Saturday, January 9, 2010

Planning the season

The new year has just begun and I have already started planning the season. Planning out my season is something I really enjoy doing - the anticipation of the season, plotting the appropriate venues for each horse and student and trying to fit it all neatly into the schedule is like trying to solve an elaborate puzzle.

I live in Area 1 so we have numerous recognized and unrecognized competitions that are fabulous and well run. I do, however, wish we could have more events that run mid-week as the kids that are out of school and the green horses could use the less explosive atmosphere when starting out.

I now use a spread sheet to organize all of my horses, students and events as well as color coordinate everything. It can be time consuming, but the fact that I only have daylight for about 8 or 10 hours and the fact that it is cold and usually snowing, makes for the perfect time to settle down and plot out the year. Planning the season this early gives you ample time to organize yourself for opening dates and to have back up venues if something is cancelled or something unforeseen crops up. Possible clinics and cross country schools should also be posted on your schedule. Now I transfer the pertinent information onto the farm calendar: opening dates, competitions, clinics, cross country schoolings, etc. The spread sheet with the details of who, what and where stays in the office and is referenced when needed.

Always be prepared to be flexible in your schedule and have options for everything noted on your master sheet. Also be thoughtful about the appropriate venues for each horse and student, it is easy to over face a horse or student just because it fits well into the schedule or the desire to attend THAT venue overcomes commonsense. Be mindful of your goals for the season as well, if you are desiring to move up a level, try to schedule your events that will be more challenging just before you move up. If you realize during the season that you will not be able to achieve your goal, adjust accordingly.

The most important thing for the season is to be safe and have fun. Good luck to everyone this year!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Kelly
    So happy to see your blog, will link it into mine!

    Will also be seeing you again this year, can't wait to trail ride Amir with you and plan for the future.

    Hope you are staying warm.