The key to success in the barn and arena is to set goals. You and your horse will benefit from both a short- and long-term plan. It’s easy to become overwhelmed or stressed when faced with new challenges. Instead of panicking, create a strategy that’ll help you work through anything!

Follow the tips below to get started on your goals!

1. Make SMART goals. That stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. You should know exactly what you want to accomplish, be able to measure your progress, actually be able to achieve the goal, it should be worthwhile, and a deadline should be set in place.

2. Positive thinking only! Use terms that are encouraging, instead of negative. Try this: I will run clean barrel patterns. Not this: I will stop knocking over the barrels.

3. Work with a trainer or friend to set goals. Your instructor or a close friend will be able to help you set obtainable goals based on your skills.

4. Always be honest! Don’t set your sights on something that is far out of your reach. That will only lead to disappointment. Know your experience level, recognize your horse’s talent, and consider available opportunities.

5. Never lose your love for the sport. Your goals should never beat you down emotionally. They should actually build you up! Before you write out your goals, remember why you started riding. Keep things fun!

Goal-setting is healthy! It’s a sign you have plans and dreams for you and your horse. Keep that fire alive by making a positive future.

Make sure to check out ‘10 Steps To Being The Best Rider You Can Be‘!