5 Reasons Why Equestrians Fail To Reach Their Riding Goals

Do you like so many others set yourself a series of challenging goals each New Year? Do you start of in January motivated, excited and driven to achieve those goals? Next thing you know it’s Spring and you can barely remember what goal you set. Or you seem to be a million miles away from achieving it. If so,  don’t despair!

There are many reasons why we fail to reach our goals and there are just as many ways we can overcome them.

Our goals aren’t our own!

It is so important to get clarity on what our goals actually are and that the goals we set are in fact OUR goals. While we all need inspiration in life, our goals really need to be our own and not overly influenced by others.

A rider may set a goal to get a certain score in a Prelim dressage test when actually what they would really love to do, more than anything else is have a nice long canter along the beach and get some beautiful photos to treasure forever.

Of course, she could do both, but more often than not the rider will spend her summer frustrated in the school practicing dressage & not seeing the improvement they want instead of truly enjoying their horse and their hobby.

Whether your goal is to establish a better bond with your horse, canter twice around the school, or get out to compete in a BE 80cm. It’s so important that it is something YOU actually want to do not what your yard friends, trainer, husband or mother wants you to do.

We need to be specific on what we want to achieve and by when. The best place to start is by asking yourself where you want to be, or what do you want to have achieved by the end of this year? This is a question that only you can answer not someone else.

Our mind literally works against us!

Immediately after thinking about a goal or ambition our mind will produce two thoughts:

  • Imagine if…….
  • What if……..

The imagine if thoughts tend to be the positive ones, imagine if I won! Imagine if we pulled this off! Imagine actually doing this….

The what if thoughts tend to be more around imminent disaster. What if I fall? What if I or my horse gets injured? What if we fail and I look stupid? These thoughts when left unchecked can escalate quickly. They will then lead to pre-disappointment which is where we are left feeling a sense of deflation from just thinking about setting a goal not to mind even trying to do it.

Whichever of these thought we listen to and believe will determine whether or not we succeed in the goal we have just set. Taking control of our thoughts and our rider mindset is the key to success. We only need to believe we can 51% v Oh crap 49% to tip the scales towards achieving our goals.

We have no plan OR, we do have a plan – which we can’t see past!

When thinking about bigger or longer term goals it is so important to get a clear picture of the desired end state and work backwards from there. What needs to happen in order to achieve this goal? What smaller more manageable steps can we take to get us closer to that end state? If you want to ride a dressage test ,one mini goal you will need to achieve is the ability to go down the center line straight. This then becomes something to work towards and celebrate when you achieve it.

On the flip side sometimes we can get so caught up in the plan that we are unable to see past it. When working with animals, especially horses it is inevitable that deviations will occur.

They will pull a shoe the night before you need them. Rain may well cancel one of the training shows you planned on doing in the run up to your big event. These mishaps, which are completely out of our control do not necessarily spell disaster.

Just like when you are going on a long journey in the car, you input your destination in the Sat Nav and along the way you come across roadworks. You don’t simply turn around at this point and go home. Instead you let the Sat Nav re-route you – having complete confidence that you will still reach your final destination. Perhaps slightly later than planned, but maybe the views on the new route will be prettier to look at.

We don’t know what we need to help us succeed!

Sometimes we don’t know what tools and resources we need to help us succeed, let alone where or how to access them. Is it lessons with an amazing trainer? Are there any in your locality?

Often riders need as much, if not more support off the saddle. Perhaps a self-hypnosis recording to help overcome any riding confidence issues? Maybe a workout that will help us become more balanced and stronger in our core?

Sometimes what we need doesn’t become apparent until it’s too late. Even then trying to access the solution can be really difficult.

The Wise Owl Equitation Saddle Club offers all of the above tools and resources, and much more to help riders access everything they need to achieve their goals.

We tell the wrong people about our goals!

It is so important that we are very careful about who we share our goals with. Even a well meaning friend who just happens to be swimming in a different lane may not understand them. Their reaction could then leave us feeling foolish and deflated before we’ve even started.

It’s fair to say that the equestrian community has a tendency to be a somewhat judgmental beast.

Everyone has their own opinions and they are not afraid to share them whether invited to or not. Finding a safe and supportive place to share your goals, ask for advice, support and accountability can make or break your likelihood of success.

It’s those that are there to help pick us up on the harder days that make all the difference.

The Wise Owl Equitation Saddle Club offers the most safe and supportive global equestrian community on the internet. Each member is working towards their own individual goals but all face similar challenges. Encouragement and accountability are at the core of this group. This online community provides the safest space you will find to share your goals and ambitions.

If you would like to learn more about setting riding goals. Or accessing the tools, resohttps://wiseowlequitation.com/saddle-club/urces, support and accountability to help you achieve them. Check out the Wise Owl Equitation Saddle Club below.

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