Triple Trouble: 2022 Goals

You’ve read about last year’s successes, now here are this year’s goals as we kick off 2022.

In my last article I discussed each of my horses’ victories, big and small, in 2021. There were so many good outcomes last year and I’d really like for my horses to continue having positive results.

With 2021 being such a successful year for Buns, Payco and Hot Sauce, it may be difficult to top in 2022. I realize we don’t have to excel in all the same areas we did over the past year and I chose goals I thought would be obtainable for each horse without putting too much stress onto them or myself.

While thinking about what I’d like my goals to be, I knew to make them fairly specific and attainable. I want to make sure that I’m seeing the progress in the hard work I’m putting in collectively with my horses, but I didn’t want to make them so competitive that I took the enjoyment out of the journey.

My main goal for my trio, no matter what, is for them to be healthy horses that enjoy their work regimen. Horses who aren’t getting burned out and are willing to perform.

An ongoing goal I have for myself that encompasses each of my horses is that I want to continue expanding my knowledge in nutrition and feeding regimens. I’ve been fortunate to have discussed feeding and nutrition with equine certified nutritionists and I have learned a plethora of information from nutrition experts I’ve crossed paths with. This is a subject where there’s always more to learn and I want to continue doing just that.

Each of my horses’ metabolisms is different and each of them needs something different to maintain an optimal weight and healthy gut. While Buns is more ulcer prone and needs constant forage, Hot Sauce is still growing and developing and needs a regimen that caters more to that.

Photo by Marcella Gruchalak

While good nutrition is a goal for every one of my horses, I have goals specific to each of them as well.

Payco (Sunmans Irish Pay)

Photo by Cara Penley

It’s a big year for Payco. It’s his four-year-old year and his first year competing in mounted shooting. I have huge expectations for him and I can’t wait to see how this year goes for us. Goals for Payco this year include:

  1. Correctly navigate mounted shooting patterns together
  2. Gradually build speed over the year so that we are competitive within our class by the end of the year
  3. Finish in the top five in the CMSA Non-Pro Futurity in Murfreesboro, TN in September
  4. Be in the running for CMSA Futurity Horse of the Year

Buns (Funny Bunny B)

Photo courtesy of Marcella Gruchalak

This year is going to be a tough one for Buns and me. Mostly because I’ll be riding Payco a lot to get him where he needs to be for his future in the sport of mounted shooting. My biggest goal for Buns reflects this issue. Goals for Buns include:

  1. Don’t let Buns take the back burner while focusing on Payco
  2. Continue competing on Buns until Payco is competitive in our class
  3. Continue placing in the top 10 at shoots
  4. Place in the top five in our class at national shoots

Hot Sauce (Unbridled Fame)

Photo by Marcella Gruchalak

Hot Sauce is going to be a big, bad two-year-old this year. Actually, I’m hoping she stops growing like a weed and being bad isn’t too much in her character anymore. There are so many things we can focus on to develop her into a well-rounded youngster. Goals for Hot Sauce include:

  1. Continue trailering places for exposure
  2. Carry on with tying multiple times a week
  3. Proceed with becoming familiar with saddling
  4. Focus on yielding, maneuvering and properly cueing from the ground

Photo by Marcella Gruchalak

Looking at Buns and Payco’s goals, they are all competition related. Aside from competing, it is also a goal to get them out and doing other things. Trail riding, working cows and maybe even doing some obstacle courses. All these things will freshen the mind and keep them from getting sour with mounted shooting.

I believe each of these goals is attainable for my horses without placing too much stress on them or myself. It’s going to be a busy yet fun year and I’m excited to see how each of them finish out in 2022.