Well, by now Christmas lists have been made and mailed to the North Pole. The rest is up to Santa. Hope he treats you all well. With New Year's Eve upon us, it's the time for folks to start making their lists of resolutions. Here are some things to keep in mind for successful New Year's Resolutions in your riding goals:
1. Plan your goals carefully.
It's easy to get over ambitious. One year I said I'd give up junk food. That never happened. It's okay to get excited, but be realistic. One important thing to keep in mind is how much time you have to spend on reaching your goals. Goals with horses require a lot of work. Work takes time. If you set a goal you just don't have time to work on, you will get discouraged and give up.
2. Make weekly and monthly goals.
Picturing the end result is thrilling. I told myself: "A year from now, I will be fit, with washboard abs!" After a month, when I was still sucking in my fat rolls, it wasn't so easy to see the goal I had in mind to start with. Make smaller goals that can be met in shorter increments of time. You can track your progress better this way and methodically reach your ultimate goal while staying positive you are on the right track. Plan out where you'd like to be at the end of each week and each month. With riding, we tend to work and work, sometimes never making progress, believing it will all fall into place eventually. If you are not making steps in the right direction you won't reach your end goal and if you are on the right track, it's nice to know.
3. Get help if you need it.
If you feel like you aren't making progress, get help. Books, DVDs, and websites are great sources to turn to. Finding a good instructor or even a friend to give you a few pointers can make all the difference. Don't get discouraged if you are running into difficulties, instead, find the help you need.
4. Be consistent.
Horses learn through consistency and repetition. Make sure you follow a routine that provides this in order to make progress. Horses are either getting better each day or worse. They rarely stay the same. If you skip weeks of riding you can't expect to pick up right where you left off. Consistency will help you get where you want to be faster.
Good luck! And Happy New Year!