09-09-2010, 08:56 PM
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Of course I set goals :)
Goal for each show: Blue ribbon
Just kidding, kind of... I'm always aiming to be the best, but that's not all that drives me.
For all of my horses at EVERY show:
-First and foremost, I want my horse to BEHAVE. Not just when being ridden/shown inhand, but everywhere: trailer, stall, in between classes, etc.
-Then I want them to have a good experience, learn/reinforce that trailering/shows are enjoyable and nothing that they can't handle.
-After that, it's about performance. As long as they do the best for them (get scores around what they normally get or better). If they get beat, oh well - what are you going to do? But placing well is always better :)
Of course, I set goals for each specific show depending on the horse, too - something strictly performance related.
It might be something like "really bend into the corners at the canter" during a dressage test with Beau. Or, "make sure Cav is moving really straight when trotting to and from the judge on the triangle".
It depends on what needs to be worked on.
Then there are season-long goals. Something to work towards as you progress. This season for Beau it was to have him competitive (65%+) at Training Test 4. Now that we are there, hopefully next year we'll tackle First Level 1 & 2. For Cav this year, our goal was to have her place 1st or 2nd at a Future Event Horse show to get her qualified for the East Coast FEH Championships - she placed 2nd her 2nd time out to FEH.
Goals help tons, they give you a reason to practice and something to rides towards and a reason to be proud when you accomplish them :)