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The Challenge of Goals

Tell me about a challenge you set for yourself and accomplished, or set yourself a new challenge and keep us updated!
I’ve honestly been avoiding this blog hop like the plague. I have issues setting goals, not that I don’t do it or won’t do it but that I’ve learned that I can’t and although that frustrates my type A personality it’s just better this way. I’m a perfectionist and have some OCD tendencies. When I set a goal I do anything to meet it and in the past that has included things like ruining friendships or hurting myself. Because of that I’ve learned to not set big, specific goals. When I was a cellist I pushed myself so hard that at one point I was having up to 3 stress headaches/migraines per week and I developed tendonitis and a shoulder injury, both of which still bother me. It took me almost a year to let that go. Then when I was looking for my current job I had set a goal about when I needed to find something (I beat it by a few months) and again, multiple stress headaches/migraines, two colds, and some weight loss but I met my goal. Riding Dressage is what I do for fun, it’s what I do to get away from the world and to escape some of my perfectionism. I come from a long line of obsessive people, I have multiple relatives (including my mom and sister) that have struggled with eating disorders. I have a different sister who is a professional musician (already successful at a young age in an incredibly competitive career) that has so many injuries that I don’t know how she’s going to be able to continue to retirement. It’s a daily struggle for me to not bring that to my riding.

It is really tough for me not to be able to set goals and succeed but I’ve figured out a workaround. My yearly goals are a good example of this. I set small goals that will slowly work me towards a bigger goal but I don’t get down to specifics and I don’t set dates. Both are extremely important for most goals but so far I have been circling my big goal (and sort of stalking it :-) ). My goal is to keep wearing it down and eventually go in for the kill when I’m pretty much there so that my risk of hurting something/ruining something/breaking myself is at a minimum.

My big goal right now is a Bronze Medal on my pony.

My even bigger goal that I’ve never even mentioned on this blog is to get that accomplished early enough in Katai’s life that we could actually take the next step and start on a Silver Medal but that’s getting ahead of myself.

Regarding the Bronze I obviously haven’t talked about it much on this blog and I haven’t, and won’t set any specific goals or dates about it since based on past events I know that the likelihood of hurting Katai or myself or ruining our relationship over it is just too high. However I have, and will continue, to set small goals that head me in the correct direction.

Things like finding transportation to shows, showing in at least one clinic still this year, continuing to improve me and Katai’s relationship, and continuing to take weekly dressage lessons. They’re small, maybe insignificant seeming, goals but since I’m still aware of where I’d like to be they’ve been working to head me in the right direction over the past couple of years. I mean we went from this

To this

To this

In almost exactly three years which I feel like is a huge success especially without a consistent trainer and on a disaster (said with love) of a pony that I trained myself. So far, in that time frame, I’ve checked off the following list.

Find a good dressage instructor, get Katai used to clippers, get Katai used to trailering, get Katai to go forward off aids, get Katai to accept saddle and bridle, get Katai to accept cross ties, get Katai to pick up all four feet, be able to lead said pony, condition pony, get rid of underneck muscle, teach pony to lunge, get pony out on trail rides, find a place to board with dressage instructor, make sure you can blanket pony, make sure I can fly spray pony, teach pony to wear a fly mask, teach pony to tie to trailer, get pony to stop running me over, get pony used to stall, teach pony to stand still at mounting block, teach pony to wear bit, teach pony to steer, teach pony about leg cues, teach pony about contact, teach pony to stop, teach pony to stop off seat, teach pony about indoor arenas, teach pony to accept treats nicely, get pony to stand for farrier, get pony to stand for vet, teach pony about hoses, teach pony about wash stalls, teach pony about ground poles, teach pony about bridges, teach pony to ride, make sure other people can handle pony, teach pony to not freak out when friend leaves, improve relationship, teach pony to be caught, teach pony not to pull back when tied, teach pony not to rear, teach pony to walk, teach pony to trot, teach pony to canter, teach pony not to counter bend, teach pony to slow down (still in progress :-) ) and of course many more that I can’t think of right now.

So I think that my goal, for this blog hop, is actually to continue down the path I’m on and not set any one big specific goal but to continue to keep riding fun and relaxed and build that relationship with my wonderful pony :-)

‘Know thyself" - Socrates


  1. I'm glad you joined despite resisting. I always bite off huge challenges so I can appreciate this one. It is good to be driven, I can tell you are if you come from a line of professional musicians, wow! Work hard play hard. It is so rewarding what you've done on your own too. Let that fuel you! Good luck!

    1. Thank you! I'm happy I did as well :) It will be good to see this post when I need some inspiration.

  2. I'm glad you joined despite resisting. I always bite off huge challenges so I can appreciate this one. It is good to be driven, I can tell you are if you come from a line of professional musicians, wow! Work hard play hard. It is so rewarding what you've done on your own too. Let that fuel you! Good luck!


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