So, 2017 is here! This is such an exciting time of year. A time to reflect on the prior year, and setting goals for the upcoming year.
But once the goals are set, then what? I find that I am really good at planning for the upcoming year. But carrying out that plan is an entirely different animal. I love to make lists, and plot out how I will begin my undertaking of my plan. However, something always seems to come up, or another project needs my attention. My once grand plan for my horses takes a back seat to my daily life.
But not this year! This year I will achieve what I set out to do.
Setting The Goals
That means I must get off my rear end, and get out and work with my horses. Even if it is 35 degrees outside. This is where I make excuses for not doing what I have planned. “It’s too cold outside’” or “I really need to do….” And yes, it is cold outside, and there are other things I could focus on, but that will not help me to get to my goal of taking at least one of my horses to a show this year. That is my ultimate goal. And once I have achieved it, I will move on to another goal.
So even though it is cold outside, there are things I can do with my horse.
Cold weather does not mean you can’t ride. It just means you must ride carefully. Frisby for example, is not in shape at all. I can’t just saddle him up and go for a 2-hour training session through all gaits. He also is not clipped. If he gets sweaty, I will have to cool him out before putting him away.
But the more I work with him, the more he (and I) will get in shape. By the end of the winter, we will both be more fit, and ready for the rigorous work outs that will come with the long summer days. For the time being I will just keep thinking about those beautiful summer evening rides to motivate me now. Because the more I ride now, the better in shape I will be for the summer.
I can practice getting on him and off him. I can practice walking, and backing. We can work on half halts, and him giving to the bit. Even tacking him up is practice, especially while I am wearing warm winter gloves.
He will need to groomed and pampered of course too.
Even though it is still winter time here, I do need to make the most of the time I do have and ride when I can. I work throughout the week, so a ride every Saturday, Sunday, and holiday is imperative if I want to achieve the goals I have set for myself. It won’t be long before the days start to get longer, and I can ride when I get home from work. But for now, I must be diligent about riding when I can. I know the other chores will be able to wait an hour or two on the weekend while I ride my horses.
And Sticking To The Goals
This is my challenge that I face every winter. There is always something else I can be doing, or it’s too cold to ride, or, or, or….. I can choose to make excuses, or choose to ride, even if it is only for 20 minutes.
Even if it is not the most ideal time to ride because of the weather, I still need to make the effort of doing it. Because if I do, then I will be that much closer to achieving what I have set out to do. Will I be perfect? Probably not. But with continued practice, I will get better and better, and be the best horse person I can be.
A new year is here. A new chance to set goals, and hopefully achieve them. My advice to you is to set attainable goals with your horse so you will be successful as well as enjoying the time with your horse.
I hope you have the happiest of new year’s, and here is to a fantastic 2017 for us all!