This is the time of year when we start planning, although some of us haven't stopped since last season! Planning what events to do, planning when/if to move certain horses up a level, planning the entire seasons out, then planning how to make those plans happen! The bummer is, with horses, it's hard to plan!
This doesn't stop us though, having a plan drives us, it gives us things to work for and motivation on theses cold, dark, days, to keep going. You have to adapt and be flexible enough, and you guessed it, have back up plans. Every once in awhile everything will go according to plan and you will just keep moving ahead.
Not to sound like a downer, but more often than not things won't go according to plan. It's hard to know how your horse will be in 6 months, or how you will be in that same amount of time. It's not just your health and your horses health but the weather can mess up plans, family problems, and any number of other issues can creep in and throw you off your path.
It's only the second week in January and some of my plans have already gone out the window. I'm working on back up plans, but honestly, I may need back ups for those back ups. You can't let this get you down, you have to go with the flow to a certain degree. Of course missing specific goals can get you down but you just need to look ahead to the next set of goals and how to achieve them. This gets harder as your horses get older, you worry about not having enough time to achieve everything you've dreamed. The problem is horses can't go forever, there comes a time when you have to back off of your goals for your horses well being. I think a true horseman knows when to stop pushing and appreciates every event, and even every ride with their horses. This isn't such a problem when you have a young horse, it's ok to have light seasons where they only compete a few times, if at all. You don't feel like you're running out of time, you have all the time in the world (in theory haha).
Anything can happen to disrupt your plans, and that's ok, you just have to come out of the other side with new plans. I am a person who likes to plan, I like scouring through the omnibus, figuring out where I can try and go and how to prepare to get there. It's exciting to create plans, and even better when they work out!