Friday, April 11, 2008

Setting A Big Goal

Like many dressage riders, I work best with a target in sight... A goal. The goal can be a specific movement, a certain feel, a certain behaviour, a date on the calendar, or a milestone in the training program.

This week, I created a goal. A really BIG GOAL. In this case, it is a competition on the USDF Region 8 calendar. I entered Piper into his first competition in the USA, his first competition since he was a young horse, and his first competition outdoors. No pressure. :-)

The competition is May 11th at the NEDA Spring Dressage Competition in Marshfield, MA. We entered Training Level Tests 1 & 4.

The goal is multifaceted, as many are. It includes:
  • Getting to the show without incident
  • Surviving the warmup without Piper panicking about other horses
  • Getting into the competition ring without trouble
  • Completing at least 1 of the 2 tests successfully
  • Getting home safely
All joking aside, it is important to remember that Piper is a timid horse who, despite being 11 years old on May 12th, has the training & competition experience of a youngster.

To help ELIMINATE as many unknowns as possible, I will be competing at the same show the day before with Jeddien. We will contest 3rd Level Test 3 and 4th Level Test 1. More importantly, I'll be able to scope out the showgrounds, figure out where to park, settle into the environment, and then be able to bring Piper down the next day knowing what's what.

So, step one done. We have a BIG Goal.

Next, on to training !!!!

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