Is it Spring yet?! Who knew that to survive a winter with horses required three pairs of wellies, the thickest thermals that you can get your hands on and sponsorship from Berghaus and North Face to have even a chance of staying dry for a day? My chilblains are out in full force, but, unusually, my enthusiasm isn’t being dampened by the inclement weather. I have always been a self-confessed fair weather rider, and I used to like to use the excuse of ‘not wanting to get my saddle wet’, but even the prospect of a saddle cleaning session in soaking wet breeches can’t stop me at the moment.
So, what has a changed? Lots of things have changed for me recently, I’ve changed jobs, Mary has moved yards to my workplace, my husband’s work routine is changing, but the most important thing that’s caused this change has been having goals. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had dreams, but these have been pretty out of reach and really quite vague. ‘Jump a 1.30m’ with no plan of how to get there really doesn’t inspire much action or change. I am very lucky to have some great training from Tina Fletcher, and it has really opened my eyes into having a plan for the horses. I’m definitely guilty of aimlessly floating from show to show without making a plan in between. Yes, I’d always have a jump at home, but that would normally consist of jumping a couple of fences at a height that I was comfortable with and quitting whilst I was ahead with Mary, to avoid a temper tantrum. No wonder I wasn’t getting consistent results at shows!
In six weeks, Mary and I have gone from nervously jumping a Newcomers, but only if the course looked kind and only if that filler wasn’t in it, and it wasn’t raining, and there wasn’t a double with an oxer going in, and the start fence was going towards home… to jumping our first Foxhunter today in the howling wind and rain to just have one fence down (totally my fault) and not feeling like I was riding towards imminent failure! Goal setting really is so important, and breaking them down into attainable chunks actually makes them feel possible. From someone who hasn’t jumped a Foxhunter in over nine years, it really is possible to keep pushing the boundaries and achieve what you thought wasn’t possible.
I hope that you’re all ready and raring for Christmas, although I’ve still got some last gifts to purchase – no surprises there! I’ll be paying a visit to Olympia on the Sunday, and I can’t wait to catch up with some of my favourite brands as well as watching some of the world’s best in the grand prix!
On the subject of goal setting, I should really get thinking about my goals for 2020, but that’s for next time!
A very Merry Christmas to you all, and you’ll be hearing from me very soon.