Whether you believe the new year is an opportunity to start fresh or just another day, it never hurts to write down your goals and set your sights high in your horse life. The Horse Nation staff shares its resolutions!
2017 was a whirlwind of a year at the DeLisle household and I am so thankful for everything it brought me. Despite Joey’s eye issues he came back better than ever and we put in our best show to date at the series finale of the MegFord 2017 series. One of my goals for 2017 was to win a series end award for MegFord and we managed to not only take home 4th out of 39 in the 2’3″ Jumper division, but we also placed 6th out of 31 in the 2’6″ Jumpers. I was also the recipient of the Best Adult Rider award for one of the shows in the series, which resulted in me bawling my eyes out into Joey’s mane while he glared at me from the corner of his eye. I had the opportunity to purchase Flashback Justice, my four year old RRP Makeover hopeful who has brought me an immense amount of joy (and vet bills…hes a tad accident prone). My husband and I moved back to my hometown and are currently working on converting four acres into horse pasture so I can bring my boys home in the spring. I was able to purchase a truck and trailer in CASH thanks to our debt free journey AND I got to ride with my idol, George Morris. It’s been a crazy year, but I wouldn’t trade any of the ups and downs for anything. We have some exciting goals for the New Year and if 2018 can be half of the year that 2017 was, I will be more than pleased. Thank you all for following along with the craziness and most of all, for your support.
In 2017, my equestrian accomplishments were limited entirely to helping other people tell their stories and live their dreams. I have found a lot of peace and happiness in organizing a recognized event in my childhood hometown, in sharing the stories and experiences of equestrians around the world by way of Horse Nation and Jumper Nation, and in meeting with incredible equestrian companies who are doing great things in our industry. I’m tempted to say that in 2018 I might try and get back to the barn, pursue my own horse dreams again, and finally find my way back to the top of a horse. But in truth, telling your stories is more important than any horse dream I ever had for myself. There’s nothing more I can ask for in 2018, and I hope the same for all of you, wherever your ambitions might take you.
It’s really easy to get stuck in the same routine, stepping in the same set of tracks over and over again, digging a deep trench on the rail as you go around, and around, and around until you’re blue in the face. This year I’m resolving to get off the rail both in and out of the saddle. Whether this means taking to the quarterlines, or breaking out of my normal routine from time to time, I’m committed to shaking things up in 2018. I experimented with this a bit towards the end of 2017 when I brought my dressage horse to an indoor mountain trail course and it has really encouraged me to venture off the beaten path some more in the year to come.
If 2017 was the year of the adrenaline rush, I’d like 2018 to be my year of the normal heart rate. As a rule I tend to push myself to the limit, always looking for a way to one-up myself: the higher jump, the bigger challenge, the scarier risk. I know that I thrive when I’m in just over my head, and that’s OK. But at some point you have to ask yourself: What am I trying to prove? Who am I trying to prove it to? When will I ever be “good enough”? An even more daunting task will be learning to sit with myself in acceptance of the place that I’m in, loving myself exactly the way that I am. I look forward to spending the next year paying more attention to the quiet parts of myself, that sometimes get trampled in pursuit of adventure, and listening extra carefully to my pony as well — as a 14-hand pony who thinks she can jump the moon, she’s a bit of an intense personality as well, and I think a few more long, lazy trail rides would do us both some good!
My 2017 accomplishments: Winning a WINNIE Award for “Odysseo” column from EFFNYC. Nominations of three articles in on Horse Nation for Readers’ Choice Awards! An article accepted for 2018 in Dressage Today. Finding a new lesson barn that has inspired me to try dressage and mini-jumps at age 63!
My 2018 resolution: Get a new helmet so I can try jumping! Start on a non-horse related book.
Ride more! And go places I’ve never been.
If 2017 was about me finding my feet again as a horse person and my confidence in my abilities to shape a green horse and manage my little herd, then I hope to make 2018 the year that I return to the show ring — either the state-level reined cow horse or the Thoroughbred Makeover, or hopefully both! It took me quite some time to convince myself that I had the abilities to take on a green project, and Jobber Bill so far has been the perfect partner to help me take that next step. I hope my column can help inspire more riders to take the steps they don’t think they can. Go riding!