By: Brittany Bevis
New Year. New Show Season.
This time of year is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the previous show season- to think about how much you’ve grown and to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as an equestrian athlete. It’s a time to set new goals and determine what steps you need to take in order to achieve them.
But setting goals is a tricky proposition. Some studies suggest that for the millions of people who set goals (or make resolutions) in the New Year…
In order to increase your chances of success, goals need to be:
#1- Specific and measurable
#2- Realistic and mangeable
#3- Have a timeframe
We reached out to our The Equine Chronicle readers to find out more about their horse-related goals for the upcoming show season and how they plan to achieve them. See what they had to say.
Ellen Mae– “This year, my only goal is to have fun. The last two years I’ve been motivated by points, year end titles, the World Show, etc… but it’s time to just enjoy it and let the cards fall where they may this year… I’ll still strive for our best of course though.”
Amber Schuttey– “I’m making a run to qualify for AQHA World 2022. I had to switch horses this last year after my mare had to take a 6-month hiatus. I have her full brother, who has gone out and proven to be equally as talented, but we have taken a bit to find our groove! It takes hard work, practicing day or night, and staying consistent. My trainer, Fred Fisher, has brought us together as a successful pair in a short time! Having a plan, executing that plan, and having the right support system behind me keeps our goal in sight!”
Emma Stamps Dale– “After buying a 2-year-old in 2020, having a baby in 2021, finding out my horse had EPM, and having to put shows on hold in 2021, I’m planning my return to the show arena at Dixie National 2022! Can’t wait to just be back in the pen doing what I love! I use visualization to practice patterns in my head, and I watch videos on YouTube or Facebook of goal winning runs. I use these as practice in between trips to my trainer’s to ride. I write my goals down, and I enjoy checking them off at the end of the year! These tips helped me secure a Reserve win in Trail at the Novice Championships in 2019 aboard the goodest of boys, Gilbert, and I can’t wait to pursue goals with my boy Knox or Am Lopin So Good this year!”
Madison Cochran– “My horse related goal is to be a more confident rider/competitor. How am I aiming to accomplish that goal: 1. I joined Vanessa Gillette’s fitness program, so I will physically gain confidence by appearance and by strength as a rider. 2. Riding my horse as much between shows to become a better team. Boot camps at Jerrell Performance Horses is making that possible to analyze patterns, etc. 3. Riding lessons at home because my horse lives several hours away and with work it’s not always easy to travel to my own horse. 4. Be prepared early. Most shows post patterns before so that will help with confidence. It would help to look over and make a plan before leaving for the show.”
Linda M. Italiano– “My goals will be to start showing in Horsemanship, do better in Showmanship, ride better, and have fun!”
@guthr1ka- “To be back in the show ring by July for the PHBA World Show! Due with my daughter in April!”
@jamie.n.sweet– “My goal for this year is to place at the NSBA World. I have set a plan to achieve my goal after what I learned last year. 1. Enjoy winter break as we peaked early last year. 2. Work with a Hunter/Equitation trainer in my area 1-2 times monthly. 3. Work on my horse’s engagement from behind and not so much jumping. I like to keep notes in Google calendar so I can repeat what worked last year and what didn’t! For me, it’s all about planning and then working on smaller goals to finally complete the puzzle; which, fingers crossed, will get us to the big goal of placing at the World Show.”
@sarahchabot– “Show in Dressage at the AQHA World Show!”
@kristyann.mckechnie– “Goal: Enjoy each and every ride on my horses. They are such a blessing.”
@shawnredman– “To get back in the saddle… period. I have engaged a lesson barn and instructor. Lessons start this week. I plan to be back competing by the fall. It has been a long path back from health issues, which I pray they stay in the rearview mirror and not the windshield.”
Goal Setting Resources:
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