In April I asked the members of my Happy Herd Facebook group “What struggle in Horse Training would you like to overcome?” One of the answers was “I wish I had a system or list with “to work on”-goals for the week”.
Here is how you can create your personal list of training goals that keeps you going. It is not a simple 5 step list, it’s a process. Ready? Make sure you have a pen and paper.
Here is the video
Step 1: Personal values
Make a list of the values you find important in the relationship with your horse and in training. If you take a moment to really think about your values it will become clear why it is so hard to work on certain goals. Chances are that they don’t fit your values anymore (see step 3).
Step 2: Future goals
Think about what you would like to have accomplished in 10 years, 5 years or 1 year from now with your horse.
If that’s too difficult, think of other equestrians. Ones who you admire. What can they do with their horses, that you would like to do, too?
Are there YouTube videos about horse training that inspire you?
Or just think back before you bought your horse: what did you have in mind when you were looking for your perfect horse? What was your goal?
Step 3: Does your goal fit into your values?
What part of your goal or goals fit your values? If it all fits: Great!
Are there parts of your goals that don’t fit in with your values? No worries, now you have your list with values you can think about the part or parts that don’t fit. Think about how you can adjust your goals so they do fit.
In the video above I give an example how I made my goals fit my values.
Step 4: Split your bigger goal into smaller goals
Now you have goals that fit your values think about the different aspects of that bigger goal. For trail riding you might need to practice trailer loading to go to trails, or if you need to cross a road you want your horse to be safe in traffic (despooking) or you need to work on separating your horse from the herd.
Think about how you can split these bigger goals into smaller goals.
Step 5: Make a list
If you made a list of your goals and all aspects of your bigger goal you can split them even further into smaller parts. Now you can make monthly goals, weekly goals and daily training sessions.
You can dedicate each month to a specific theme: January for despooking, February for separation training, March for traffic training and so on. Or you can work each training on a tiny bit of despooking, a tiny bit of separation anxiety and a tiny bit of something else that contributes to your goal.
[Step 6:] Just do it!
The last step is to plan your sessions in your agenda and stick with them for a month to see if this works for you!
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