Graduated and Raring to Go: Happy New Year!

After all the festive fun, Heather is looking ahead to 2018 and planning some resolutions (or should that be targets?)

Happy New Year! I hope you all had wonderful Christmases with all your favourite people and animals, and I hope Santa brought you all a pony! Mum’s still hoping for hers…

Socks doesn’t like parsnips but still can’t tell the difference between them and carrots (bless her) but we did finally find some Christmas cheer!

We finally got a Santa hat on Socks!!

We finally got a Santa hat on Socks!!

We drew the line at getting her to wear tinsel at the Christmas polework because, you guessed it – tinsel is terrifying.

Taking Stock

I’ve never been one for New Years’ resolutions, purely because I feel like setting rules for your new year is a bit of a negative start – just like pointing out your flaws before you’ve even started.

Instead, I like to set targets. And even then, they’re only targets that it’s up to me and Socks to achieve, not based on someone else’s decision or opinion.

So last year, in my first ever blog for Your Horse, I said I wanted to try some Elementary tests (tick), affiliate at Novice (tick – but we can do better!), and gain confidence jumping and possibly attempt an ODE (tick – well, we’ve done all the constituent parts of an ODE, which would have been unheard of, last year…).

I also wanted to finish redrafting my novel which, by the time this blog goes out, I’ll hopefully have done, and to progress in my job. If starting a whole new job completely counts, then tick!

Looking back now, it feels like I might have been a bit easy on myself but I had so many years of feeling like I’d barely achieved anything while I was at university and taking the pressure off meant that everything was so much easier and less stressful!

So, I’ve discussed it with Socks and, for 2018, we’d like to achieve:

1. Get a score I’m happy with at BD Novice

Since I affiliated in September, it’s all been going beautifully in training, but it’s never really happened for us in competition – a situation I’m sure we’ve all been familiar with at some point!

It’s mostly on me to not ride like a moron when things go wrong, but I think being able to take Socks out more regularly will help tenfold. Hooray for normal jobs!

Sadly it seems that this canter is strictly reserved for training only…

Sadly it seems that this canter is strictly reserved for training only…

2. Complete a ODE

Now, this target is sort of carried on from 2017, but I mean it this time!

I said I wanted to do the BRC Horse Trials qualifier this year, and that still stands, but I don’t want to leave that as our one and only chance.

The plan is to do some combined training, some arena eventing, keep up with the cross country schooling and just keep having fun with it.

I can’t believe the difference in Sock’s jumping nowadays – she really feels like she’s having a blast, rather than a panic attack, and I suppose that goes for me too!

Socks diving in for our new plans!

Socks diving in for our new plans!

3. Qualify for a championship

I wasn’t sure about holding myself to this one, but then I thought, why not? We qualified for a few in our first year together and this is the first year since that I’ve had the same feeling competition-wise – our last championships were four years ago so I think the time is ripe to try again.

Of course, as we all know, it might not go right on the day, the judge might hate thoroughbreds, there might be invisible dragons, Socks might realise that polo is her true calling.

In truth, anything could happen, but I don’t want to let the fear of what might happen stop me from aiming high!

I won’t keep you from your tins of Quality Street for too long, so that’s all from me. I’d love to hear what you’re all hoping to do with your horses in 2018, so leave a comment on Facebook or tweet me (@oneteemussett) and let me know!

I wish you all a happy, successful and above all fun new year with your equine best buds!