I didn't make any normal resolutions for this new year. I'm constantly struggling to find a balance of eating right/working out enough/spending enough time with my dog/riding Gavin enough/exceling at work/spending time with friends/spending time with Shawn. It'd be silly to consider any of those things new goals. It'd just be a continuation of the same struggle. The struggle made a little easier recently by the fact that I drive about an hour and fifty minutes less every day for work (I actually get out to the barn while it's still sorta light out - HOLLLLAAAA!).
But that doesn't mean that I'm not excited for the new year. Au contraire, I'm very excited! I love fresh starts. And my fresh start for the new year goes something like this - don't wait around for everything to be perfect before you go out and do what you want. I'm resolving to be a little looser in my scheduling, a little less rigid in my goal making, and a little kinder to myself. But I don't think that boils down to me doing less, I think it actually opens me up to do more. because now I'm not going to say to myself "you must reach such and such goal before you can move forward". I'm going to try to take more chances, and laugh off more failures (more tries = more epic fails, right?). I actually came upon the idea from a blog post on Chronicle of the Horse. Find it here. I found it to be a great article - both inspiring and relaxed at the same time.
Of course, I couldn't NOT go see Gavin today. I'm glad I did. The sun was out and he was in an obliging sort of mood. Really he's in this mood about 95% of the time - the other 5% he's a total crank who likes to pretend bite me then snap his head back with alarm.
I know that I have and will always obsess over his canter departs, but they are sooo much better than last year (and by that I mean a year ago, not 2015). He's stronger now, and that helps him push into the canter and also stay more balanced in it. I've started working on walk to canter (because why the fuck not? see resolution above). He definitely gets it on the right lead. The left lead still needs work, but he definitely gets the idea. Really, I think it's improved his canter departs at the trot as well; there seems to be a bit more jump into them.
I don't talk about Gavin's accomplishments very much. I'm always so focused on what needs fixing. But, he and I really have developed as a team in the last two years, which seems odd to me because we've been flying solo trainer-wise for most of that time. I think it's been good because it's forced me to think things out on my own. I have to recognize the problem, then I have to think up a possible solution and try it. It doesn't always work, but that's also something I learn from.
Having rambled on about the benefits of no trainer (for me, personally), I also recognzie the benefits of being schooled in something you're totally unschooled in (jumping, being bold, the technical aspects of eventing, etc.) I'm excited to say that I have a lesson coming up this coming Thursday. She's an eventing instructor recommended by a close horse-friend of mine. I'm sooooo excited. Like I said - I'm not going to wait for the perfect barn, the perfect set-up, the perfect truck and trailer combo before I start doing stuff this year. I'm gonna go for it and see where it leads me. :)