Saturday, January 1, 2011

Will Someone Please Turn Up the Heat

Brrrrr...we've been in the icebox here with temperatures dropping to -12F/-24C at our house.  Misty and SaraJane have fared well with plenty of hay to keep their tummy furnaces stoked.  They usually eat their meals in the barn, but the last two mornings they have shown a strong preference for dining outside in the sun. Smart horses.

Patio Dining for Two
Last New Years I set some equine related goals.  I cringe a little as I look back at that post where I wrote:
  1. With Misty, I would like to attend a horsemanship clinic and a trail riding clinic. And of course, do more riding and get out on more trails. 
  2. With Marley, I would like to be able to drive him around the neighborhood by myself and attend some driving clinics and/or pleasure drives with other driving enthusiasts. 
Goal 1 Result:  I came very close to meeting my goals with Misty.  The trail riding clinic I had signed her up for was canceled (although I did ride Marley in a trail clinic).  But we did go on some nice trail rides and we attended a very productive horsemanship clinic. I feel good about the accomplishments I  made with Misty in 2010.  

Goal 2 Result:  Well, you know part of that story and Marley is in a new home.  I'm sad about that, but it was best for both of us.

While goals are great tools for helping us achieve our dreams, they needn't be set in stone.  Goals should be reasonable and they need to be periodically evaluated and adjusted. 

W.C. Fields said:
 If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. 
Then quit. 
There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.
I didn't meet my goals with Marley. I'm disappointed about that, but it actually helped me achieve my goals with Misty.  Marley made me re-evaluate my circumstances and see that I needed to simplify.   I decided not to purchase another horse. Instead I am focusing on Misty's saddle training while providing a foster home for a companion horse.

I don't have any specific equine goals for 2011 in mind right now.  I have more of a mission statement:

To enjoy my horse and keep improving my horsemanship skills by taking riding lessons and attending clinics and trail rides whenever I can.

I wish all of you and your horses a happy, productive, healthy, and safe New Year.


  1. Love the W.C. Fields quote. You're right about not setting goals in stone. As things progress we need to constantly reevaluate and make adjustments. Congratulations on achieving what you needed to with Misty.

    Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!

  2. I'm all for simplified goals :) I'm trying to do the same. Great post and good work in 2010.
    Happy New Year.

  3. Nice photo of Misty & SaraJane, they look like they have become buddies. I love how similar their coat colors are.

    I like your "mission statement".

    Happy New Year, and once it warms up, Happy Trails!

  4. Sounds like a plan! You're even colder than we are. Hope you have a great New Year!

  5. Well, you know how I feel about goals...uh, Mission Statements make me sweat a bit too - but I do like yours. May I adopt it too? Maybe we can get posters made and put the mission statement all over the place...just like at work - bleech! That's why I'm sweating!!
    Well, maybe being in SC is contributing to the sweating thing - it is a bit warmer here than there!
    I miss my guys and can't wait to get home, even if the temps are below 0! Miss my friends and neighbors, too!

  6. I like to try and be open to everything, closed to nothing! You never know in January what the rest of the year may bring. That picture of the horses eating is really beautiful.

  7. I am sorry about your temperatures. I can't say we are as cold as you here in Florida, but it still is way below normal and makes me mad that we came the whole way down here!
    Don't worry to much about old goals. You are happy and Misty is happy and Marley is happy in his new home. They are the important goals. Be kind and look for funny things to laugh at. That is all you need to do with horses and the rest seems to fall into place, I think. I love the photo of Misty and SaraJane eating together. Very cute!

  8. wow cold!!!!

    Thank you for that quote it is so true that us humans tend to keep beating "goals" until we feel like complete failures... then we quit.

    Kudo's for you for recoginzing limits with Marley, and building on a solid base with Misty.

    Happy New Year to you and Mr. Once Upon A Time!

  9. Without actually formulating one myself, I could have written a mission statement like yours, lol!

    Enjoy the ride, Once Upon, and spring will get here eventually ;-)
    Happy new year!

  10. Good luck with the new goals for 2011.

  11. Actually, what you achieved last year was probably the one of the biggest milestones of being a horseman..and not many riders can say that.

    That being said, you now know that you can overlook your own emotions & goals and do whats best for the horse, rather then whats best for yourself. Thats a true horseman.

    And thats what you are!

  12. Goals are not set in stone, we all need to remember that and not beat ourselves up when the things we think we can or should do don't pan out! We can never know what will happen and we should always follow our hearts, especially when dealing with animals we love.

  13. Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry once famously said, "A man (or a woman) has got to know his limitations." So true, and you are wise to have this perspective.

  14. I think you did great with you 2010 goals. Seeing when it's time to move on and doing it is smart and much safer when it comes to horses.

    I'm not really big on goals set in a timeframe because horses are a process and there are so many ways that process can be slowed down or altered in some way that affect outcome. Your mission statement makes much more sense to me.

    Hope 2011 is all you want it to be.

  15. OnceUpon, I love the patio dining picture! I sympathize with the extra cold weather you're having. Your review of last year's goals and this year's goals is inspiring- it takes courage to go back and revisit old goals! I like your mission statement for this year! You'll do great!

  16. Thanks you, Everyone, for you encouraging words and understanding. It means a lot.