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  • Writer's pictureDerry Vilcans-Moody

KICK START THE NEW YEAR - Set goals, create good habits, skip the resolutions

First of all HAPPY NEW YEAR.. 2022 is set to be an exciting one for me, as I kick start my coaching offer in my new location in the West Midlands.

At this time where it seems the focus is heavily on 'new year, new me' I thought it might be good put out something a little controversial .. New year doesn't mean new you. It is however a clean break to refocus on, or develop some of the positive behaviours (habits) you, and your horse, need for summer success! ( and beyond)

In the partnership of horse and rider/ handler, there is only one half that can make the conscious decision to change. The half in charge of the change is us! The riders and handlers. Through conscious changes and clear goals. The goals don't have to be for you to compete in the next olympics ( although they could be if you wanted do)

Here are some goals I'm working on with Horse and riders/ handlers right now

  • To be able to lunge my horse, with a purpose

  • To improve confidence while hacking

  • To add more variation to my horses work by introducing groundwork

  • Improve my riding to be more balanced and organized as a rider to help my aging horse

  • Compete in a on-line dressage test

  • To enter and complete my first, Intro, Preliminary, Novice, Elementary dressage test

  • Jump a small courses of fences not just a single fence at home.

As you can see these are a range of realistic goals!

But how do you set yourself up for success? Well that's a case of engaging the right mindset and developing the habits that will set you up for success, i would always advise the support of a coach to do this, I offer a video call, or face to face option to plan this. Head over to my contact page to get in touch if you'd like some help this

My top tips for success at making a change and setting up for success for changing habits,

1) WHAT ARE YOU CHANGING? Decide what you are going to change, develop or practice , make a plan and commit it to paper (or a note on your phone) I like to pin it to the door in the feed room at the yard where I see it every day! Plan it a specific time to work on this ( daily, weekly, or 2/3 times weekly)

2) DON'T DEVIATE .. You have to commit to the change and keep going, remember you are the only person in the team who can actually be responsible for the changes

3) SHARE IT - Tell others, keep a diary, update others on the journey, keep your 'squad' of support informed on what's going on, agree they are a supportive group.

4) MENTAL REHEARSAL OR VISUALISATION - Visualize yourself doing this, mentally rehearse it successfully in your mind, try to absorb and rehearse each step, element or maneuver. You have all the time in the world to do this. Plan this time into your diary even if that means on arrival at the yard you sit in the car for 5 mins and mentally rehearse or visualise.

5) MANTRA's Create a mantra. A series of affirming words that you can say to you self, or ask a supporter, coach to repeat to you to remind and refocus. Even better commit your mantra to paper this reaffirms it even more!

6) COMMIT , be determined resilient and aware that you have to be persistent. It is way to easy to get 2 weeks in and stop. or change.

7) REWARD - reward yourself for your dedication. It is essential that you are rewarding yourself for the effort and the output.

This simple process can be applied to anything from practicing canter transitions, to adding ground work in to your work plan, to developing leg yield.

As a coach, all of my clients, knowingly or not, work through this process all time- Just look at my previous blog post on Bella and Rachel story, the change we achieved in just 6 lessons over 3 months was phenomenal.

As always, the support and guidance of a professional qualified coach is recommended whatever your riding goal, being hacking with more confidence, jumping or schooling I'd be happy to help. To find out more about coaching then get in touch .. call 07971599909, email or hit the contact us page.

'NJoy your horses.

Looking forward to speaking to you soon.


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