IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN- The time of the year when everyone has that “sit down talk” with their trainers, parents, mentor, and role models about setting goals for 2014. If this scares you- you’re not alone. It can be intimidating to talk to your trainer (even if she’s 5’4, weighs 100 lbs and you basically live with her) but it’s time to put your big girl britches on and make sure that you have the right goals in mind. But just because your a little scared doesn’t mean you have to be unprepared!
Proper goal setting is key to getting the most out of what you want for 2014, while ensuring proper growth of learning for you and your horse, as well as your own safety. So that “I’m going novice but at the end of the summer I wanna go prelim” goal might not work out the way you plan. But that’s why we have more experienced professionals and riders here to support us on our journeys!
I know personally all the TOT bloggers all have similar, realistic goals in mind for 2014 that have been thoroughly discussed with the professionals we let into our lives. We all have a goal of successful prelim seasons with the hopes of some one stars (personally Plantation and VAHT) But making realistic goals isn’t just about picking something and running for it! There’s a lot more that goes into this kind of stuff!
Make sure you account for time. Whether it be the number of days a week you can make it out to the barn (be honest with yourself), or how long your season will be, you need to make sure your goals are specific to your time constraints.
Make sure your horse is on board!- Horses fitness and capabilities need to factor into your plans. Whether your horse is just coming off the track (they may need some time to learn but should move up fairly quickly), a warmblood (these guys learn slowlllyy) , an older horse (they MAY not be able to do everything you want them to, and they may need some upkeep), or a horse that is ready for everything!
Allow for mess-ups- Having safe holds or back up plans are always important to any well thought out plans. (because we all know we mess up sometimes!)
Keep the end goal in mind- If you’re planning on moving up to prelim, you should do some of the biggest and hardest trainings!
Work Hard- Chug away at everything. Wether it be your half pass, your jumping, or proper gallop speed! (This one can be particularly hard)
Go forth and have good seasons!