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The right way to set horse driving targets, keep on with them — and reach 2023


  • Many equestrians use the beginning of a brand new 12 months as a time to set new horse driving targets, so we’ve ask the specialists the right way to set sensible targets — and what steps to take to extend the probability of seeing them by way of to a profitable conclusion.

    1. Set horse driving targets that problem you

    Objectives ought to sit within the completely happy medium of pushing you out of your consolation zone sufficient to enhance, however not a lot that you simply lose confidence or battle to succeed. Dressage rider Nic Turner says: “On the subject of transferring up a degree I base my resolution on two points: the scores at our present degree, and the arrogance of the work from home. I moved certainly one of my horses pretty rapidly as much as inter 1 from prix st george purely as a result of the structure of the take a look at suited him significantly better.”

    2. Outline your horse driving targets intimately

    Equine sports activities psychologist, Charlie Unwin says: “It takes quite a bit to realize an aspirational horse driving objective, so you need to break it down into final result targets, efficiency targets and course of targets.”

    • End result targets: the massive aspirations you’ve for you and your horse.
    • Efficiency targets: the usual you have to be at to realize your final result objective, and the way you measure your progress.
    • Course of targets: the best way you’ll obtain your targets, with the right way to enhance and areas/workouts to work on whereas driving.

    5-star eventer Kate Honey provides: “With the youthful horses, I’ve lengthy and short-term targets. Usually all of the 5 and six-year-olds have the identical long-term objective, however how they obtain that can differ.”

    3. Work in the direction of your targets day by day

    It’s very important that you’ve your horse driving targets in thoughts whenever you work together with your horse every day. Take Charlie’s outcome-performance-process construction. In case your efficiency objective is to attain greater in dressage, then a course of objective could be bettering straightness. These course of targets provide you with one thing tangible to work on each time you experience.

    “I’m a agency believer in coaching a degree or two above that you simply compete at,” says Nic. “The work contained in the boards ought to really feel snug and, dare I say it, simple.”

    4. Write your plan down

    Don’t depend on protecting your complete plan in your head, as there’s usually an excessive amount of to recollect. Charlie suggests making a mind-map, placing your final result objective within the center. Shifting out from that’s your efficiency targets, which in flip hyperlink to clusters of course of targets. A mind-map turns your objective right into a plan, and provides you all the pieces from a calendar of competitions to coaching workouts.

    5. Set milestones to measure your efficiency

    Everybody faces setbacks on their highway to success, however a plan makes it simpler to remain on observe, as you may measure your progress and make amendments if needed. “I make particular person plans in the beginning of the 12 months for all of the horses, however these are fluid and all the time altering,” says Kate. “I usually keep on with my plan with the older horses, with two or three huge competitions and prep occasions in between.”

    6. Take a step again and re-evaluate

    Nic emphasises that taking a step again can enhance your work: “Issues don’t all the time go to plan and it’s vital we react in the fitting manner. If the coaching appears overwhelming, step again and take a breather. I bounce in my spare time and have enjoyable doing that. Very often the work we had been discovering exhausting appears remarkably simple after per week or so off!”

    7. Be taught to be resilient

    “If you’ve carried out your homework, you develop into resilient to set-backs,” Charlie says. “Together with your mind-map, if one thing goes unsuitable, it’s sometimes in a single remoted space of the map – slightly than your complete plan. Usually, all riders have to do is change the timeframe or sure components of their plan.”

    High suggestions to assist obtain your 2023 horse driving targets

    • “Sticking to targets boils right down to organisation, willpower and motivation. Journey in all climate, and rise up early or go to mattress late. Have a routine and plan your time” — Nic Turner
    • “My prime tip can be all the time set sensible however difficult targets for your self” — Kate Honey
    • “Write all the pieces down! Then you may see how your aspirational targets match into your on a regular basis driving classes” — Charlie Unwin

    Discover out extra about Charlie Unwin at

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