The best goal setting tips – reach your goals this year!

Every rider, regardless of whether you’re a showjumper, dressage rider or you ride for fun, should set some goals for themselves. It’s always good to set short-term goals as well as long-term goals. These help you progress in the right direction and give you purpose, a reason why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Goal setting is easier said than done, though. What do you consider to be your goals?

What kind of goals can I set for myself?

You can start by planning your long-term goal, and then break your journey down to short-term goals. For instance, you can say you want to compete at a certain show next year. In order to get to the show, you might want to set some short-term goals, such as competing at a lower level in the next three months, learning flying changes within 6 months or something else.

Goals don’t always have to be show related. They can also be little accomplishments that take you in the right direction. What matters most is that your goals are realistic and important to you.

Top tips for goal setting:

  1. Small accomplishments are accomplishments, too. You don’t always have to aim high – even a small accomplishment is still taking you forward.
  2. Don’t be too critical. Though it’s human nature to get critical, notice the positive things too. Even the little ones.
  3. Phrase your goals in a positive manner. Instead of saying “I don’t want to get 4 faults at the next show”, say “I want to get a clear round in the next show.” This will help your brain to focus on the positive.
  4. Be logical and realistic. If your horse is now jumping 2’5″, it’s probably not realistic to expect him to jump 4 feet next month. Be realistic and logical!

What is a good goal?

Not just any goal is a good goal. In order to set up the kind of goals you can actually accomplish, it needs to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Also, you should remember, that if your goal is horse-related, you need to be able to work in “horse time.” People are always in a hurry, whereas horses don’t seem to care about that. So, don’t rush your horse. Like they say “if you go at it like you have 15 minutes, it’ll take all day. But if you go at it like you have all day, it’ll take 15 minutes.”


Setting yourself some attainable goals will help you stay motivated and keep progressing in the right direction. Now, get your new safety stirrups on, grab your spurs and let’s work towards our goals!

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