Achieving Your Goals – Master Dressage Lessons

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Achieving your equestrian goals can seem like an uphill struggle, and sometimes your horse doesn’t seem to be helping you along the way!

Let’s recap my favorite method for achieving goals, one which I used in writing the book Master Dressage. This system is simple and logical, and it will work to help you achieve anything horsey or otherwise.

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1. Write down the goal in the form ‘I am doing the thing by date’. Example, ‘I am writing the text for my short ebook, Master Dressage – The Basics, by the 10th of August’.

2. Now imagine that you have a time machine, and zoom forward to the point where you have achieved the goal. Now look backwards and write down all the steps and tasks you had to do, to get there. Try to think of all the little things that would have to happen for you to arrive at your goal.

3. Then write down the list of things that you had to learn, to reach your goal. What additional skills will you need to pick up to make this work? How would you go about learning these new skills? Are there any of these skills you could delegate to someone else to do?

4. Next write down the list of things that could cause you to fail, or perhaps seem like obstacles and what you would have to do to get around these issues.

5. Finally write down a list of people that you think would be able to help you achieve your goal.


With all the above information, you can build yourself a task list, and start working out what would have to happen in what order for you to achieve your goal. It will also identify missing skillsets and those people you can reach out to for help.

Does this sound like a lot? You betcha!! But you can’t achieve a goal simply by stating it as a wish.

FINALLY, you must commit to yourself that you are willing to pay the full price required to get that goal, up front and in full.

So how do we apply this to our riding and training. Using the above system will help prevent you from trying to jump from a to z. It will help you break down all the things that need to be in place, before you can achieve your goal.

Let’s take the example ‘I am doing medium trot, by 20th August 2015’

By going through all the above steps, this should keep your mind on correct training, and a step by step approach which prevents you from taking a shortcut like ‘Gunning your horse across the diagonal‘ or from getting frustrated.

For instance you would do the time travel exercise and might realise that your horse would need to have develop more cadence in its trot, that you would have worked over a period of time over trotting poles, and you would have given sufficient time for the horse to develop the strength in his muscle structure for this to happen. You would know what skills you needed to work on, and who you could reach out to help you.

Avoid stating wishes, avoid frustration and build yourself a plan!

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Have fun mastering dressage.

Peter Dove
#1 Best Selling author of ‘Master Dressage’



Peter Dove

The author Peter Dove