My friend Maggie sent me a note this week. She said she appreciates my weekly motivations, but could I please address the issue of “momentum” as it relates to riding. Every time Maggie and her rider have a lapse in their riding schedule, they find it hard to get back in the training groove. As much as her person loves riding, she still finds it difficult to maintain the momentum of a regular schedule.
This happens to many people. Why is that?
Jane has a friend who used to be a police officer. Her friend once told her that one of the hardest things to learn as a cop is how to spend an entire day driving around with no particular destination. The area or district where she drove her patrol car was well defined, but unless an officer is directed to a call for help, she just drives around aimlessly for hours looking for something to do. A cop must always be ready for the possibility that she might run across something happening that needs her attention, but it can be an incredibly boring and unsatisfying way to spend an eight hour day.
Some people ride by going to the barn and simply riding around in circles. If they don’t have a trainer guiding them to the next skill or a plan for what they are wanting to accomplish that day, the ride may be aimless. AIM-LESS. Without “aim” or a goal. This can be very unsatisfying as there is no forward “momentum.”
I believe the answer to the momentum question lies in having specific goals. That’s what shows are for: a set goal, a set date, a specific test to learn, an objective, and a definable intention. Direction creates momentum. So I suggest you set goals for each riding session, each week, month, year, and your lifetime. The goal doesn’t have to be big or lofty. It might be to simply have fun, to get stronger, or to improve a specific skill set. It might be to ultimately ride in the Olympics! But, without a map, a rider will just be riding aimlessly with no idea what to do or where to go next. There will be no “momentum.”
So Maggie, let your person know she needs to talk with her trainer (or with herself) and set some short and long term goals. Be sure to celebrate the achievement of each goal, no matter how small. Then set the next goal. You’ll see your momentum take off!
I’m so happy to be back in Vermont! It’s cool here with lots and lots of BUNNIES! I miss my swimming pool in Florida, but I’ve got wonderful ponds and streams all around where I can swim and play. Sometimes, Rhett lets me go with him when he visits other farms so I get to visit lots of my old friends. Vermont is a very happy place!
Moshi asked me what my goals are for the summer. I reminded him that my job is to keep Jane and Rhett company, warn them of danger, and love them with all my heart. So my goal is to help create a happy and safe family. It’s what I was born to do. It’s a very important job.
Being happy didn’t sound like much of a goal to Moshi. I reminded him that it’s actually the biggest, most important goal of all! Moshi is happiest working hard and achieving excellence in dressage. Jane is happy sharing her training and teaching skills with lots and lots of people. Rhett is happy creating top quality videos at shows and for Jane’s programs. I’m happiest chasing bunnies and tennis balls and snuggling with Jane.
Happiness is a rather vague goal, but it’s an important one. Have you given it much thought?
What jazzes you? What inspires you? What makes you feel joyful and alive? Are you spending time doing things that fill your soul? Or are you just plugging along trying to get through the day?
This week, make happiness one of your goals. Spend some time pondering those things that fill your heart and soul. Make those activities a priority. Give yourself the gift of joy. You deserve it!
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