Setting Goals

By Estelle Kraft

“What do you want to accomplish by the time you are out of high school?” That was a question I was asked just last year. Goals are an important basis in our life; they keep us on track and remind us what we want to accomplish in a set period of time. As equestrians we know that setting a goal, whether it’s for yourself, your barn, or your horse, and seeing it accomplished is one of the greatest feelings.

settinggoals

Goals can be set for any time period. It can be a day, a month, or a year from now, but there are a few important things to keep in mind when setting goals, and you can use the mnemonic device, SMART to remember them.

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goal setting concept presented on blackboard with colorful crumpled sticky notes and white chalk handwriting
SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goal setting concept presented on blackboard with colorful crumpled sticky notes and white chalk handwriting

Specific: This goal should answer the six “W” questions

Measureable: Make criteria for measuring progress for this goal.

Attainable: Set goals that are most important to you.

Realistic: Make sure these goals can be met financially and riding level wise. I suggest talking to your trainer or consulting a more experienced rider then yourself.

Timely: Set goals that you can accomplish in the time that you give yourself for example, don’t set a goal to move up from the 2’0 equitation division to the Big Eq in one show season.

Overall goal setting is essential to an organized and successful show career, summer, or even day! As Mia Hamm once said, “I’ve worked too hard and too long to let anything stand in the way of my goals. I will not let my teammates down and I will not let myself down.” Like Mia we should not let anything stand in our way or get us down.

About Estelle: Estelle Kraft, 15, of San Diego, CA, rides with Leah Von Henkle as a working student. She currently shows in Medal and Equitation Classes on the AA/A and County circuit. You can follow her on Instagram at @estellemkraft and @perffect.equ.