Out with 2013, in with 2014 – and big changes!

2013 was a bit of a crazy year, and in some ways I am glad it’s over, because I have a new focus for 2014 and beyond.  In fact, I’m actually planning for 2015, by way of making some major changes in 2014.

A few months ago, someone close to me told me I have to be willing to make sacrifices in order to acheive other things.   Now, they were referring to me owning horses, and the “sacrifice” was in reference to selling my horse (after all, I do only technically “own” Chewbacca, since we bought Luke AND Dixie for my husband) and walking away from what makes me ME in order to achieve a new “me”.

Well, while the 20+ years of hearing that same tired line about “sacrificing” the one thing that I hold most dear has worn away at me, and does nothing more than make me angry and bitter, I actually and ironically AM planning to make some major changes coming in to 2014 that do involve a little bit of sacrifice for the greater good.  I certainly do hope you see those changes come to fruition as you stick with me through 2014.

I’m a horse person through and through and no matter how many people I have around me that try to take that away, it’s one thing that will never leave.  I don’t know why some people can’t understand, appreciate (or just ignore) that about me, but it’s who I am.  I need my horses, I love my horses, and I have a need to be around horses, and more so to pursue my equestrian activities.  And that is the very crux of my life – pursuing my equine activities!

Some things come very easily and naturally to some people.  They have people around them who support them (both emotionally and financially), they have talent, and for those people the stars just line up.  It isn’t that way for me.  Actually, everything about my horse passion for the last 21 years of riding/driving and 16 years of horse ownership, has been a fight, a struggle, a pursuit of things of that didn’t happen.  In fact, the closer I get to what I want, the farther away it usually goes, and I’ve been pretty much chasing after a dangling carrot for the last two decades.

That all needs to change in 2015, and I need to work for it in 2014.

For example… you may have noticed that I love to show.  Isn’t that pretty much all I ever talk about?  Well, I sure do seem to do a lot of talking about showing and not a whole lot of actual showing.  Showing involves one major thing – MONEY!  Which I seem to be lacking in great amounts.  Showing also entails hauling the horses to shows, which of course requires the need for a horse trailer & towing vehicle.  I also love to go to parks, events, clinics, and I have this deep burning desire to attend the National Drive.

For the 18 years that I rode, I really didn’t ever show much, and I barely went on trail rides.  Of course, I owned a few horses that I would hop on and take for a trail ride, but there were plenty I owned that I was totally reluctant to ride out of the arena — a reflection of my poor riding skills, no doubt.  In the last couple years that I’ve been driving, I’ve become a “let’s go to…..” addict.  I’ve done more, accomplished more, and been to so many more places with my horses in 3 seasons of all driving, than I did in 18 seasons of riding with all of the horses I’ve owned, leased, lessoned on, or shown combined.

Of course, not having my own mode of transport leaves me relying on other people, who…. well….. suffice to say, have other ways they would like to be spending their days.   The ironic thing is, I DO own a horse trailer.  And there is a truck capable of towing it in the family, too.  I do have a trailer for the carts, and a vehicle for that.  Of course, that means that anywhere *I* want to go, immediately becomes a 2 person, 2 trailer, and 2 truck job….. So, I need to rely on a second person to “help” me.  Which leads me to a valueable lesson to be learned – – – the more you expect/need/want to rely on someone else to provide help, the more you set yourself up for disappointment, frustration, and having it “hung over you” so to speak.

I had originally wanted to do 12 events in 2013.   I did 5, which isn’t bad.  Of course, 1 of those ended up not happening because Chewbacca cut his eye! Ugh! Ironic.   With all that it takes to get out to a little local show, I get there and he gets hurt and we have to pack up and go! Talk about frustrating!!!

I realized pretty quickly in 2013 that the long distance events (like anything more than 1 hour away) were totally out, either due to expense or hauling issues.  In the past,  I’ve had to withdraw from shows after entering them weeks before.  This year alone, I’ve missed trails, clinics, and spent most of 2013 begging to go to parks that never happened.  The major disappointment there is, that I was out of work all summer, and my counterpart hasn’t worked in… well… the point is we both had a TON of time to haul to parks, and in the end, I spent the summer begging to go, and only got to go out 3 times.

So, my need to go to shows, and pursue driving to the fullest extent that I can possibly pursue it has led me to my 2014 “goals”, which ironically don’t involve ANY showing, or sadly, also going to trails, parks, local events, or pretty much anything else that involves getting to places we just can’t walk down the street to.

Let’s face it.  I’m sick of being manipulated because I have to “force” someone to something they don’t want to do.  I am angry and bitter that my need and desire to haul out and do fun things with the horses is capped and controlled and I am manipulated.  In fact, I’ve been told that by taking away hauling to something, helps “keep me in line”.  It’s awful, and I’m really stupid for allowing it to happen that way.  The one thing I want most for myself in life – I’ve gone and put full control of into someone else’s lap.  How dumb is that?

Realizing my mistakes,  I’m taking a step back in 2014.  I’ve also renewed my diet that I lost so much weight with in 2011.  2014 I hope will lead to bigger and better things in 2015 and you’re hopefully going to see those changes develop.  I’ve gotten a little jump start in 2013, and have lost some weight already.  Granted, I still have about 50 pounds to go before I hit my goal, but at least I’ve started.

Instead of going to shows as a competitor for 2014, I plan to go them as a volunteer.  This will allow me to at least SEE all those venues I had wished to compete at.  I’ve already made tentative plans to groom for someone at the National Drive, which means in 2014, I’m finally going to go, even if it is without my own horses.  Assuming of course that I have the $$$ to pay for it all!  lol!

I’m very excited about the idea of getting more involved with the shows from the “back end” so to speak, and I look forward to seeing where that avenue takes me.

The other big big plan of mine is to buy a new (by new I mean used, but new to me) truck and trailer.   My 1998 Jeep with a V-6 motor and 230,000 miles is NOT exactly a horse-hauling vehicle! lol.   I need to be more independent and able to just pack up and go, and rely on just myself so it doesn’t create conflicts.

So, I’ve got it in my head that 2014 will be the year I buy a truck (I’ve got my heart set on a GMC Yukon in white – I don’t think small, do I?) I also plan to buy a trailer big enough to fit Chewbacca’s meadowbrook and Chewbacca, so I can go to events myself, with 1 vehicle and 1 trailer, and no help needed.  In my head, a trailer big enough to hold all that, will also be large enough to fit a pony marathon carriage and a single/pair of ponies or 4 of minis. So in theory, 1 trailer can suit all my needs for the long term future, and I don’t need to wait on anyone’s assistance!  (Of course, I will have to measure everything when it comes time to buy…)

Now, the big conundrum will be how to afford said truck & trailer?  I realize of course that it is going to take nearly all of 2014 to save up for, but I have a plan for that too…..

Years ago, when I rode, I wanted to do a resale project riding horse, I just never did get to do it.  Or, more to say, that I did buy a couple young horses that I had planned to train and resell, but it never actually panned out.  I’m finally so much more focused, and with clear goals in mind,  and experience enough (I sure do hope) under my belt training driving horses, I’m getting a pony to train to drive & resell.

I hope it will bring me enough to afford a decent used horse trailer.  Plus payments on the truck with my new job, and I’ll be golden for 2015 to go to shows, trails, and more. And who knows, maybe there’ll be a marathon carriage and a pair of ponies somewhere in my future there, too!  I’ve been working hard making and selling horse treats to save up the money for a pony, and my pony fund goal is nearly complete!  whoo hooo!

So, my goals for 2014 are going to be drastically different than 2013 and 2012.  I am looking forward to getting out there and making this happen.  Even without showing, 2014 will be a great year if this all works out!  I’m very excited about getting a new pony, I’m very excited about getting a new (used) truck – heck, I’m already “shopping” for both!  And I’m very excited about setting myself up for a 2015 where I can do more and enable myself to pursue my passions.

I’ve even just bought a pair of harnesses for pony pairs!  They’re beautiful, and they just arrived!  My new project pony will at least be able to be ground driven with Luke as a true pair, and I’ll also plan to work the new pony in tandem with Luke, too.  So hopefully, with time and training, the project pony will drive single, tandem, and ground drive in a pair.

I’m so excited about what 2014 will bring, and I feel very … relieved… almost in a way, that it won’t involve showing, so I don’t have to go through the fighting, the begging, the complaining, and of course the in-depth detailing of the truck once I’m done dirtying it.  I really love how I have to spend more than an hour getting the truck pristine again, just to have it “white glove inspected” and then be made to do it over again if I’ve missed anything.  That’s just awesome.

I think negative things, and people, in your life, have a certain way of driving you towards positive things.  I’m going to beat this, and I am going to succeed.  Maybe I’m not the best horse show competitor ever, I might not be a winner in the making, on my way to earning big bucks as a pro, but that’s OK.  I don’t want to be.  I just want to go show, have fun, and enjoy seeing my hard work put to use.  And of course, not just show  – I also want to go to trails and state parks and other different recreational events, like the National Drive.

Anywho…  I’m not “hoping” 2014 brings me anything.  I’m MAKING 2014 bring me everything.  I’ve already got a jump start on my diet, which is going great.  I’ve got a new full time job, which I’ll be using to save for truck.  I’m rocking with the horse treat “business”, and saving for a pony, and I’m totally looking forward to training my 3rd driving horse and selling him on so I can get a trailer!  I’ve got my pairs harnesses already, and I do have that marathon carriage as a goal maybe fore 2015.  I’m really looking forward to getting out to the shows as a volunteer, and all and all, I’m probably more excited about 2014 than I have been about any year in recent past.

Of course, if possible, as I volunteer, I’ll also have the camera strapped to me, so hopefully I’ll get some awesome pictures at these events.


I do have a lot of goals for 2014, so here’s my list. And I will check back with it after 6months and see where I’m at with it:

* Volunteer at some or all of the regional ADS shows

– Columbus Sleigh Rally
– Hickory Knoll CDE
– Indiana CDE
– Villa Louis Carriage Classic
– Columbus Carriage Classic
– Skunk River HDT
– Kentucky Classic CDE
– National Drive

* Possibly volunteer at some local shows that I used to compete at, too
– Spring Grove
– Boone Co 4H show

* Buy a project sale pony, train to drive, and resell
* Buy a truck
* Buy a trailer


Well, that’s my “little” plan for 2014.  Have a wonderful, safe, and hopefully far warmer than I am experiencing, New Year!


See you next year!!


About kshai1715

I am a lifelong equestrian, photography enthusiast, sci-fi lover, and sci-fi convention & costuming geek that also loves movies and video games. I am a hard working 30 something woman that survived cancer and am looking forward to a long, healthy, self-empowered life. Welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy reading about my horses (and the rest of my life) as much as I like writing about them.
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4 Responses to Out with 2013, in with 2014 – and big changes!

  1. RiderWriter says:

    Wow – I really admire your ambition! I also think your “plan for independence” sounds great. You’ve set reasonable goals and while you’ll have to give something up for now, in the long run it ought to be worth it. We will enjoy vicariously pony-shopping with you in the near future. 🙂 Good luck with everything (including the diet, which is something I need to be doing!)!

  2. Lana hambley says:

    Good Luck Amanda, it seems that you can usually do what you set your mind to! I hope all your goals come to reality for you, and I enjoy reading up on your posts. So glad that I was able to sell Chewy to such a wonderful person, and he is being well taken care of. Happy New Year!

    • kshai1715 says:

      LANA!!!!!!!!!! HI!!!!!!!!!!

      It’s been too long since I heard from you! Make sure you stop back to say HI!

      I’ll give Chewie an extra treat from you 🙂

      • Lana hambley says:

        Thanks Amanda, make sure you give him an oatmeal cookie for me! That was his favorite treat! Take care in this frigid weather. I will stop back and say hi occasionally!!

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