I’ve never really been one to make New Year’s resolutions, beyond your run of the mill drink more water, eat healthier, and stop binge watching Netflix when you’re supposed to be doing homework. I think the reason for that is that, usually, by January 10th I am usually drinking sweet tea, eating cookies, and on my eighth episode of my favorite show that day. What can I say, I like what I like. But this year I’ve decided to be a little more festive and a little more proactive in creating real, attainable, in-depth resolutions.

It’s safe to say that 2016 was my year, or at least my year so far. I was blessed with a major clothing sponsorship from Romfh Equestrian Apparel, I won the Practical Horseman RK3DE Experience trip of a lifetime, I was selected as an Absorbine Ambassador, I opened the doors to Garnet Hill Farm and built my program with wonderful students, and my horse was year end champion in his division after winning every show in the series. It was without a doubt an incredible year. I’ve been actively posting on social media about the amazing experiences I had, and always keeping it positive. I’m a strong believer in not airing dirty laundry on Facebook, or Instagram, or what have you, and I’m also a strong believer in promoting the companies that promote me. However, none of that is to say that there has not been any dirty laundry…

I think one of the biggest pitfalls of social media is that it’s a catch-22; you don’t want to post negative things, so you only post the good. Unfortunately, because that’s all any of your followers see, they believe that your life is nothing but sunshine and rainbows. Everyone knows that no one’s ups are without their downs. I think I’ve done a great job of showing off my ups, but I’ve also done a good job hiding my downs…and I wonder if that’s a good thing? I don’t want people, especially the ones that view me as a role model, to think that my life is without its struggles. 2016 had its trials and tribulations along with the blessings. The year began with difficulty and ended with difficulty, from people letting me down to necessary changes having to be made for the greater good. Nothing ever goes exactly according to plan, and sometimes that’s really hard to accept. But I will say that the downs have led me to more ups, as I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. God leads you through darkness to bring you closer to Him so you can experience the light.

It’s interesting to me that “resolve” has two definitions…

  1. (verb) To settle or find a solution to a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.
  2. (noun) Firm determination to do something.

A resolution is not only a decision to do or not do something, but also the solution to an issue. To be resolved or resolute is to be determined and steadfast. These definitions can be related, or unrelated.

So I’ve created my own list of resolutions this year, and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Be strong, be committed, and go out into the new year with the intention of doing your absolute best!

  • I resolve to be the best possible role model for my students and other riders who have the same goals that I do.
  • I resolve to get back into a fitness and healthy eating regimen. If I prioritize fitness for my horses, I should hold myself to the same standard.
  • I resolve to keep a level head and remain focused no matter the odds and whose favor in which they are stacked.
  • I resolve to continue to do my best at every show, in every lesson, and in every ride to bring out the best in horse and rider.
  • I resolve to stick to my guns and remain brave, committed, and dedicated wholeheartedly.
  • I resolve to make everyone who has invested their time, energy, finances, and interest in me as proud as I possibly can.
Enchanted, owned by the Madison family. Camden Hunter Derby