2020 Take 2 Lets get positive and turn the challenges into opportunities.
With so much bad news going around I thought I would write a positive article for this month and suggest some strategies for turning what has been a tough first half of the year in 2020 into a much better and even great second half to the year.
Whilst I have personally already got one eye on 2021 when I am, amongst other equine projects, running in the Liverpool Marathon for equine charities in May I am still fully focused on hitting the ground running for the remainder of 2020 now that lockdown measures are reducing, we can still make it a great year with our horses. None of these things should cost anybody a single extra penny, sometimes retail spending/therapy is not the real answer to making real progress with your horses and staying optimistic for the future.
Stay positive for the sake of your horses and chase the gloom away
One thing I have learnt over the years with the horses I have trained and ridden, is that no matter how difficult the situation might be it is much better to transmit a positive impression to the horses. I call it emotional leadership. The horses always pick up on our emotions and yes we all know horses can be a great emotional support for us if or when we feel a bit down, however, sometimes we can take the initiative and show them our positive energy and inspire them to help us more than ever.
Set some goals for the second half of 2020, you can do it! And here is my three step plan which I hope will help you make some strides forward in the difficult times we are all in just now.
Think about what it is that being around horses that makes you truly genuinely happy, maybe even make a list. You will be surprised how many things will be on your list and you will already have a good reminder of why we do what we do as equestrians, why we put so much time, effort and money into it and what it brings us. Horses bring us so much joy and I think at times like this it is important to remind ourselves why exactly they are so special to us. Those of us who have horses in our lives are very fortunate and it is sometimes all too easy to take things for granted and lose sight of what it is about them that actually makes us happy.
Be proud of the fact that you achieve things with your horse. No matter how big or small our achievements with horses, I believe that it is always a good thing to be both aware of what we achieve and proud of the fact that we care so much for these wonderful creatures. Just taking care of horses can involve huge personal commitment and financial cost too, so give yourself a pat on the back for even what might seem to you to be a small achievement. Around the stables too, this can work for you not just when riding but also with improving aspects of your horse management, or any behaviour issues your horse might have. When riding it could be as simple as having improved that tricky canter lead, correcting or sorting out a small or bigger issue with your horse over jumps, it does not matter, what does matter is that you have aims to go for, and go for them and you congratulate yourself on all your achievements with yours horses. These achievements are not easily reached as we all know, so be proud of yourself.
Set some plans going forward to have a grand second half to 2020, we will never get the time back and we have lost enough time already this year through no fault of ours or our horses’. I always have short, mid and long terms plans with the horses and my clients. This is important as again it can be a reminder both in how far you have come in terms of improvement and what lies ahead. You can plan easy targets to start with and make sure you have a good support network around you as you strive to achieve your goals. So many of the happiest people I know with horses plan ahead and find it very rewarding when succeeding, even with small steps. This success can be best started off with a good sensible well thought out plan, give it a try.
To summarise we have all had a very challenging year so far and it is only now starting to improve, hopefully this will continue and the worst is now firmly behind us. It always amazing me how a positive mindset can both spread to other people and our horses. I would like to pass on my congratulations to each and everyone of you out there for keeping positive, focused and determined to get through these times and I don’t think it is too early to say things can only get better. Brian.