HI Spy: What are your competitive goals?

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    What are your goals as a rider?There are numerous reasons why riders choose to compete in horse shows and other events. One of the most common reasons is to give yourself something to work toward as a rider.

    Goals can be as lofty as making the Olympic team or as modest as simply overcoming nerves to make it through a class at the local schooling show. No matter where your personal goals fall on that spectrum, working towards them keeps you motivated and gives your training sessions purpose.

    Even if showing isn’t your thing, equestrians of all types participate in a variety of competitive events, many of which have very little to do with the glitz and glamour of the A-circuit. Endurance and competitive trail offer a competitive outlet for dedicated trail riders. Cattle events give talented ranch horses a stage to test their skills. Hunter paces are fun, casual events in open country for English riders. If you and your horse are especially multi-talented, you can even opt to compete in an Extreme Cowboy Race.

    Show season is just around the corner. We want to know, what are your competitive goals for this season? Are you chasing points with your old campaigner? Hoping to complete your first endurance event? Or maybe you’ve never shown before and want to make 2010 the year you finally get in the ring. Share your goals with other HorseChannel.com readers by clicking “Submit a Comment” below. Some of the answers may appear in an upcoming issue of Horse Illustrated.

    One selected response may be selected by the editors to win a monthly prize! If you would like to be eligible for the prize, please include your email address in the comment form (email addresses are not publicly displayed.)

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    88 COMMENTS

    1. To get my horse listening to me. Like, picking up a trot when I ask (the first time), and keeping his gait no matter if we’re on a line or on a circle. This is so that we can pass our dressage test.

    2. I hope to be able to finally show my mare. She has had a long tough rode to travel down. She is coming along beautifully and I can’t wait to finally show her off. Hopefully we will get a blue or two.

    3. My goal this show season is to simply make it to at least one show! I have been “barn-hoppping” for a while and i need to settle down somewhere where I can lease a horse and just have fun showing.

    4. My goal this year is to start barrel racing my horse, Pebbles. I had her well started late last year on barrels, and I hope to have her able to compete this year. So, if winter will ever end, we will be working towards our goal!

    5. I would love to get a blue ribbon or two if we make it to at least one show this year. Otherwise, I want to get more practice so I can ride better.

    6. My goal is to do a hunter jumper class with the horse I’m afraid to ride right now. I don’t care if we get a ribbon or not, I just want to do the class.

    7. My competitive goal is to be a jockey and to be one of the best female jockeys there ever was! far fetched but why not dream big.

    8. I’ve just gotten into the show ring, and it’s hard competing with other people who have the time and the money to put into this sport. I’ve always been the underdog in everything I do. It’s my goal this year to really knock them off their feet! I love the horse I’m using, and we’ve got a long way to go, but we’ve come so far. I think we can do it! πŸ™‚

    9. My goals for the summer are to spend lots of time loving on my boy! He has navicular and arthritis, so our goals are to get him feeling better than he ever has!

    10. My competitive goal of 2011 is to take my mare to a show and just have a great time. Some people take the sport to seriesly and look down at the other riders like they are the king/queen of the horse world.

    11. My goal is just to go as far as my horse and I can with dressage…and have fun with it too! I would love to get to qualify in states with him, but if not, all that matters is the ride!

    12. This year i hope to compete in my first event with my horse Kieran. It would be an incredible milestone after spending this all of 2010 (my first year of ownership of him) basically re-training him.

    13. I would love to be able to go to my first event with my mare Babe! I have spent the last 2 years training her myself and I would love to see the result from all of my hard work!

    14. I would love to train my horse, Lily, to do cutting. Her hairpin turns are amazing! I would also like to take her to some horse shows without her acting up in the arena.

    15. The only competition I have interest in is trail competition. My goal for this year is to work with my horse consistently so that we are ready to compete a few times this season. This way, I can gauge what we need to work on over the winter to spend more time competing next year.

    16. I run my 24yr old QH (he’s in GREAT SHAPE, and loves to run!)in barrels, and would love to see him run once again to show the youngsters he’s a spitball of FIRE, and shave another minite off his time like last year.

    17. My show goals this year are to get my horse slowing down over the jumps. His head set is improving lots so maybe we can get in the top 3 this year in a hunter under saddle class! Above all I just want to get in the ring and have fun. πŸ™‚

    18. My goal is to just have a ton of fun! Not to focus on the ribbons and placings, just to concentrate on having a good time πŸ™‚

    19. My competition goal is to ride and show successfully at training level dressage. Usually I am all about jumping but the gelding I have just got over an old tendon injury and I decided it wouldn’t hurt me to get back into dressage since he can’t jump. I am excited for a change of pace!

    20. I got a two year old Miniature horse from a friend last July. I’ve been training her for in-hand classes and showmanship and will be showing her in 4-H this year. Any ribbons we win will be 10 times the fun because they will reflect how well I’ve trained her. I can’t wait!

    21. I ride a pony, hes not any one certain type of breed but I love him hes around 15 years and his name is Charlie Brown, My competitive goal is to be able to do walk trot canter in my classes at shows last summer I just did walk trot and had a blast but I really want to word hard enough to do walk trot canter which im looking forward to trying this show season!

    22. Me and my 8-year-old Gypsy Cob, Phantom show in a intermediate -level Dressage ,but really need to improve on Cross – Country ,our weakest area. Wish us luck !!!

    23. After I graduate from college, I’m planning getting back into riding & showing. I want to compete in show jumping, eventually moving up from beginner/local shows. I also want to compete in barrel racing, both disciplines with my Tennessee Walker gelding.

    24. I would like to compete in show jumping more often this year! My barn is having a “series” of shows this summer, and I’m hoping to work on my jumping skills and participate in all the shows!

    25. To conquer the perpetually evil 18″ crossrails. Really, why must something so simple be so hard? And to get at least one Champion ribbon. My horse deserves it.

    26. I would like for me and my horse to both be ready to show one handed in a curb/correction bit. but i would love to accomplish some hunter hack and working hunter classes for my horse to have a little bit more speed for games!

    27. My 22 year old Morgan recently recovered from his hoof abscess, so my first goal is to get him in shape and then to get him back into the swing of riding. Once he is truly back to himself, I will start to show him again. Showing for me is not about ribbons, it’s about testing our relationship and his trust in me and my trust in him; ribbons are a plus.

    28. My current goal is to become a better rider, and get more ‘in sync’ with my trusty steed. I’d like to excel enough to enter in a hunter/jumper class next season.

    29. My goal is to become a better rider i would like to learn to jump and do hunt seet. I would also love to learn how to train horses in the feuter.

    30. My goal is to get more confidence in both my horses. I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old and I recently fell off the 2 year old. I’m hoping to work together and compete in shows.

    31. Some competitive goals I have are showmanship, but mainly just spending time with horses. Sometimes I spend to much time on winning. Horses are my life so I plan to enjoy them πŸ™‚

    32. I’ve been working hard on some new training exercises and responsiveness training with my western performance gelding and training a new gaming mare. My goals are just to have a great season this year. Winning is great but knowing my horses did their best is all I can ask for. I’ll have the pride not from winning, but from knowing the first two horses I’ve trained has success.

    33. My goal is to remember to be a respectful rider and to respect the judge’s comments and decisions and not be so completive and be upset with my self if we don’t win. Showing is to have fun and learn new things. It’s also an excuse to try new things with our horse and make friends with your competitors.

    34. I’m not looking to win any trophies or ribbons this year, but my goal is to build my relationship with my horse so she is more comfortable in the show ring without her pasture mate. If we can have fun working together this show season, I have met my goal.

    35. I am so sad, because for a reason I’m choosing to leave unnamed, we have to sell my horse. πŸ™ He was such a sweet, sweet boy, and I’ll miss him so much!! But, I will be starting with another horse, a 17.3 hand Holsteiner hunt horse, so maybe my goal is adjusting to life without my boy, and that I’d be able to control my new mare. I think we’ll be doing a few shows too.

    36. My goal this season is to finish in the top 5 of a Trail Trial. I have lots of fun competing in these events. While we don’t always get a perfect score, my horse gives his whole heart at every challenge.

    37. Last year I showed once with the horse I just started riding a few months back. In our first show we took home a first, two seconds, and a third, along with Division Champ. Clearly he’s a great horse, but this year my goal is to get him going comfortably on his leads and for him and I to start jumping 2 foots more often, and compete away from home.

    38. I have had my three year old mare for a year, and we have progressed a lot.
      Im hoping to bring her to several shows, and even if we don’t win anything, Im just happy that she’s come this far.

    39. My goal for this season is to improve my mainly western trained horses english ability so that we can show both types.

    40. My goal is to qualify for the Florida State Horse Show in July. I need to do well at the area show to do so. Also if I meet my goal and go to state I would like to be in the top ten juniors =)

    41. My goal is to expand my horse’s repretoire. We’re working on hunter hack and western riding to add to our hunt seat/western all-around events. I also want to make showing a less stressful experience for both of us.

    42. My pony and I are working towards moving up to the pony hunters and qualifying for Pony Finals. Ultimately, though, I am really working towards showing in the Junior Hunters on the A- and AA-Circuit.

    43. My goal is to train my horse to square up on command and pivot on the haunch for the Showmanship class at local shows. We’re both beginners and are taking things slow but steady.

    44. Since this is actually going to be my first show season, my main goal is to get to know my horse better and just to have fun!

    45. My competative goals for this year would be to do better than I did last year. This year I will be showing in the paint circut for th first time, and I will be going up to three gaited, so I am extra nervous. Also, last year I did great in the first show, but shortly afterward my horse got lame and he never recovered. I didn’t get much in the fair or year end awards either, but my horse’s heart was in it the whole time, and that’s I’ll I can ask for. So this year I want to get better and do my best, whatever it may be.

    46. My horse, Rhett, and I hope to compete in local fun shows this summer. We are working really hard for western pleasure and barrel classes. Rhett is really laid back and not all that excited about galloping around those barrels, but hey, isn’t this a fun show? Work hard, but remember, your ultimate goal should be to have fun and not stress out!

    47. My goal this year is to host shows, and have my students show in them. I also hope to bring them to local shows and fairs and show. My other goal is to show at HITS with my new horse I got over the winter!

    48. I’ve got a couple of green beans that I’ve been training and my goal is to get them all out and showing this season! I’d like to get my youngest to some schooling shows and maybe to a rated show by the end of the season.

    49. I didn’t get to show much last year due to scheduling conflicts. I hope to show a little more this year at the farm where I board. I’ve always been better over fences than on the flat, so my goal is to improve my scores in under-saddle classes. Also, continuing to teach my OTTB that the goal of Hunter classes is NOT to be the fastest. Maybe we’ll get our first blue ribbon together this year!

    50. The first county fair in our area is in May, and I am working hard with my 3-year old appaloosa to get her ready for her first competition. I’m definitely going to show her in 4-H showmanship because she has the nicest manners! (Even better than my 10-year old Quarter Horse!) After the fair, we will have a long time to improve until the September fairs.

    51. This will be my first show season with my new barn and trainer and now that I’m with Mica, I will be doing the A-rated shows. Right now, my goals are just to get through a round without having a nervous breakdown! Just doing state level is nervewrecking enough!

    52. My goal this show season is mainly to enter the ring relatively stress-free. Pre-show jitters are normal, but I’d love to reduce my anxiety so I can help my horse perform better in the ring and more fully enjoy the competition.

    53. My show horse bucked me off a while ago and my goal is to become comfortable riding him in the showring. We are working on the ground building respect and I have just started working in the saddle. So far, things are going well!

    54. My goals this year as I enter the dressage tests are to become a more assured,confident, graceful and skilled rider. It all takes work..but so worth it!!!

    55. I am really looking forward to competing in more shows than I did last year and hopefully placing and doing well. But mostly I’m excited about getting to spend the time to get ready for the shows with my horses and becoming a better rider.

    56. As my 15 year old barrel horse is coming off an injury, my competitive goals for this year are to just keep her sound. Keeping her healthy is my main goal, although winning once and a while would be great!
      On the other side I have my pleasure horse, who I show in halter, bareback classes, Western classes, and English classes. Last year was my first year showing her, and we were winning consistently. This year we are moving up into a more competitive class though, so our goals are to get more fine tuned and try to win and place well in those classes.
      Although my two horses have different goals, my main goal is to just enjoy myself and have fun!

    57. To ride in the more advanced dressage tests and to learn to keep my cool about shows. I’m working on learning on how to beat the nerves πŸ˜‰

    58. Even though now it is 2011, i really want this year to be the year i finally get to start showing! Even if it is just and English Showmanship class i still want to show. I am hoping to show hunter/jumper next year!

    59. This year I will be finishing the training of my miniature horse Bella. I will be working with her to do barrel racing and other speed events. she is a little stinker but training her will be my goal for this year.

    60. In this upcoming show season I’d like to go up a division. Last season Davy Jones, my Paint gelding and I won all blue ribbons in our three walk/trot classes; one was even over fences! This season I’d really like to canter the entire course.

    61. My competitive goals are to get my 4 year old arabian trained and start her in local gymkhanas. I can already tell that she is cometitive!

    62. My thoroughbred Raz is scared of just about anything and everything on the trail. We’re not competing in the ring we’re competing with nature, and my goal is to win by training Raz to be calm and cool, even when we riding past that snarling St. Bernard.

    63. This Show Seson i would like my Spanish Mustang and I to Compete in The Extreem CowBoy Race! It would be so much to compete in something Mustangs were ment to do, Trail all day!

    64. My goal is to be a role model for younger equestrians. I remember what it was like to watch everymove that someone did so that I could learn from them. It would be really cool to switch that role and be able to teach others.

    65. I don’t have my dream horse yet, but I when I find him I want to get into showing hunters, starting out with small local shows and hopefully eventually make my way up to AQHA shows. I know it will be a lot of hard work, but I am willing to put a lot of time and effort into making my horse everything he can be. I want to have a lot of fun, and I want us to really succeed together as a team.

    66. My goal for this year’s horse shoe season is to show my green mare that competing is a fun experience and it is trying your hardest that is important, placing well is only an added bonus!

    67. My goals this season are to start competing in hunter/jumper competions! I’ve done schooling shows at my barn but never really shown It would be great to start showing with my lesson horse Penny again. We would be great together in the show arena!

    68. My goals for the future would be to first get a great reining horse to compete on, that I can take to local shows and bigger shows like breed shows with him. But until that happens I’m going to have as much fun with my two pleasure/ trail horses at schooling shows to gain experience and to really just enjoy them after years of schooling and practice.

    69. My goal with my horse is to take him to the county-wide show. It will be my first year showing as a senior and not a beginner, which means cantering on the flat has been added to my once-simple walk/trot. I’ve been working my horse hard at slowing down in his canter and trusting me; if we do well at this show without crashing wildly into anyone, I won’t even care if I don’t place.

    70. My competitive goals is to be competing like Phillipp Dutton and Beezie Madden. I can imagine the countdown to a huge triple oxer, and for a ssplit second I am flying me and my horse are unstoppable even though when we land nothing can bring me down.

    71. Getting a ribbon, even if I get sixth place, I am appreciative! My only goal is to do well, if me and my horse complete the course well, then I’m okay with it! I do like to get my blue ribbons, but just competing is the fun for me!

    72. After showing all my young life, no trainer, no coach, I am OLD and in the elite/masters divisions of Pinto/Paint competitions…My daughter is now a pro trainer and I am determined to get a world championship with my current show horse. I haven’t done too bad over the years, winning a saddle, money, belt buckles and the like but now I would just love to be at the front of that line-up at some huge world show!

    73. I just a new and adorable Dutch Warmblood. He is only 5 and so I have been training him, and man, he is a fast learner. By the end of this year I hope to be doing the 4 foot and above Jumper classes!

    74. I have a chestnut Thoroughbred mare off the track. I have been retraining her for 4 yrs now and she is the most schooled horse at walk/trot her canter has been the hardest part through all of it though. I compete in the Camden Equine Circut in Camden SC and I am in hopes of moving up to the canter classes this new show season. I think that we will be prepared and ready to kick butt now that we have her canter under control. You would never know that she is a ex-racer now.

    75. This year I hope to go to the North Carolina state horse show with my rescued grade horse Chance, who was my first “project pony”. I have worked so hard with him and I have wished for so long to be able to win the blue in an English flat class. I feel that he has come such a long way and that he deserves to have some recognition for all of his hard work.

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