It's All About the Journey
Life is a journey, not a destination -Ralph Waldo Emerson
We've all heard that quote at least once in our lives. It also rings true in our equestrian lives. We learn and grow each day we are at the barn. Sure, we might have goals but they'll always grow and evolve just like we do.
You might have a goal to become a Grand Prix rider
So you'll work your butt off to get there. You'll find the right horses and you'll learn the new skills. You'll sacrifice financially and you'll change your priorities.
Once you get there, you enter your first competition and you're proud that you reached your goal, it's not like you stop working and walk away from all of the hard work you've put in. Instead, your goal changes. You might then have a goal to go to the Olympics or to become the best ranked rider in your discipline worldwide. From there, maybe your goal becomes to breed the best horse in the world or to give back to the horse world somehow. Goals are forever changing.
That's not to say that your goals need to be that big. Maybe you don't want to be a professional rider. Instead, your goal could be jumping a 2 foot fence to a 3 foot. Or maybe it's expanding your knowledge of equine medicine or getting your horse to rear up on command. It's all possible and there isn't a single goal that is more valuable than another. Goals are just there to keep us focused. They keep us determined and encourage us to keep working.
With all of that said, though, that doesn't mean that if you don't reach that goal that you're a failure. Again, it's all about the journey. So enjoy every day that you're at the barn. Enjoy your progress and your bond. Be okay with your stumbles and mistakes.
Riding is supposed to be fun. It is our passion after all. So don't make it feel like work. Instead, make it feel more like a game. Instead of worrying about what can go wrong, change your mindset to think of what can go right and have fun. If your aids get the wrong reaction from your horse, that's okay! Instead of thinking that it's a disaster, think about how you could change your aids to get the right answer. At least now you know one other way that doesn't get you the right result. So keep playing around and figure it out. But most of all, don't give up. You'll always reach your goals if you believe that they are worth working for.
Until next time, happy riding!