Goal Building Intensified

Goal Building Intensified

This is not another 2015 goal or goal progression post, even though I’m going to mention my 2015 goals.  Basically my equestrian self confidence was pretty low when I made my 2015 goals this year.  I think they’re valid and I plan to stick to them, but I definitely took it easy on myself when I wrote them down.  I was afraid to utter anything “too big” because I thought it was ridiculous to declare such a thing to the internet.

I think most amateur riders know we’re never going to go to the Olympics and are pretty outspoken about that.  The subject we tend to be more quiet about though, is our ‘big’ goal.  Whether it’s to ride in a Grand Prix or take your non-imported Warmblood Prix St. George, we tend to be quite a bit less outspoken about the big goals.

Yet, aren’t those the goals that keep us going at the end of the day?

When I started riding hunter/jumper more seriously in college, I told myself that all I wanted was to feel like I belonged at a weekend show.  I wanted to take a suitable horse around the 2’6″ hunters and not look terribly out of place.  Then about 5 years later, I achieved that… and realized I wanted more.

Sure it’s fun to go show, and while showing is not about ribbons or winning… well it’s a lot more fun if you win!

Then I started dabbling more in the jumper ring where my horse tends to shine.  He’s not a super fancy creature and lord knows we have some things against us, but he’s not backyard trash either.  What was my big goal going to be?

The more I work with Simon, the more I don’t want to settle for just belonging.  We have a really long way to go and lots of things to work on… mostly me.  The journey makes me hungrier for more though.  I want to find success and then push ourselves for more of it.

I want to have big goals.  I want to take Simon around the Take 2 Jumpers (1.0m) to represent his breed.  I want to show in the Low Adult Jumpers (1.0m – 1.05m) at some big shows like Pin Oak and Colorado.  Those are my big goals.

They may very well take years or never happen at all.  Like any horse, Simon could get hurt tomorrow and never jump again or I may find myself in the poor house with no show money to be had.  That’s okay, because big goals have big risks sometimes.  We’ll give it our best shot and see what happens, because that’s all we can do!

Those are my big goals… what are yours?

54 thoughts on “Goal Building Intensified

  1. I have two big ones right now:
    Get my USDF Bronze Medal
    Be competitive and comfortable in the Adult Jumpers

    Both are doable with my current horse, it’s more getting me back in show shape and consistently riding for a year or so 🙂

  2. This may seem like nothing…lol. But loping (actual legitimate three beat loping!!!) at a regional breed show with the Copperhorse. 🙂 I had/am battling low confidence related to cantering/loping and am getting through it, but not confidently at the breed show level. Those horses are so broke. haha

  3. Awesome and attainable goals! You will be there before you know it.

    Right now my ‘big’ goal is to ride a CCI**, and eventually a CCI***. That’s why I have a few horses…hoping one will have what it takes to do it. In the meantime, have fun getting them there!

  4. I struggle with this because life is unpredictable and I’m a total commitment-phobe. In the back of my mind, I want Courage to be competitive in the 3’3″ jumpers in the best company I can afford and maybe get to 3rd level dressage? I think it’s doable.

  5. I want to take Murray prelim. I’ve got a four year plan and everything! It goes like this: don’t move up more than one level per year. 😉 But for real, I think the kid’s got the height in him, and he’s definitely fast enough.

    I’d also like to try for a USDF bronze medal. I think Murray and I could handle that!

    After that, who knows?!

  6. When I realized I was very, very unlikely to represent the good ole USA as an eventer at the Olympics, I made it my life goal to compete and complete at Rolex.

    I don’t have a great plan to get there at the moment, as it’s not like I’ll be pointing either of my elderly horses at Rolex in three or four years. (Although I’m sure Moe would try his best.) When I eventually begin looking for a new, young horse, I’ll buy it with that goal in mind and make a plan. And I’ll stop being so afraid to sell my horses!

  7. Compete in a 100 mile endurance ride. I don’t know if I’ll even like it…but if I do…I really want to try to ride the OD 100, Vermont Moonlight 100, and Tevis one day.

    My other huge goal that would take crazy logistics and a lot of time? Ride from coast to coast on one horse over a span of a few months.

  8. love it – and you can totally do it!!!! my goals are still very amorphous right now bc i’m new to my sport and have shaky confidence… meaning my long term outlook isn’t really fully developed.

    competition-wise – i want to move up to BN this year or next – and maybe if that happens things will come into better focus….?

    one big goal IS well defined tho: i’d like my own horse eventually please! 😀

  9. Sometimes I dream about what it would be like to go to the FEI World Driving Championships.
    But first, we have to get through our first Training level HDT.

  10. Hmmm. Big goals? I can tell you that not letting my health get the best of me when riding horses is my biggest goal. Other current goals: go to an actual 3 day event and compete at novice!

  11. Ever since I started riding, something about doing 3′ hunters at Pin Oak would make me feel like I’ve made it.

    My more recent, more “secret” ambition – I want to do eventing.

    1. 2’6″ Hunters at Pin Oak was my big goal until Simon told me that he wanted to be a jumper pony! I’m hoping to drive up to the show next weekend and spectate.

      1. They have jumpers at Pin Oak too, right? 😉 The first time I ever saw a horse jump something of substantial size was at the Pin Oak Grand Prix…I literally stopped in my tracks, jaw dropped. Probably why it has such meaning for me – my first exposure to a “real” horse show. Funny how goals change with time and horses, isn’t it?

  12. Have you ever heard of “the 10x rule”? Its a concept and book by Grant Cardone that says you need to multiply your goals by 10 and really reach for the stars in order to have more success in life.

    Right now I don’t have any big goals. I need to think about that more.

  13. I set out a huge goal for last year and somehow managed to achieve it: earn my USDF Gold medal on a horse I trained myself. Check. Now that he is retired and I have a youngster coming along, it’s hard to have those big goals again. But I’d really like to return to the Grand Prix ring, especially on a horse I trained, and would love to do a CDI at that level in the future. But currently, I’d really like the baby to get through introductory level at a schooling show without him losing his mind 🙂 perspective!

  14. I think your goals are very achievable! My goals have definitely evolved over the years. When I first started showing the jumpers at A shows 2 years ago, my goal was the low adults. I knew that would be my horse’s max and at that time, 3’3 was still looking fairly large to me and was a good ways away from what we were jumping. Then, my circumstances changed and had a new horse and a good trainer, who seemed to think I could do more than I thought. My new “big goal” became the AO jumpers. Fast forward 1 yr and a half, I’m doing the 1.15 m on my young horse and moved up to the Low AO jumpers at WEF last month on my other horse. Now, I’m beginning to think about a new “big goal” that had never seemed realistic before…. I’m being VERY cautiously optimistic, but I had a long talk with my trainer and the new big goal is high AO/Grand Prixs. I feel crazy typing that, but I guess you have to set your sights somewhere right?

  15. I’ve been told that I should be aiming for the Child and Adults this season, but anything above 3′ sounds terrifying right now, so I think that will be my long term goal and my goal for this season will be to have mostly clear rounds in the 3′ jumper ring by the end of the season.

  16. For the longest time, my big goal has been getting back to Training level eventing, and doing so without looking like an absolute hot mess. Now that we are almost there, I’m starting to reassess what our ‘big goal’ might be.. Right now, I’m thinking Prelim CT’s and then I would love to get my Bronze medal too!

  17. My big goal is small to some but would be pretty huge for me: I want to ride at the groton house farm 3-day. That’s where I fell in love with eventing and watched big names like David o Connor and Phillip dutton go around. I KNEW that I wanted to do that one day. I probably won’t be going advanced, but if I could make it to novice it would be a total dream come true. I think maggie *might* have the potential to take me there with the right coaching. But because of her height she also might not! I’ll get there somehow though

  18. I love big goals. In an ideal world, I’ll jump Grand Prix. But a whole lot of things have to go right if I’m going to get there. For now, assuming Mo stays sound, I think we can do the Level 5 jumpers. If we do that well, I’ll feel like we did good. If we can go further, huzzah.

  19. Loving seeing what everyone’s goals are! And from what I saw of you and Simon in the jumper ring recently, you’re well on your way!

    My big goal right now is to make it to a Low Adults Jumper Classic. I can’t comfortably jump that height yet, but my girl can do it without breaking a sweat and I want to go there with her!

  20. Love your goals! Definitely 100% attainable.

    Mine includes riding Grand Prix jumpers. My big secret goal (I guess it won’t be very secret after this!) is to find an amazing sponsor, a la Artisan Farms and Eric Lamaze, and tour around the big circuits. Pipe dreams considering I’m doing much lower jumping, but I hope to get there. This sport is much more than an “I’m okay with staying in the low ammy ranks” for me… Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with that! I just want so much more.

    Whether I will ever get it, I don’t know. I feel so fortunate to be in my position, but at the same time I don’t have the financial backing for a “big” horse… Or realistically a sort-of big horse. Or a medium horse. But I’m trying to trust in the universe and so forth, and patiently work toward my goals and desperately hope the money side of things works itself out.

  21. I want to ride in a Grand Prix before I have kids or before I’m 35 whichever comes first 🙂

    I also want to ride in an international derby… there I said it!!!

  22. This is a hard one to pinpoint now.

    With Yankee it was always make it to 1* and qualify for the AECs (something I had never done with him). Hopefuly under another rider he will accomplish that this year 😀

    For myself and Bacardi….uhhhh. No clue. Maybe have one ride where he doesn’t bolt or rear? haha.
    I never really thought that far ahead because he came to me with SO MANY small issues, that fixing all of them has taken precedence over one big goal. I bought him to be the next upper level horse…but we struggle over crossrails and loading on a trailer so who knows. I guess I have none.

  23. I’m going to be the oddball I think. I’ve never really had a desire to compete although doing a CTR would be cool, so my big goal has nothing to do with competing. It sounds simple, but it’s actually pretty big. I want to be as comfortable riding Chrome as I was on my Appy mare when I was a teenager. I want to know him so well that I never have to worry what is going to happen because I already know how he’ll react to any given thing. I want to be comfortable galloping him full speed bareback across an open field. Even if it takes us twenty years, that is my ultimate goal. If I do manage to let go of my fear and we do reach that goal earlier than expected I’ll have to think of a new big goal hehe. This was a great post and I loved reading the comments!

  24. I think having those big goals is super important, even if we keep them to ourselves. And I totally think your goals are within reach for you two, and I look forward to tagging along on the journey to accomplishing them 🙂

  25. I really, really loved reading everyone’s responses to this! I can totally see you and Simon jumping around at the CHP! I’ve always been bad about having the big goal – but failing to break it down into attainable things, and getting mad when I didn’t meet it.

    My big goal for a long time was to win a World Championship. Any event, AQHA, APHA, didn’t matter. Just wanted to take that victory gallop. These days it’s a little more refined – I want to be top three in the world in one of the hunt seat events (flat or over fences). It kind of shapes everything I do horse-wise, to be honest. It’s all the long-term plan to get there.

  26. I would like to qualify and compete at AEC’s one day – probably just at BN, let’s be real here – and win the high-score award for adult pony riders 🙂

  27. I loved this post! The pretty pictures helped too 😉 My big goal is to show the big shows like Thermal and Young Riders in Oregon. I also want to go ride with a friend Shelly (apparently she is an olympic winner. I really should know her last name lol) in Canada.

  28. Our goal used to be the A/O hunters. It never happened because my anxiety got in the way, but we were competitive in the Adult hunters and some derbies which I think was admirable. My new big goal is to get him to Third Level. This year is to do some tests that I’m proud of at First Level. And to make sure we have some fun along the way.

  29. I would love to reach a point where O and I can jump around the 3′, maybe the 3’6” well and get to compete in some of the derbys around here. Because shadbellys and braids.

  30. I think my main goal is to be a jack of all trades kind of rider. I want to learn jumping and dressage and polo and cows, and I’ve actually dabbled in equestrian vaulting. I want to try everything!

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