Joining the UKCC level 3 training before Christmas reminded me of how useful it is to have simply thought through what you really want to achieve with your horse this year.
Think about the stage you are both at, imagine where you would like to be by late autumn, and then think about the steps needed in between… If you have a spare calendar or can create a spreadsheet, put down those key competition dates and all the qualifiers… Then add in any holiday plans, things that might interrupt preparation like flu jabs and work or family events…
As the picture of the year builds up, you may decide you need to adjust your plans or realise how early you need to start because of other influences. So you will have time to make some adjustments and can start to get the training you need booked in too.
I did this for a little horse I have who can be rather spooky and lacking confidence. I realised I had been putting off taking him out, yet he should be able to do a nice elementary test if we could get used to working in some new venues. So last Saturday we went out for a novice test and just got 6′s throughout because he was tense and made a couple of mistakes. I’ll taking him back to the same venue a few times, then another and see if he can relax a bit more….