It's not February, but we are halfway through the year. Wanted to share my re-read of this blog by Cathy Rivers'....
good to touch base on with our goals!
by Cathy Rivers
3 LESSONS YOUR HORSE TEACHES YOU ABOUT REACHING YOUR GOALS
Here it is, the end of February. Are you still connected to your New Year’s Goals? Are you living and breathing them? Still feeling the excitement? Or, are you feeling defeated and already ignoring that promise you made yourself?
It is normal to experience highs and lows as you work to achieve your goals. The trick is to learn how to support yourself throughout those highs and lows so you don’t give up on your goals and dreams.
As an equestrian, you already possess skills in working with your horse that, if you apply to yourself, will help you stay connected to your goals and consistently making progress. Here are 3 lessons working with your horse teaches you about reaching your own goals.
Lesson #1: The “AHA” comes first and the proficiency follows. If you have set a big goal for yourself, you will need to learn new skills and expand your capacity. Isn’t it fun when your horse ‘gets’ something for the first time? You get excited and praise them profusely. You eagerly, yet patiently, anticipate the next time they give you that same new response. And you praise them again. You know that it will take time for them to give you this new response 100% of the time. It may require a new level of physical conditioning or it may be a matter of understanding the cue. You know, given sufficient time and patient teaching, your horse will learn this new skill 100%.
Just as you support your horse in learning a new skill, you need to give yourself the same patient consideration and lavish praise. Awareness frequently precedes proficiency. Give yourself the time, space and support to grow your proficiency.
Lesson #2: Do something that supports your goal 5 days a week.There’s a reason professional trainers and successful equestrians have the rhythm of 5 days of work followed by 2 days off. It works on so many levels. 5 days of schooling gives your horse the repetition they need to: build their muscles, strength and endurance; develop relationship and confidence, learn new skills mentally and physically, and understand that ‘going to work’ and following instructions is the norm. And those 2 days off is the time they just get to be a horse while their bodies and mind internalize the experiences of the week.
Adopt this same philosophy for reaching your own goals. Get in the habit of taking action on your goals 4 to 5 days a week. The action you take doesn’t have to be big; baby steps 5 days a week really add up! And always give yourself days free of work to rest and recharge your body, mind and spirit.
Lesson #3: Connect with your heart so you don’t give up. I see over and over again, people go above and beyond all limits in service of their horses. Doing whatever is necessary to see to their health, going to clinics, reading, taking extra lessons to figure out that illusive movement such as a flying change. There is something about a horse that inspires their human to be unstoppable.
The point here is to take that love of your horse & riding and apply it to other parts of your life. Your horse gives you the experience of total commitment. You know what it feels like and what the joys, pain and rewards are all about. You deserve to give yourself and all your dreams this same commitment you give your horse.
When you feel disconnected from your goals, ready to give up, starting to ignore them, tap into the experience of commitment and love that you already share with your horse. It will energize you to take that next step.
Cathy Rivers and Big Horse Dreams
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