My Goal at the last show (in Maple Ridge, BC) was to get Vinny in the river .... Goal Completed, Check!!

So what are your goals?  

Do you have any?  You probably do, but maybe you have not formalized them, or even said them out loud.  Every sport psychologist will tell you, you need to WRITE THEM DOWN!

Not only do you need to write them down, but you need to break them down into short term, medium term, long term goals as well as a Dream Goal or Ultimate Goal.

Where are you going to write this down?  In a journal…..  I have had journals for every horse I have owned (all 3 of them) to keep a record of my goals and of my achievements.  As well as of significant events, rides, lessons, discoveries or epiphanies (sadly, I don’t have many epiphanies anymore, but I can go back and remember them):)

What a journal is good for:

1. Writing things down.  Committing them to memory and having a place to go back and see what happened.

2. You can track your progress, however small, and remember how things were last month and notice any improvements.  Then you are reminded how hard that thing was last month, and now is not so bad.  Oooh, and remember that cool exercise we did 2 months ago that worked so well?!

3. You can track issues or patterns that are not that obvious without writing them down.  Like your mares’ cycles, or a soreness and when it started.   Changes in feed and how it affects your horses behaviour.

4. A place for you to write down you goals and keep track of them.

How do you go about making goals?  You need to break them down into parts.

Short Term Goals.

This is a goal that is for NOW.  Maybe it is to get to the show ring, maybe it is to canter both leads on the bit – it can be as simple or as challenging as you decide.  And it will change as you succeed!

Medium Term Goals.

This is the next step.  Once you complete your short term goal, what will be next?  After you can canter both leads on the bit, maybe you want to be able to do walk-canter transitions, or counter canter, or go in a Training Level test.  Short and Medium don’t even need to be connected.  And they will change as you complete these goals.  Or if you change horses, or some other element of your riding changes, so will your goals.

Long Term Goals.

A much broader, and “further down the road” kind of goal.  You can’t necessarily see this as actually happening yet, but it is out there waiting for you.  I like to tell my students their Long Term Goal should be Third Level (if they are Training Level) and PSG (if they are Second Level and up).  Again, your goals will change.   If you finally get to Third  – you need a new Long Term goal!

Dream Goal – The Ultimate, Super Sized Goal.

Well, this doesn’t need much explaining.  This can be ANYTHING.  And Dream Big!  Be creative – and when your dreams change, change your dream goal whenever you want.

These goals are only for you.  You do not have to share them with anyone – own them and do what you can to make them happen.  I do recommend that you share your goals with your coach.  Your coach is there to help you achieve your goals and will help you stay on task.

SO ….. what are you goals?