As the year winds down, it’s time to start planning your riding goals for next year. You’re probably wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the season, so goal-setting is back-burnered. But with most major events complete, and the weather and shorter days possibly keeping you from prime barn hours, it’s perfect timing to sit down, set your goals, and figure out exactly what you want to accomplish in your next 365 days of horse life.
We have great information to help you set your path to success right here in past blog posts throughout the last two years. Use these articles to help set you and your horse in the right direction come the New Year.
Potential Goal #1: Try Something New
Being a beginner isn’t easy, especially if you’re skilled in one area. You might be tempted to stay in your comfort zone of easy success, but challenging yourself to try a new event, embark on a new trail, or even test a new horse can push you to new opportunities.
NRCHA Professional Erin Taormino offers her advice on being a “newbie” in “Back to Beginner”.
Potential Goal #2: Find More Gratitude
Read any mindset-type article, and you’re sure to see a common theme that an attitude of gratitude can be the key to success. When we’re grateful for the opportunity to ride and be around horses, you can relieve pressure and find joy in your hobby.
“With more experience comes the realization that big achievements don’t come along every day,” shared NRHA Professional Sebastian Petroll. “You’ll have hard times when the wins or big milestones won’t keep coming. Having gratitude when they do helps build your confidence. When you say to yourself, ‘I just did really good!’ and enjoy that moment, you can look back on it during hard times when things seem like they’re falling apart and know that you can put them back together.”
Read more on that here.
Potential Goal #3: Try a Large Event
Every competitor dreams of being able to walk into the arena of a major event. It can be intimidating, but the possible success and even just expansion of your comfort zone can really boost your potential.
AQHA Professional Jill Newcomb has advice for those attending a major event for the first time in “Hitting the Big[ger] Time”.
Potential Goal #4: Make a Comeback
Whether you’ve been sidelined from the saddle due to injury, work, family, or another reason, maybe 2023 is the year you make your big comeback. Amateur competitor Amanda Kimes found herself with that opportunity in 2021, and shared her best advice in “6 Tips to Make a Comeback After a Hiatus From the Show Pen”.
One of her top tips: do it for yourself.
“This was my own doing and my decision to go,” Amanda said about her plunge back into showing. “I did it for me. I found that everyone was so excited to see me back in the show pen and so supportive. No one has anything negative to say—they’re just excited to have you back and happy that you’re there.”
Potential Goal #5: Beat the Nerves
Everyone experiences nervousness before competing. It’s because you care! (Or maybe because you know you didn’t put in the work and aren’t ready…) The key lies in what we do with that energy and those feelings.
You might find it hard to believe, but even big-name pros experience pre-show jitters. Learn how they cope with them in “Tips to Beat Horse Show Nerves”.
You can find the entire Rider’s Mindset library here, anytime you need advice for keeping your mental focus sharp, as well as ways to set paths to achieve your biggest goals.