2017 horse goals · 2017 life goals

October Goals Update

Okay, time to recap October’s progress
Previously:

January Recap
February Recap
March Recap
April Recap
May Recap
June Recap
July Recap
August & September Recap

Horse Goals – original post here

1. Put hands on my horse 5x a week – Mixed again; some weeks were terrific, some weeks were awful. Work continues to get in the way; I’m not home before 9pm 2-3 days a week at this point.

2. Be less perfunctory – Blergh.

3. Aim toward dressage schooling shows – This goal is officially defunct; no more shows left!

4. Take more lessons – No. 😦

5. Horse-specific income stream / funding emergency fund – 

HOORAY! With the Etsy launch, I have the first steps toward a horse-specific income.
I also sold some of my bags & saddle covers, as well as my own used tack and apparel, at our fall tack sale and made enough to cover Tristan’s unexpected farrier bill. I’m really pleased with myself on this goal right now.

I’ve also stabilized and started to gain ground on emergency savings. \o/

Emergency fund: $4,350/$15,000
Tristan’s savings: $115/$1,500

6. Do more thoughtful work – Yes. I’m generally pleased with this.

7. Get more media – I’ve done some great pictures lately!

Life Goals – original post here

1. Pay off car – Only $280 left!!!

2. Read 75 books – 79/75, goal is officially reached!

Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson

The Well of Ascension, by Brandon Sanderson
The Evil Wizard Smallbone, by Delia Sherman
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
Stitches by Anne Lamott
The Eagle by Rosemary Sutcliff

Everyone should read A Room of One’s Own. Read it. Now. NOW. Why are you still reading this stupid blog post when you could be reading Virginia Woolf lay waste to the patriarchy?

3. Revive history blogs – sigh.

4. Do better about food – Still doing well! On day 202 of tracking my food as of yesterday.

5. Decorate the house – I bought three frames for the art we bought on the honeymoon and have measured the rest to get them frames!

2017 horse goals · 2017 life goals

2017 Goals: August & September

I failed and didn’t write August in time, so you get a twofer. Lucky you.

January Recap
February Recap
March Recap
April Recap
May Recap
June Recap

July Recap

Horse Goals – original post here

1. Put hands on my horse 5x a week – Mixed. The good weeks were good, the bad weeks were bad.

2. Be less perfunctory – Backslid on this. Needs more attention.

3. Aim toward dressage schooling shows – We did a show! I still have to recap it (if you don’t blog about a show did you really even ride?) but I swear we rode two Training tests over Labor Day weekend.

4. Take more lessons – I did a late August lesson that was terrific.

5. Horse-specific income stream / funding emergency fund – The income stream is coming along beautifully. I plan to sell things at a barn tack sale on October 28 and then put them up for general sale on November 1. Watch this space!

The emergency funds. Sigh. I’m going back to the numbers to keep myself accountable and because I hope to close out the year with a bang. The good news is that all of the vet bills (and the associated credit card bills) are paid off, so I can actually build instead of simply plugging holes.
Emergency fund: $4,100/$15,000
Tristan’s savings: $0/$1,500

6. Do more thoughtful work – Yes. I’m generally pleased with this.

7. Get more media – I’m doing better with this!

Life Goals – original post here

1. Pay off car – Today I scheduled my last payment for November wooooooooo!

2. Read 75 books – 72/75, CRUSHING IT.

The Island Stallion – Waler Farley

A Beautiful Mind – Sylvia Nasar
All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders
The Black Stallion and Satan – Walter Farley
The Black Stallion’s Blood Bay Colt – Walter Farley
Al Franken: Giant of the Senate – Al Franken
Trish Trash: Roller Girl of Mars, Vol 1 & Vol 2 – Jessica Abel
Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad – Christie Golden
The Stars are Legion – Kameron Hurley
The One Thing – Gary Keller
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Windup Girl – Paolo Bacigalupi
White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf – Aaron Bobrow-Stain
Best thing I read in this period was Al Franken’s book. Worst thing was White Bread. Talk about taking your compelling argument and beating it into the ground.
3. Revive history blogs – sigh.

4. Do better about food – Yes! Doing pretty darn well! Down 30lbs, doing better with overall energy and health. I need to wrestle our grocery budget back into normal order – I’ve been doing too much midweek last-minute shopping – and clean out the pantry to cycle food through, but I’m generally happy.

5. Decorate the house – YES! I finally put up some more wedding pictures, I have started to think through a plan for the living room shelves, and I’m going to make a list of the frames we need to get all the art we bought on the honeymoon up on the walls.

2017 horse goals · dressage · show planning

Surprise Show Prep

Last week, I found out that a day off I had requested back in April would finally be ok for me to take – someone had volunteered to provide the coverage needed. I had honestly totally given up on the request and kept it on the list out of pure reflexive frustration.

Thankfully, I found out the day before closing for the barn schooling show! I emailed the show secretary immediately, and followed the next day with my entry for Training 1 and Training 2.

I haven’t said anything on the blog because I was convinced it would fall through (part of me is still convinced something will go wrong) but I have been scrambling since then to get show prep done.

That includes:
– Finding all the various parts of my show kit. My white breeches and white show pad were AWOL for three days, and I finally had a brainstorm in the middle of the night of where I’d stashed them and thankfully, there they were. The breeches needed to be washed but that was easy enough.

I know my dressage coat is several years out of style and I don’t care I LOVE IT.

– Actually trying to memorize my tests; haven’t finished this one yet.
– Practicing that newfangled long mane button braid that people are talking about. It came out pretty darn well and I’m going to go with it on Saturday!

– Taking a lesson to tune up parts of the tests. Given how much of a shit he’s been in the outdoor we’ve been drilling it HARD, working through gradually less huge bits, and this was my first time in the snaffle we’ll have to use for the show. Bizarrely enough, he was well-behaved, soft, and suuuuuuuper behind the leg. Can’t win ’em all. So now I’ve been focused on revving him back up in the snaffle which hopefully will not swing the pendulum the other way?

From the lesson: I need to round out my circles better, be more attentive about my marks. I need to ask for some left flexion down the center line and into my halts to keep him square & straight. I need to pay particular attention to my outside rein the canter circles coming off the rail because he’s awfully sticky. I need to post quickly and stay relatively light in the reins to encourage him to go forward. I need to use my diagonals to build forward and then carry it through corners. I need to get more precise about my aids for the canter depart.

My times are 10:20 and 11:20 because this is some kind of cushy and luxurious schooling show, I do not even know. Good grief.

So, we’ll see how this goes! Stay tuned for a recap next week.

2017 horse goals · 2017 life goals

2017 Goals: July Recap

Fuck this summer you guys. Forever and ever, world without end, fuck this summer, amen.

Ahem.

Let’s recap.

January Recap
February Recap
March Recap
April Recap
May Recap
June Recap

Horse Goals – original post here

1. Put hands on my horse 5x a week – Actually I crushed this. Granted, a lot of these visits were in the middle of the night and doing medical care, so not a ton of riding, but I still saw him an awful lot.

2. Be less perfunctory – In some ways I’m actually doing really well with this. I’m trying to budget myself more time to do the little things. It’s amazing and wonderful to live so close to him, but I’ve noticed that I fall into a trap where I think I can get in & out of the barn in 90 minutes, including travel time. That’s do-able, but it leaves no time to take care of the niceties. So I’m working on building out more time.

3. Aim toward dressage schooling shows – I really should just take this goal off it’s depressing me.

4. Take more lessons – lololololol

5. Horse-specific income stream / funding emergency fund – you guys, I’m not going to put up my numbers because I had $2,800 in vet bills in July fuck July.

6. Do more thoughtful work – Hm. I’m going with yes.

7. Get more media – Do a million pictures of him standing sick in his stall count?

Life Goals – original post here

1. Pay off car – yes! on track for November, depending on how things shake out I might take a swing at paying this down in September.

2. Read 75 books – 57/75, HA, take that, goals! Even better: I genuinely enjoyed everything I read this month, and most of them were superb. I wish I could make everyone read Random Family.

Welcome to NightVale by Joseph Fink
Supergirl Vol 1: Last Daughter of Krypton (New 52) by Michael Fink
Marriage and Other Acts of Charity by Kate Braestrup
The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole Leblanc
Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
The Black Stallion Returns by Walter Farley
Son of the Black Stallion by Walter Farley

3. Revive history blogs – ugggghhhhhh

4. Do better about food – Yes, still doing well, except I did eat terribly yesterday. I had small portions and did not eat a ton but I had biscuits & gravy for breakfast and pizza for dinner. Too many carbs, not enough proteins.

5. Decorate the house – nope.

2017 horse goals · 2017 life goals

June Goals

First, an article I’ve been thinking about: Halfway There: Nine Ways to Assess Your Yearlong Goals at the Midpoint.

Previously, I set horse goals and life goals. After a bad April, May was better. June is a tiny bit better still. Getting there.

May Recap

Horse Goals – original post here

1. Put hands on my horse 5x a week – No. Just…no.

2. Be less perfunctory – actually a smidge better. I really should’ve defined this goal better, but: I’m forcing myself to slow down more, be more thorough.

3. Aim toward dressage schooling shows – I’m getting frustrated about this again. Definitely not going to happen this summer, and that’s leaving me kind of sad.

4. Take more lessons – June did not happen. Fuck June, anyway.

5. Horse-specific income stream / funding emergency fund – AUGH. I was actually trending better on this! This was a small success story in June! Then, Friday morning, ANOTHER brake caliper failed.

6. Do more thoughtful work – Yes, actually.

7. Get more media – Some more. Not a ton.

Life Goals – original post here

1. Pay off car – still on track, SO CLOSE.

2. Read 75 books – 45/75

Decent, but I did not have as much reading time as I’d hoped. I’m still ahead of schedule, but would really like to do more reading. It’s one of the few things that relaxes me right now.

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

The Last Colony by John Scalzi
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu
Hard Call: Great Decisions and the Extraordinary People Who Made Them by John McCain
3. Revive history blogs – yeah I might just take this off the list because nope.

4. Do better about food – Still doing ok at this! I’m down 20lbs, but have fallen off the exercising wagon. I need to work on that again. Weight was never my goal. Strength, flexibility, and energy were goals, and those have all fallen off a bit.

5. Decorate the house – Tiny progress: I bought some picture frames. I hope to have some things up on the wall soon.

2017 horse goals · 2017 life goals

2017 Goals: May Recap

Previously, I set horse goals and life goals. April was an abysmal failure. Was May any better? A bit.

January Recap
February Recap
March Recap
April Recap

Horse Goals – original post here

1. Put hands on my horse 5x a week – Other than 8 days off when I was traveling, I did great at this. I’m starting to turn the screws and challenge him physically and mentally in some longer dressage schools, and I’m ramping up his fitness work.

2. Be less perfunctory – decent! not great.

3. Aim toward dressage schooling shows – I will almost certainly not make any dressage shows this year due to work schedule, so I am trying to re-orient my thinking. I may do a test during a lesson. We’re definitely attacking pieces of First Level (!) and confirming Training stuff like keeping our damn head down in the canter.

4. Take more lessons – May, check! Scheduling June soon.

5. Horse-specific income stream / funding emergency fund – Still on the struggle bus, especially since after the truck’s transmission went in April, my daily driver CRV went to get its summer tires on and came back with new brakes all around. So the emergency fund took another hit. But I’ve written out my path back to solvency, the credit card will be paid off soon, and I’ve started chipping back away at those savings accounts.

6. Do more thoughtful work – Slowly clawing my way back to this. I’ve been doing a lot of writing things out especially for the craft things I’m making, and trying out new ways of thinking related to those that’s proving to be an interesting exercise for my brain.

7. Get more media – I took some pictures? Still none of me.

Life Goals – original post here

1. Pay off car – yup, still on track

2. Read 75 books – 39/75

A slower month because I read one big bit and only a few smaller ones.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
After Atlas by Emma Newman
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

3. Revive history blogs – lololololol nope x2

4. Do better about food – Other than the trip to Texas, I did great at this. And you know what? I also did pretty well in Texas. I ate a lot but I hit the gym a lot, walked a lot, and stuck to logging what I ate and generally making smart choices about portions and carbs. End result? I ate what I wanted and after 5 days of eating out and a wedding, I stayed the same weight. Now that I have my kitchen back, and control of my entire production this will go even better. I think at this point – knock wood – I can consider my habits well and truly changed.

5. Decorate the house – I reorganized the library, and it does look dramatically better, though it’s not strictly speaking “decorated.”

2017 horse goals · 2017 life goals

2017 Goals: April Recap

Oh, boy. I don’t want to write this post, but here we go.

Previously, I set horse goals and life goals.

January Recap
February Recap
2017 Goals: March Recap

So, how was April?

Horse Goals – original post here

1. Put hands on my horse 5x a week – suck. suckaroo. Accomplished for the first two weeks; then I was away for a week; then I was recovering from being away for a week. I guess, when I was on top of this it was really good because we got some great things done in the two weeks I did ride.

2. Be less perfunctory – Not really, especially in the sense that my impulse control across the board sucked except in regards to food & exercise.

3. Aim toward dressage schooling shows – Now looks like I can’t do the September show either which means all shows are most likely off the plate for the summer and I want to hit things.

4. Take more lessons – Okay, I did actually do this and it was a great lesson. I haven’t yet scheduled May but it will likely be soon.

5. Horse-specific income stream / funding emergency fund – well.

I don’t want to put the numbers in this answer as I have been doing because it will make me nauseated. Short version: I made a handful of dumb choices combined with the truck’s transmission blowing out while I was using it to haul for work and now I am in credit card debt instead of advancing on my savings goals, and those savings accounts are basically now down to zero or at least way too low and god damn everything.
In terms of the income stream, because of money fallout I’ve accelerated this planning and will probably post soon.

6. Do more thoughtful work – hahahahahaha

7. Get more media – I don’t know, I took a bunch of pictures of my horse standing around? does that count?

Life Goals – original post here

1. Pay off car – still on track, so there’s that at least

2. Read 75 books – 35/75

The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough

Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates
A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray
Horse-Drawn Yogurt: Stories from Total Loss Farm by Peter Gould
My Year of the Racehorse by Kevin Chong
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
Weighing Shadows by Lisa Goldstein
Dragon Heart by Cecelia Holland
Blackout by Connie Willis
All Clear by Connie Willis

3. Revive history blogs – lololololol nope.

4. Do better about food – This is literally the only bright spot in this entire list. I crushed it in April. Between using a new app to track what I’m eating (not denying myself food, just using it as a journal to remind myself to make better choices) and focusing on exercising, I’ve lost 13 lbs in the last 6 weeks. More importantly, I have more energy and feel better overall. So there’s that at least.

5. Decorate the house – I haven’t done anything with the house except scrape at wallpaper with my fingernails sometimes in an attempt not to feel like a complete fucking failure as a human being