Written by Kimberly Dunn - Idyllwild Horsemanship

Kim has worked with horses all over the world and regularly writes for Western Horse Magazine & Irish Field. She also hosts her own podcast "The Enlightened Equestrian Podcast". Kim currently holds a UKCC Level 2 Certificate in Western Riding, is a qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Mind Coach, as well as a certified NLP and EFT practitioner. I've known Kim for years now and have worked with her in Nottingham & Devon on photoshoots for her business - the way she works with horses is truly mesmerising and a joy to watch.

Its that time of year again, the phrase 'new year, new me' is floating around everywhere you turn, new years resolutions are being declared with the very best of intentions.... and some may even have been broken already!

So, what about when it comes to setting goals and resolutions with your horse? 

This can be a difficult one, particularly at a time of year which is not the best for us horse girls, with shorter days, terrible weather and seemingly ENDLESS mud...it can leave us feeling a little lacking in the motivation department. 

Luckily, I have a little guide for you to help spark up some inspiration, and help you look ahead to your year with your horse...because it won't be winter forever... promise!

Make Time to Reflect. 

Reflecting is so important when it comes to setting goals and making plans with your horse for the year ahead. I recommend you carve out some time, grab a notepad and pen, and take some time to reflect.

What went right for you last year? What brought you the most joy? What are you most proud of? Just as important is looking at what didn't go so well. What did you learn? What could you improve on? How can you take that into this new year?

Looking for a little extra help kicking off 2024 in the right way?

Find Out What Your Values Are. 

When you set goals, it is SO important to make sure they are actually aligned with what YOU want. So often (particularly in the horse industry) we set goals or do things because we feel we should, because of outside/peer pressure, or just because that's what everyone else is aspiring to...so shouldn't I too?

If these goals you set for yourself aren't truly aligned with you and your values, you will find that you don't feel as motivated to reach them, it'll be harder to show up and 'do the work' and most importantly, you won't find as much joy in the process or the goal itself! So, grab that notepad and pen again...and ask yourself..what is important to me when it comes to life with my horse? What do I enjoy doing the most? What do I spend the most time doing and why? Does this light me up? You might find yourself surprised by what comes up!

Set Those Goals!

Now its time to set your goals, based on what you feel excited and inspired to achieve. I recommend setting 3-5 tangible goals for the year, and these can be anything from improving your relationship to your horse, getting out to a show, doing a pleasure ride, whatever feels good to you.

I would advise you keep the goals realistic for you and your horse, setting a rough time frame (to add some healthy pressure) and making sure that you are precise with your wording as you write them down.

Make a Plan.

A goal without a plan is just a dream! Making a plan to use to help you achieve your goals with your horse is what makes the difference between feeling the sweet sense of achievement as you get there, or the sense of disappointment when you realise you've missed out..again!

I recommend writing down 3-5 action steps you need to take or set in place to help set you on the journey to getting to those goals. This might look like hiring a coach, booking an arena or horse transport, organising your schedule so you get training time in, or even making a start on researching how you can achieve your goal! Write these steps down, take action, and watch as your goal starts to get closer and closer.

Looking for a little extra help kicking off 2024 in the right way?

Enjoy The Journey.

One very important thing to remember when you set your goals, is to enjoy the journey to them. Life is meant to be lived, and we have our horses to enjoy our time with them, so try and be 'present' on your journey to your goals, finding moments of joy, appreciation, and gratitude in every step, and using any challenges you come across as opportunities to grow.

If you can do that, then you've smashed a goal you didn't even know you had!

So there you have it, if you're feeling a little stuck or stagnant when it comes to thinking of the year ahead with your horse, gives those a try to inject some inspiration into your 2024!

If you need a little extra help and would like a guide through the process, I hosted a 2 hour 'Goal Setting Call for Equestrians' taking participants through the above exercises and more, and the recording is available now for £12, until the end of January 2024.

Click the button below to get access, and if you'd like to explore the world of mindset and horsemanship a little further and find out more about how I can help you, please head to the website, also linked below!


Looking for a little extra help kicking off 2024 in the right way?

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