Planning And More Planning

wallplanner2015With 2015 only just around the corner it is time to plan the 2015 season. As everyone who has anything to do with horses knows, plans will inevitably change, however I still think one of the keys to the success I have been lucky enough to have over my career is what my better half (also known as wifey) calls prior planning and preparation! This is also where team work comes in as it is the combination of my skills and ‘wifey’ that enable us to develop a plan I am confident in at the start of every year –yes it will change but we have a clear idea of what I want to achieve at the start of each year with each horse.

Two key inputs to constructing the plan for the year ahead are (1) reflecting on what went well and what went less well in the previous year and thinking about what we might (if anything) do differently, both in terms of objectives and how we managed each horse and also in terms of how the team runs overall and (2) talking with our owners about what they would like to do to ensure we keep the ‘fun factor’ in what we do for them for the year ahead.

Jenny and I spend hours looking at the schedule of events for the year ahead and throwing around ideas about what we could do with each horse and which events we should aim for – we also consider what Equestrian Australia would like us to do and any events they are keen for us to target – although that it less relevant in a ‘non championship’ year. For me some of my priorities ‘in the mix’ for 2015 are securing Olympic qualification with my older horses Alfie, Womble and Alex, building a partnership with my newer rides Drax and Ziggy, and getting the young horses out and about and started on their eventing career – Dylan, Cassie and Tonto.

With a smallish team of horses now the logistics and planning for the upcoming season is far less of a challenge than it was in years gone by, however I still couldn’t do it without Jenny’s spreadsheet skills and a good old fashioned year planner to be able to see how it will all fit together.

So best get back to it and get things finalised as with January looming it’s going to be a busy few months, but I feel lucky that I do a job I love and still get excited about the fact that eventing will soon be starting up again with March only just around the corner.



Posted 31st December

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