For North American Jockey Club registered thoroughbreds, January 1st is considered their “birthday”. This is the day that thoroughbreds are considered a year older. So, despite the fact that Wex’s birthday is February 1, 2015, he is considered 4 years old by the Jockey Club as of 1/1/19. It’s pretty meaningless in the sport horse world, but it can have a big impact for horses born later in the year when they’re young and racing.
I spent the morning of Wex’s “birthday” with him at the barn. He got a few of the candy canes that his Grammy got him for Christmas, and more grooming than he prefers. I found myself wondering what 2019 will bring for him.
I will admit that I’m a bit of a resolution junkie. Some years I am more motivated than others. One year, we made a resolution to be a more eco-friendly household and we made several changes (including switching to cloth diapers, eliminating paper towels and plates, and using only reusable shopping and snack bags) that have lasted for several years. Another year, we resolved to lose weight (babies are tough on a mama!) and I lost 30 lbs in 4 months. Even with my motivation to make resolutions, I have never really resolutions that are horse-related.
In 2019, I have a young horse, and the opportunities are wide open. So I’m making some resolutions.
1) Invest in training for both of us.
I have a training background, so I get lazy with this. However, everyone needs eyes on the ground. Aside from that, those days are behind me, and pre-children. Every time I take a lesson, things click.
I’ve started working with a trainer for Wex as well, and it’s been beyond helpful for both of us.
2) Spend more time at the barn.
This one is hard. I have a husband, two young children, a corporate job, and a long commute. My kids are in two different schools, they have multiple activities, and are busy. In full disclosure, they do best when they are busy. I can’t do anything about my commute and corporate job. And I do like to see my husband occasionally. What I can do about this is spend my time more wisely. Getting up early (4:00 AM is not my favorite time of day, but it’s a great time to get in a run), and being more efficient at work. I’m trying not to over commit myself, and make time for makes me happy.
3) Do it less than 1000%.
This may seem like a strange resolution. I tend to over do things. An example: my kids had a joint horse themed birthday party last year. I hand-made 12 full-size stick horses (and commissioned a “paddock” made from a pallet from my husband) as favors for each of the kids to take home. Who does that? My kids thought they were cool, but they haven’t touched them in months. At the barn, I scrub my water buckets weekly until they look brand new again. Seriously, I have buckets that are many years old, but look brand new. I must get every single fleck of dirt or mud off my horse before riding. The mane must be pulled perfectly evenly, and to 4 inches, no longer. It will be a lot easier to go to the barn more frequently if my trips are more efficient. Perhaps resolution #2 should be “go to the barn more often”, not spend more time there. I can still work with Wex, even if his mane is dirty and there’s a stray piece of hay in his tail. He will be fine.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions?