Step by Step

Hello everyone! I want to talk about goals and give you a bit of insight as to how I go about accomplishing mine. I’m not at all saying that how I do it is correct, I just thought I would share how I accomplish goals I’ve set for myself. To be honest I haven’t ever read anything where people talk about how they go about doing this. The world can be a big scary place, but we aren’t in it alone and I think we should try to do our best while we are here. Otherwise what’s the point, who wants to be average or normal? I know I don’t.

First off, it’s important, in my opinion for people to have goals. Take horses out of the equation, goals push you to strive to do better, to be better. The catch is that you can’t accomplish them overnight, none that I’ve set for myself could be done in one day. Most goals that people have take time, dedication, and hard work. I don’t necessarily think that the goal is the be all and end all, let’s be honest, we can’t always accomplish all of our goals, but what you learn and the experiences you have trying to reach that goal will shape you; life shapes you. You have to be able to look back and understand where it all went wrong and learn. Everyone makes mistakes, we are all human. Take the time to enjoy your journey because you only get to do it once. Don’t get so caught up in getting where you want to go that you forget to appreciate where you are, where you’ve been, and how far you’ve come.

Let’s put horses back into the equation, I want you all to know that no matter how big or small your goals are, don’t get wrapped up in comparing yourself to others. I know it’s hard, I must remind myself all the time not to get down for not being better or having accomplished more.

Okay Tori, enough with the chit chat. Tell them what you do…

I write myself two lists of goals, one is personal and the other riding. Why? Horses are my passion, but I need to have something going on other than them so I can recharge and get away. It doesn’t have to be for long, but that’s exactly why I started going to the gym and enrolled myself in some evening classes.

Horse Goals

I break my list up into three sections: short, medium, and long. Why break them up like this? Well for me it’s simple, each set of goals are a stepping stone to the next. This keeps me motivated and wanting to do better every single day. Why is that? It’s almost like getting little wins, if I can feel like I’m improving a little in different areas, then I’m happy knowing I’m going in the right direction. A big goal or dream can at first seem impossible to reach and that is where the breakdown of goals comes in. A goal of moving to England or Germany to work for a crazy horse girl seems impossible, but because I planned out step by step how I was going to get there it didn’t seem so bad.

Short – these are things I work on day to day. For instance, my position on every horse I ride. When I was at Ingrid’s my hands were at the top of the list because I found it hard to keep them how she wanted – fingers closed touching my palms with thumbs on top like a roof, above the withers, 4 inches apart. Now over a year later, I am 100% better than when I made that goal but still not perfect so it’s still there on the list, but I am happy knowing I have made a huge improvement.

Medium – these are things I want to accomplish in the next few months to a year. For me one of these would be to get out competing with Annie and a few other horses I have the ride on. This streams back to short-term goals because riding the best I can every time I sit on these horses will help us both improve and be prepared for the show ring. I haven’t competed since last October – it feels like a lifetime ago, I am both nervous and excited.

Long – these are goals I want to accomplish in the next 5 years or so. A few years ago, you would have found training in Europe on that list. Guess what? I’ve done this twice now! It’s time for another long-term goal, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to share it publicly. Soon enough.

Saying that, I’d like to tell you that I don’t think it’s necessary to share your goals or dreams if you don’t want to. It’s all individual. The only thing I would say is that I have had so much help to accomplish a lot of my goals, you will need help. I know I have, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

My favourite saying is ‘do today’s work today’, I was told this when I was working at a doctor’s office back at home a few years ago. To me it means don’t procrastinate or leave things till later because it will pile up and seem too big to complete. It might not work for everyone, but this clicked with me and has helped tremendously.

What do you do when you hit a road bump? Because it’s going to happen. We are dealing with animals with their own opinions. Before you get yourself too upset, sell the horse, and quit, take a deep breath. This is your chance to learn and get better. For me I sit down and talk to someone I trust. It’s important to talk to someone you trust because they should give you their honest opinion. I talk out what happened, where it went wrong, what I could have done differently. If it happens to be riding and you have a video, watch it repeatedly. Then I sort out a plan as to how to improve in this area, maybe I need more lessons, or to be more physically fit, or more focused. Sometimes there won’t be anything you could have done to change the outcome, but other times there will be. Once I have sorted that out, I do my best to improve. Watching videos of myself and other riders helps me a lot, especially when I’m trying to improve – which for me is all the time.

My advice to anyone with big goals is to work hard, learn from your mistakes, never let your wins get you too high or your losses get you too down, and lastly never ever give up. Be determined and I promise you’ll get there.

I hope this has helped at least one person who will read this. I really enjoyed writing this so hopefully you enjoyed reading it. To be the best, watch and learn from the best.



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