January is the time of year when we sit down and set our goals for the year ahead and although the nights are long and the weather is now against us, now is the perfect time to think about what the upcoming 12 months has in store for you and your horse.
We’ve put together got four top tips to help with your 2020 plans:
1. Making time
We completely understand that sitting down and looking at 12 months can be slightly daunting and putting pen to paper is where lots of people go wrong. The first step is to make time for you to think about what you want to achieve. We all lead busy lives but the next time you’re in the yard why not stay for an extra half an hour with a cup of tea and think what you want to achieve. Is that trying your hand at a Prelim dressage test, taking your horse to the beach or entering your first BE80T – *did you know you are 42% more likely to stick to your goals if you write them down.
2. Be SMART
When setting goals, you may want to have short term (days to weeks), medium term (months) and long term (years) goals. A throwback to when many of us were back in school, a good tip is making your goals S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
People use SMART objectives because they’re designed to help you achieve success rather than failure. Handy tip, why not share your goals with your trainer and support team so that everyone is aware of your ambitions and are all working towards the same end goal.
3. Preparation is key
When you start to look at which events you are going to enter, be sure to make a note of when entries open and close (also ballot dates if appropriate). Checking your lorry in for a service can also help as the last thing you want is to get caught on the M1 with a broken-down lorry/trailer. Including important dates for your horse within your plan, such as vaccination and worming dates is important as well as making sure your horses’ passport is fully up to date - you will need to have this with you when travelling at all times.
4. Feeding for success
Making sure your four-legged partner is fit for the job is vital to help you stay on track. If your fitness regime picks up in the lead up to an event or your outings are regular throughout the summer, you’ll want to make sure your horse is able to keep up and perform for you. To ensure that you’re on the right track, get in touch with our nutritionists on our Helpline where we will give you our best advice for free. Contact our helpline on 01832 737300, option 3 or the Live Chat option on our website.
Finally, remember that it’s completely natural for your goals to change mid-season. There is also absolutely nothing wrong if your goals take longer than anticipated to achieve, that fact that you continue to strive for success is what counts. And lastly, we’re all here to enjoy ourselves so make sure that whatever your goals are, have fun!