I’m not really one for New Years Resolutions, I’m not really sure why. As the year comes to a close, I always look back over the previous year and the things that I need to improve on, but I have never set an official “New Years Resolution”. I decided this year a rider’s pledge might work better.
I have heard some people say that they are afraid to set resolutions or never do for fear of not succeeding.
Though I can’t ride due to my traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation, I constantly have horses on my mind. Which led me to wonder about if my students were setting riding resolutions for the year.
Usually, when you ask kids those kinds of questions you get looked at like you have two heads. My adult students are definitely more goal oriented, so they may have resolutions in the back of their mind. You know the kind they don’t say out loud so that if they don’t succeed, nobody will know that they didn’t meet their goals.
Not Your Average New Years Resolution
I have decided that I like the word pledge better than the word resolution. According to Webster’s the word pledge, used as a verb is a solemn promise. To me, this seems like a much more appropriate term to use for setting our horsemanship goals for the year.
By pledging, you are making a solemn promise to do your very best to try to meet your goals. So, it doesn’t sound quite as intimidating to take on. At least that is how I feel about it.
That is why I’m writing a rider’s pledge for 2019, not a rider’s resolution! So here goes!
This year, as a rider, in 2019, I pledge (make a solemn promise to try to) do the following.
- That I will let someone else know that I agreed to this pledge so that they can help keep me accountable
- To take the time to think about all my horse and I learned last year, and I pledge to continue to set small goals and work towards them.
- That I will give myself 100% to my horse when I arrive at the barn. I pledge to leave my bad day at school or work behind when I shut the car door at the farm. If I’m having a bad day, I pledge to try to not send negative energy to my horse.
- Every day I bring my horse in from the field, I will take the time to really groom him and look him over. Assuring that if there is a problem you will always notice.
- I will make sure that the tack I’m using is properly fitted and comfortable for my horse.
- Keep my tack clean so the leather remains soft and comfortable on my horse’s body.
- To learn my horse’s normal behavior in the stall and the field, allowing me to tell immediately if something might be wrong.
- Trust my gut when it comes to my horse. I know my horse better than anyone and our gut instinct will rarely steer us wrong. If you think there is a problem, there probably is.
- Build a good relationship with my horse’s vet. Be present at his vet appointments (if possible), using them as an opportunity to learn.
- To build a good relationship with my horse’s farrier. Be present at his appointments (if possible), using them as an opportunity to learn.
- Show up for my lesson on time and ready to learn.
- Ask my trainer questions if I do not understand something.
- Be supportive of the other riders in my lesson or at the farm.
- Watch other riders at the barn, to learn by observation, not to be critical.
- Never allow my ego to put me in a dangerous situation with a horse.
- Never be too proud to ask for help.
- Be grateful for people who help me with horses and always show gratitude for the fact I get to have a life with horses.
- Wear my riding helmet. Every time, every ride. No excuses!
- Be the best horse owner and rider I can possibly be by always trying and do right by my horse to the very best of my ability and be dedicated to my horse and my riding. By continuing to improve my all-around horsemanship skills and enjoy the upcoming year with my horse. And continue with devotion on my horsemanship journey
A 19 Item Pledge For 2019
Seems like a reasonable rider’s pledge to me! So, what do you say, are you willing to take it? Forget the resolutions! Take the 2019 rider’s pledge and start your year off on the right foot!
Even though I can’t ride due to my TBI, I’m taking the rider’s pledge because it encourages a positive attitude, and living with gratitude each day. Which is great when working with horses, but also just with life in general!
Sign up below to take the rider’s pledge with us!