didn’t happen.


  • Start competing again


In May I entered B in his first event of any kind ever.

I picked a big horse trials, because dressage or showjumping entry level days are for wimps.

I upped the difficulty level by making it an event held at the race course he was trained at.

I have #noregrets looking back (apart from my crappy piloting and ability to make decisions under pressure).

Dressage – here

Show jumping – here

Cross country – here

Goals for 2019 – more events so I can work on this, as sadly the back half of 2018 did not let me do this.


  • Attend the 4 year old Young Event Horse Class at Melbourne International

I spoke to Simon about this at the clinic and actively decided against it.

It’s expensive and I didn’t feel it would be in our best interest or give us anything of great value.
Especially when I am not in the financial position of just entering expensive things willy nilly for the hell of it.


  • At the conclusion of 2018 I hope to be:
    • Competing Preliminary dressage, training Novice/beginning of Elementary work

We could have been if the last 6 months had gone like the first.

He had to compete at Preliminary level dressage for Gundagai HT, but I was really hoping to have him solid and looking to step up to Novice. We will not be there now.

  • Jumping 95cm+

We have jumped around this height.

In fact we jumped around this height by March.

Kids got scope.

  • Training Prelim XC courses, competing confidently at Intro

Didn’t quite hit the “competing confidently at intro” part, with one event (where we were eliminated) under our belt, but training Prelim XC is relatively there.

We’ve done some Prelim fences at a few points over the year.

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Holy long spot Batman 😱

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So, in all honesty, even with 6 months off we managed to hit quite a few goals.

Maybe not as soundly as I was hoping for, but definitely proud of what we did achieve in the limited time frame.

After all, my ultimate goal for 2018 was this:

“My main priority is a happy and healthy horse both physically AND mentally”

Giving up riding time to make sure this ^ stays priority number 1 is an exchange I will gladly make.

Join the Conversation


  1. Nice to see this review. I was thinking about you today while my coach was taking video of my lesson. I will probably post something with the video onthe weekend if you want to tune in and see what its like to be in a just above freezing indoor arena in the Canadian winter. The instruction is good so it could also serve at a “virtual ” dressage lesson while you are waiting to get back in the saddle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i know the last 6 months were pretty crappy, but the first 6 months were AWESOME! and there is a LOT to be excited about for when you guys are ready to get back to work. and while none of us ever hope for lengthy periods of downtime, it’s often extremely beneficial for the young horse in training. maybe he’ll come back more mature and better understanding his job than ever before?! here’s to a healthier 2019 πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

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