2013 is over. I can't say I'm unhappy to see it go, it was a tough year for a lot of reasons, but it also
The holiday time for me has always been about downtime, the horses aren't pushed, I can pretty much have a glass of wine and take time to say thanks and plan the new year.
There's a lot to be thankful for- I'm thankful for supportive owners and clients who've been very supportive and supplying the equine talent and funding to start achieving goals. I'm thankful for my team: Dr. Laurie Metcalf, Jake Burdine, Dr. Lark Carol, Dr. Kimberly Tummlin, Doug Leavitt and a host of others who keep us all running on track.
I'm incredibly thankful to my owners who have stepped up to the status change to keep me mounted on quality up and coming horses: Noble Spirit Farm, Sunshine Meadows, Rosanna and Carey Gage; Wendy and Kelly Spencer and a few more who are coming up . Without them I think honestly I would still be bopping around not really doing much. They make me better, not just as a person, but as a horseman.
A big thank you goes to Alfredo, JJ and a number of others, who got me out of a slump. I really look forward to continuing the relationship and growing the team with some really passionate individuals who are in my corner and want to be apart of everything.
My goals on paper for 2013 weren't overly ambitious, but they involved hard work. I took the year to be a building year, I did a grand total of two shows this year, both I wish I would have forgotten, but for the most part they were apart of the learning curve that is being an under-30 rider.
1. Finish Silver, start the Gold.
I completed my Silver, in 2012 I had a mis-scored test that I didn't catch until after I left the show grounds. There wasn't a way to correct it so, I had to wait until 2013 to finish out my one fourth level test (seriously fourth level) and get my medal in January. I didn't start my Gold at all, I took a year off with Sinari to let her down after three hard years of campaigning and training. We went out all of twice (January and September) with so-so results. I look forward to getting back on the campaign trail again.
We will go out with some more frequency in 2014- but will be picky about shows for her. We are on our last two years of showing, and at 15, it's hard find an excuse to keep her campaigning continuously without being unfair. The focus also shifted to the younger horses, developing them to find the next heir apparent. Which is hard, because a horse that steps into those shoes is going to have a lot of expectations.
2. Be training I2/GP
We can roll through about 65-70 percent of the sequences of the GP at this point. It's no where near show ready. Still need to put on one's, a firmer p&p sequence, and clean up a bunch of other things.
3. Find investment horses.
Did this and a little more. Initially, Reba's Song was an investment back up horse. However, she showed her preference to jump and with Anna Kate did exceptionally well for her first year showing (I think winning a major national title is cause for celebration). The Spencers purchased Danzador MSM and put me onboard as rider/partner. Flemmiro SSM is also her breeder's investment for the long haul as well. There are also a few more coming in as client sales horses and potentially a few big horses as well.
4. Devote two weeks of intense training per quarter
With the notable absence of an integral team member by May, I had to scramble hard to find a solid pair of eyes on the ground that took us at least somewhat seriously. We were left floating really until July, until things changed and I found people who not only clicked with me but really made a huge change in what I do. I've now added one more set of eyes and started utilizing technology to keep up with things.
5. Continue to grow the business and remain fiscally solvent.
The business grew and had some ups and downs. There was a lot of change in dynamics and how things developed. I'm now the tour manager for Christoph, I'm developing clinic locations and the clientele has expanded. I got to work with William Fox Pitt and I look forward to expanding my network with eventers and getting to know them a bit better.
1. Start Gold. Be schooling the majority of GP.
2. Have national rankings on each horse. End up in the year end awards for All Breeds and at minimum be qualified for regionals.
3. Increase fitness (human and horse).
4. Expand clients, horses in training, and investments that are capable, at minimum of shining on the national stage, also continue to remain fiscally solvent.