Wednesday, October 24, 2007

2007/2008 Season Goals

I'm a goal setter. I set goals for most aspects of my life and they help me achieve things I wouldn't usually achieve. They give me focus and I always feel great when I achieve them. So at the end of last Pony Club season when I realised how little I knew about riding I decided I would set myself some goals for this season and here they are:

  1. Jump the 'Kennel' in the Tractor Shed Paddock.

  2. Consistently canter on the correct lead.

  3. Achieve a 65% or higher in a dressage test.

  4. Develop a warm up program for Red. (This includes working out Reds optimum warm up time so I know when hes on top of him game before I enter the dressage ring etc).

  5. Go double clear in Cross Country and Show Jumping at an ODE.

  6. Achieve high marks for suppleness and bending in dressage tests (or at least no negative remarks on them).

  7. Consistently post on the correct diagonal.

  8. Consistently work on the bit.

  9. Compete at training by the end of the season.

  10. Achieve high marks in straightness in dressage tests.

  11. Learn how to pull a mane.

  12. Learn and 'perfect' mane and tail plaiting.

  13. Complete a cross coutry course without dying of unfitness.

I was thinking about putting a goal in like 'Recieve a placing in a ODE' but I really think that if I work hard at these other goals I'll have a better chance of doing well. Also I don't want my riding to be all about winning, I want it to be about fun and also the relationship I have with Red.

So now, here are some tips of setting and achieving goals. Since this site is basically about horses these tips are tailored to help horse riders and the like, but you can morph them into any area of your life.

  • Express your goals postively. So instead of saying "Stop getting 3s and 4s in canter leads' say "Achieve 7s or 8s in canter leads'. (Or whatever else your setting your goals in).

  • Give yourself a time frame. My goals are set for the season which finishes about April 08. Without a timeframe you may find yourself putting your goals off and eventually forgetting about your goal altogether.

  • Set priorities. This way your goals won't overwhelm you and you can concentrate on one or two goals at a time.

  • Write your goals down. This can help make them real.

  • Write down how you are going to achieve these goals and then do those steps. You won't achieve your goals if you don't have a plan to get them done. My first step in my journey to achieve my goals was to get a trainer that would give me weekly lessons. Hence the reason Sue is now working with me.

  • Visualise completing your goals. You might be a bit weary of this but it really works. I sometimes freak out at the size of jump and I take a few minutes to close my eyes and visualise myself and Red jumping it easily and landing safely. After that I can do it no problem. It works for goals too. So if you want to perform that Piaffe on your horse, just imagine the smell of the leather and horse sweat, feel your horse underneath you, and imagine yourself doing a perfect piaffe.

  • Set realistic goals. This is an important one. Theres no use setting a goal that you have little chance of achieveing. I couldn't set a goal like 'Compete at CCI**** by the end of the year on Red' because we are no where near that standard and I'm just setting myself up to fail. This doesn't mean I don't set goals that I can achieve too easily. I would be able to compete easily in pre-training by the end of this season. And so I chose a goal that would challenge Red and I.

  • Review your goals frequently. Think about them alot. Possibly read them before you go to bed or when you wake up in the morning. If your anything like me your mind doesn't stay fixed on one thing for long. So I'm constantly having to go back to my goals to re-evaluate them and myself to keep on the right track.

  • Tell someone about your goals. This helps to make them real and the person may also be able to help you achieve them. Most people need encouragement and this person will do that for you. Personally I've given my list to Sue since shes my trainer. She'll be one of the main tools in the achievement of these goals. In saying this don't go telling everybody about your goals. People may criticise and criticism is a great way to make you feel like you can't achieve what you want done.

  • Reward yourself! Give yourself a pat on the back, treat yourself to a new bridle, take yourself and a friend out to the movies. Do whatever it is you want to reward yourself when you have completed a goal.

Obviously sometimes things can happen that will make your goals impossible to achieve within your set time frame. If Red goes lame this season I'm going to have a hard time achieving most of these goals, so you always have to be prepared that these things can happen.

There are sites all over the net about setting goals so if you need any other help just do a google search. So if you haven't already, go set your goals and put them into action. You never know what you might achieve.


Beckz said...

Thanks for posting on my blog. I must say thats an awful lot of goals, you are going to be very busy!

Katie.Star said...

what can I say? I like a challenge :)

Anonymous said...

nice post! handy tips.