For those who are following my blog or my students it is obvious: I like to accomplish things! It also makes me very happy if I see other people accomplish their goals! That is why we live, right. To evolve and learn and enjoy life!
Goal setting? But horse riding is my hobby…
Not much horse owners think in ‘goals’ if they think about their horse. It’s a hobby so they don’t think it applies. I think it does!
Remember why you bought your horse in the first place: to ride, to trail ride, to drive or to have fun with (specify that). Are you?
There are your goals. They are just a bit buried and you have to unwrap and reveil them. ‘Riding my horse’, what does that mean to you? Trail riding? Winning dressage competitions? Once a week a lesson with your own horse, ride 3 times a week for 20 minutes or ride 5 days a week for an hour?
Are you living your dream?
Do you do what you had in mind when you bought your horse? Yes? Congrats and I want to hear all about it (share it in a comment)! If not, why not?
Maybe you did bought your horse to ride and you did ride him for many years, but he is a senior and you stopped riding. Or you did ride your horse, but fell off and now you’re scared to go back on. Or you bought a young horse and then got into clicker training and you simply don’t know where and how to start…
Step 1: Knowing what you want
If you know what you want it’s easy to get it. Sometimes you have to dig deeper and ask yourself at least 5 times ‘Why’? This gets you to the root of what you want. Why did you get this horse?
Another approach I use in my online goal setting course for equestrians is to find out what you dreamt about before you got a horse? Or go back to your childhood to get clues about your dreams and desires.
Step 2: Get help in order to speed things up
When you know what you want you can search specifically for the help you need to get it. If you want to ride your horse with R+ or create a stronger bond than you look for an experienced positive reinforcement instructor. If you want to ride competitions you can narrow your search for an excellent rider that has didactic skills to help you too.
No one has accomplished great things on his own! You don’t have to. If you get the help you need to accomplish your goals it is time and money well spent! It saves you time, money, frustration and making unnecessary faults (that can impact the relationship with your horse or with yourself!) if you don’t want to invent the wheel again.
Don’t worry about ‘skipping the learning process’ there is plenty to learn! I speak out of experience.
Step 3: Divide your goal into achievable steps
Clicker training improves the bond with your horse
When you know what you want you can divide your goals into smaller steps. This is one of the 6 HippoLogic Key Lessons (Your Key to Success) for trainers: make a plan.
The more steps the easier it is to accomplish them. Write them down, so it becomes very clear. Don’t forget to celebrate each step in order to stay motivated!
Step 4: Find yourself an accountability partner!
This is where I see things go off track easily. It is easy to make plans, but without coming into action nothing will happen! When nothing happens you will feel bad. If you feel bad you get paralyses and voila: procrastination happens!
An accountability partner (another Key Lesson for Trainers) is the one that will help you avoid that pitfall! He or she can also motivate you and help you get new insights and ideas to accomplish your goals.
I have helped many equestrians over the years. It works! You need to get weekly accountability in order to make it work. That is what I offer in my membership program.
Your need someone to cheer you on and celebrate with you! Who can do this better than the person who knows what your starting point was!
Step 5: Keep track, so you can look back
In order to stay motivated through the year (some goals take time to accomplish) keep track of your accomplishments. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you haven’t accomplished much. Your brain is always looking to the horizon (that what you haven’t accomplished yet) and it is very motivating to look back once in a while to see how far you’ve already came! Keeping a training journal and filming your training sessions/riding lessons is a really good way of keeping track.
Need help? Accountability or professional support?
January 1st 2019 starts HippoLogic’s online course Ultimate Equestrian Goal Formula. You will walk away with a clear goal and a clear training plan to accomplish it.
Are you going to make your Equestrian Dream come true in 2019?
Sandra Poppema, B.Sc.
I help horse owners get the results in training they really, really want with joy and easy for both horse and human. I always aim for win-win!
Sign up for HippoLogic’s newsletter (it’s free and it comes with a gift) or visit HippoLogic’s website and join my online course Ultimate Horse Training Formula in which you learn the Key Lessons, Your Key to Success in Clicker Training.
PS Did you know HippoLogic has a membership (accountability) program?