This year, my horse life is taking an abrupt turn in a direction that surprised even me—and it all started with a piece of paper.
A year ago, when my team first presented me with the idea of the “Horse Goals or Bust!” 9-month plan, I knew it was a great idea. Little did I know just how much it would affect my personal horse goals.
We kicked things off with the first episode of the new “Horse Goals or Bust!” series on my podcast, along with a handy downloadable goal-setting worksheet to get folks started. Within a couple of days I heard from people all over who enthusiastically filled out their worksheets and shared them with me. Honestly, I was so impressed by their candor and clarity, that I decided to complete the worksheet myself.
Now, you might think it odd that I had not already done this. When I develop these tools, I think about it from the perspective of a teacher and coach, and how to best guide the riders I’m helping—not how it could impact me personally.
I gave it a go, I was pleasantly surprised at the clarity it brought me. As I completed my worksheet, and considered my 12-month planning calendar and what I want to accomplish, my thinking began to change.
So, after swearing for years that I would never do it, I have decided to breed Annie this year.
So many factors are involved in a decision of this kind—I could fill a book on the subject—but for me, it is mostly the realization that I need a young horse in my life, and this was what made the most sense for me. (I also had some heavy-handed persuasion from my husband, Rich, and his friend, who are eager to be part of this adventure).
I made the decision to breed Annie to a stallion at the 6666 Ranch called “Bet Hesa Cat.” Their pedigrees, looks and conformations are very complimentary. I’ve had the opportunity to meet “Bet Hesa Cat” up close and personal, and I have looked at many of his offspring. I’ve consulted with the veterinarian I will use for Annie (a reproduction specialist) and requested a contract from the breeder with a plan to inseminate her in April of this year.
Other than the breeding plans that are currently underway and changes to the barn to accommodate the foal, breeding Annie won’t really affect my riding plans this year. But it will bring BIG changes in 2024!
My other horse goals for this year include going on a horse camping trip, and attending at least one ranch horse versatility event with Rich. On top of some extensive business travel and boating adventures I’ve planned, that will be plenty to keep me busy!
Having set goals and a concrete plan to follow is strangely reassuring. The direction I’m taking feels safe and secure, and the path ahead is clear. This clarity in my horse life carries over to the rest of my life as well. I feel like this year I will dictate my life—rather than life dictating to me. After all, I am the only one that knows what I want my life to be, and I am the one responsible for making it happen.