January is all about looking at those goals you want to achieve. As equestrians, those goals are often in partnership with our horses.
As we draw to the end of the month, if you have not produced an action plan or started to take inspired action towards your dreams it is unlikely they will manifest into the physical in 2018.

So what do you want to achieve for the coming year? Some competition success? Personal fitness targets through regular riding? Or a deeper spiritual connection with your horse?
There is nothing more disheartening than revisiting the same dreams a year later.

So, let’s set you up so that in 2019 you will be expanding your horizons even further after working through these 7 tips in 2018:

1) Is this really going to make you happy?
Or are you being influenced by what you see others doing on social media or by family and friends? Others may be out competing but is this your dream? Or maybe it was but you have outgrown it but don’t realise yet! Does it fit your desired lifestyle? Are you putting too much pressure on yourself by comparing yourself to others?

2) Why do I want to achieve this goal?
How will you feel when you have qualified for this event, won a competition or completed this training? How will that confidence boost you get from dipping your toe back into eventing, impact the rest of your life? What will you do with the results to grow further?

3) Am I considering my horse’s needs?
What does your horse need to support you? Does your horse feel ready? What areas can you work on? Do you need to seek professional advice on health, nutrition and fitness?

4) Do I need to make changes to my support team?
Are your values in alignment with those who support you? Can you work in partnership with your team? Is your team adaptable to change? Consider your coach, farrier, vets, physio and suppliers. Speak to your family and friends, who are your champions?

5) What is my budget?
Work out your budget for the year, how much do you have to dedicate to this goal? Focus your cash flow on the items that will help you achieve the goal, sell items that you no longer need. Sometimes you may have to sacrifice items to achieve new things. Be ruthless with your belongings.

6) What equipment do I need to support my goals?
Assess your tack room, feed room, and wardrobe. Research what you need and get your supplies in. If you cannot afford things yet, start a Pinterest board so you can stay inspired by your vision.

7) Take the first steps
Get dates in your diary. When is the next course in equine behaviour? Call your coach and book in regular coaching sessions. Look up the dates for the competitions you want to enter.

When you have big goals, it can be scary and stressful. So having the answers to the first two questions at the forefront of your mind will help you get through this.

Setting goals with horses is incredibly difficult. Even if you spend time carefully establishing your goals for the next year, it doesn’t mean they will be easy to accomplish.

There will be lots of learning and listening that needs to happen throughout the year. Listen to your horse, listen to your support team but most importantly your heart. Keep refining the steps you are taking as you progress forward.

The important thing is to take the first step and then the next, until you can get to where you want to be.