Monday 21 October 2019

Staying Motivated

(TLDR: I'm not, but I have a plan)

I'm not good at sitting around. Actually, that's not true - I can be really good at sitting around. I love reading, after all. Lately,  I haven't been feeling the greatest and some extra sitting around has been occurring. It's kind of a downward spiral though. I get stuck in a cycle of sloth, then feel bad about all the things I'm not doing and work I'm going to have to catch up on, feel overwhelmed and then sit around some more.

Logically, I know the horses are fine.  In fact, Sophie needs a few weeks off to grow up a little more. Bridget owes me nothing, and will happily hack out as little or as often as I like. Seriously, as long as I feed and muck out daily and groom a couple of times a week, we're golden right now. Ponies are so easy.

The weather has been pretty stinky. Mud season has arrived. Sophie is sensible and uses her shelter.
Bridget does not :)

She's so fuzzy she's actually warm and dry under the wet.

A rest is doing my body good too. I need the break.

Still, I feel guilty. My brain says I'm slacking, I should be doing more, working towards goals. Problem is...I have no riding goals right now. I struggle with staying motivated without goals.

Luckily, I've found something that might help. I belong to a couple of provincial organizations. The main one, HCBC, offers insurance as one of the perks of membership so pretty much everyone here has it. It's affordable at less than $60 a year. The other two I usually sign up for are add ons to the HCBC membership, Dressage BC and Horse Trials BC. Both are super cheap (I think $15?), both come with tons of perks (besides being able to go to their affiliated shows;)

What Bridget thinks of horse shows.

Anyway, I just noticed Dressage BC now offers a Ride A Test option where you can send them a video of you riding a test and they'll have a judge send you a completed test sheet with a score. The cost is $20 a test, which is on par with the local or bronze level shows we'd travel to in person. Since I live more than an hour away from any shows, those scores can even count towards year end provincial awards.

I'm really, really excited about this option. Our travel costs to shows are hundreds of dollars and a literal day of travel each way. Getting a clinician here (or even my regular coach) is $100+ per lesson if I find 5 other riders to share costs. Also, I may or may not own a pony who doesn't consistently show up to work so that time and money can very easily be wasted with a pony who's just not interested on the day. While I'm comfortable with my decision not to show Bridget anymore and a tight budget means I can't currently afford lessons or shows on my coach's horses, I really, really miss having regular feedback and a set of goals to work towards.

So, I've set myself a goal of sending in a 1-3 test before Christmas, then using the feedback to work and send in another one mid spring.  We were showing that a couple of years ago, and are still schooling much of Second, so I think it's a reasonable goal that should keep me honest but still allow me some sloth days ;) I may be overestimating my abilities, but I think with work we can do a solid Second level without too much outside assistance. Beyond that, I'd certainly need a regular coach again, but hopefully by that time it will be Sophie I'm working on.

I  pulled her mane and braided it over AND she's wearing a new rainsheet, so she's basically a show horse now :) Try not to be too jealous of how fancy it all is, lol

I just need something to keep me motivated until Sophie is ready for work. I want to keep riding regularly because I don't want to be rusty and out of shape on a green, athletic pony. I think this sounds like a great option - very little financial investment, in exchange for professional feedback and a set of well defined goals to work towards. I'll let you know how it goes!

Have any of you sent in a dressage test online or otherwise use tech or media to assist in coaching? I have dreams of setting up a live feed so my coach can instruct me from home, but our satellite reception at the arena is just too unreliable due to the tree cover.



  1. I've definitely haven't ridden a dressage test in a long ass time, so I also have never sent one in via video. Megan and I have been discussing figuring out the live stream option for our SoloShots though. I'm glad that there are fun new cost effective methods for your to utilize your memberships. That is so cool!

    1. I need to revisit the livestream option - if I could get it to work reliably for lessons it would pay for itself in no time. I think last time I investigated the outdoor has too much tree cover for the Soloshot. We have internet/wifi in the indoor I could use, but that eliminates the current Soloshot tech, and the Pixio for indoors didn't get reviews that were overly inspiring. Hopefully if I am patient it will be a good option for the future.

  2. That's a great deal!
    I haven't done any online training since I lesson and show regularly, and the actual judge's comments are not that helpful right now I pretty much know what they're going to say ("could be rounder", or "tense/braced" in each box, lol) we just need the actual experience of going out there and doing it. But it's a great option for someone more established!

    1. I'm kind of thinking it's better than nothing, agreed the feedback isn't usually anything groundbreaking. I sure miss having coaching! :)

  3. That's such a cool option to be given!

    1. Our province has so many remote areas, it's much appreciated that they make an extra effort to include everyone. I'm surprised I hadn't heard of this latest initiative before, it seems like such a good thing for a lot of us.

  4. oooh sounds great!! i'm similar in that it's hard to stay motivated without goals. honestly tho the "big" goals aren't always really all that helpful to me either on a day to day basis. rather, whenever i find myself kinda stuck in a weird cycle of discontent, i end up just doing some soul searching on what it is about the day to day horse habit that brings me happiness etc and focus on aims and objectives related to that. otherwise my brain has a way of tricking me into thinking i "should" be doing something that maybe honestly i don't really want to do all that much, but yet i still end up feeling guilty about not doing it lol!

    1. I deliberately set intentions of 'having fun' and I don't know how many times I've said on this blog Bridget owes me nothing and doesn't need to accomplish anything. It should be so simple! And yet, I really struggle with feeling guilty about not riding more. Fingers crossed this is a pretty soft goal that will at least keep us both somewhat in shape.