I don't know about yourself, but this winter has been one for the books for us here at the farm! Between broken water heaters, burst water pipes, frozen gates and the 4 feet of snow... It's weighed on us all. A lot.
And with it, came a serious dip in training time. Another serious dip in riding time.. and overall; a loss of motivation. But this past few weeks have shown their promise to me. I stepped up my game and got "focused".. for myself and for my horses.
Q and I are set to go to Kentucky in October; and we have A LOT of work to do before we even joke about competing there. That was my first kick out of being a lazy toad... Another push in the right direction was having a Parelli horseless workshop here in February. I've been on the fence about following the Parelli program for some time; mostly because of miscommunication and a lot of misunderstanding. The workshop fixed that.
What an amazing community of people. I have been searching for those who are in this strictly for the horse, and they are right up my alley!
After the workshop I decided to get my feet wet further and have been taking weekly lessons with a Parelli instructor, Maureen Owens; an incredible horsewoman! She has set me straight and I am gungho about it. Maureen sat me down and we planned out my goals for my horses; the path to Kentucky with Q and my Parelli level auditions with Johnny. I got a million whiteboards together, laid out my plans...
And I am following them!!
It's only been a couple weeks, but I can feel such a change in myself. And in Q. We have made leaps and bounds in the past 2 weeks; and I am no longer nervous to start saddle work with him. What an incredible partner he is; now that I have cleared some muddy waters and he can understand me.
This new found motivation is so fresh feeling. I have time to make these goals a reality. I have the best support team of coaches, horses, friends and family to keep me engaged and accountable... I've never felt this free before.
It makes me think about how many riders can get stuck without a coach. Without someone to keep them accountable and constantly improving. I've been stuck in that rut so many times, and it gets so rough to deal with after awhile. Like... is this all there is? Or am I really good enough to just stay at this level? I hate questions like this, because it goes against my core values. One which matches the Parelli values perfectly: dedication to never ending self improvement! But how hard is it to continue to self improve if you don't have someone to show you what you can improve upon.
The past 2 weeks I have signed up for 2 clinics over the spring and summer; one with Don Halladay in May and one with Waltr Zettl in July. These two clinics mean I need to be at a certain level of training, fitness and emotional clarity before Q and I walk into the arena. This is what drives my motivation. What keeps me focused. I don't get lost thinking I'll just try this one day or miss a training session just once; because I know I need to be working on specific tasks to get us moving forward. That's not to say we don't have fun, or try anything new.. it's just in a certain order and with specific purpose. It fits a timeline, with a goal.
With all that said, I encourage you all to set your goals! We learned about SMART goals in civics class and I'm sure all rolled our eyes at them in highschool... But they play a big part of success now that we are on a path to reach a real goal.. Something tangible.
Then, with those goals in mind, find the right coach to keep you accountable. Nothing can make me miss a training session with Q now that I know Maureen is coming every Friday. I don't want to waste a lesson working on something I should've been working on all week. I want to take the next step and get to the next progression.. however big or small that may be; I'm addicted.
Anyone else have some big goals for this year? Anyone else headed to Kentucky in October for the Thoroughbred Makeover Challenge?