Being Realistic With Your Results

Impatience is a habit, and so is patience.

When we lack patience whether it is in our training personally or our horses, we are unable to delay gratification for more than the moment. This leads to frustration.

Frustration is the emotional energy that often then leads to a lack of motivation or “quitting”.  When we’re impatient, we’re unable to work toward our goals in a dedicated fashion. By staying consistent and disciplined. We start to quit, fall off track and repeat the pattern over and over.

Changing a habit requires strong motivation but more so a clear path. We have to know where we are heading and be realistic about the goals. Learning to adopt a more mature response versus thinking things should happen right away or overnight.

When we learn that patience is key we also develop a greater understanding of why celebrating the small wins is so important. To embrace the journey along the way and keep stepping consistently towards the bigger goal. When all we see is the ‘gap” the space between where we are right now and where we want to be, this can put us off.

However, when we appreciate the path we have been on and the developments we have made to get to where we are today, we can realise that the “gap” too is possible but equally important is the journey.

As a personal trainer, I often would tell my clients that realistically it will take 4 weeks of consistent work for you to ‘feel’ the changes, and 8 weeks for you to ’notice’ the changes be it on the scales or in a pair of jeans and then probably 12 weeks for someone else to notice the changes in you.

This is if you follow the systemized plan I have created for you and you remain consistent with your goals. Sometimes these changes will be sooner, but be realistic and disciplined towards your training and you will be surprised at what you can achieve in 12 weeks. This can seem like a really long time when initially told, but in the scheme of things, it’s not really.

The same thing can be applied to our riding, often we think when we train a new move, let’s say it’s counter canter and you are trying to teach your horse to be able to do a full three-loop serpentine. This may happen quickly, but equally too, it could take 12 weeks for it to be solid enough to do in a test situation, maybe even longer depending on your horse’s starting point.

If you were to only ride your horse once a week and train this loop once every three weeks, you may find it’s even longer. But if you consistently have it in your weekly training and you let your horse gradually build the strength required and stay disciplined in your approach (according to of course what your horse can handle) then in time it will happen and become stronger.

You may have to go through a very messy middle phase where motivation dwindles and nothing changes to build that strength but it will happen. The key is to stay on course and stick to your training.

Another thing that often happens when we don’t practice patience is we look for the next diet, the latest quick fix or the latest training fad.

In the horse world, we look for things to happen quickly and change our approach or our system, so instead of building consistent language with our horse over 4-12 weeks to help improve our relationship, we mix and match between trainers and yo-yo through our training dabbling in whatever is hot right now.  Never actually making a dent and continuing to get frustrated in the process and changing our training language and system.

So no matter what it is that you are chasing, be it yourself or in your riding, know that patience x dedication x consistency is key and know that it really does take time. Along with this equation, an absolute must is a clear system and a clear path to help you step consistent towards those goals.

Next time you feel yourself getting frustrated with a lack of results, ask yourself have you put in the consistent work to get there and have you been realistic. Or were you hoping for results after just 3 rides?? Or from that one week you went to the gym, or that one run you did?

Then ask yourself am I getting advice from the right people and following a clear system and have I got the right guidance to get myself there.

It all makes a difference. Happy training and I hope this helps.

The Ultimate Dressage Rider Training Program

Join other participants on our 12-week 'step-by-step' online rider training program.
Improve the 5 components of your riding.
Only available 3x per year.