My friend Maggie sent me a note this week. She said she appreciates my weekly motivations, but could I please address the issue of “momentum” as it relates to riding. Every time Maggie and her rider have a lapse in their riding schedule, they find it hard to get back in the training groove. As much as her person loves riding, she still finds it difficult to maintain the momentum of a regular schedule.

This happens to many people. Why is that?

Jane has a friend who used to be a police officer. Her friend once told her that one of the hardest things to learn as a cop is how to spend an entire day driving around with no particular destination. The area or district where she drove her patrol car was well defined, but unless an officer is directed to a call for help, she just drives around aimlessly for hours looking for something to do. A cop must always be ready for the possibility that she might run across something happening that needs her attention, but it can be an incredibly boring and unsatisfying way to spend an eight hour day.

Some people ride by going to the barn and simply riding around in circles. If they don’t have a trainer guiding them to the next skill or a plan for what they are wanting to accomplish that day, the ride may be aimless. AIM-LESS. Without “aim” or a goal. This can be very unsatisfying as there is no forward “momentum.”

I believe the answer to the momentum question lies in having specific goals. That’s what shows are for: a set goal, a set date, a specific test to learn, an objective, and a definable intention. Direction creates momentum. So I suggest you set goals for each riding session, each week, month, year, and your lifetime. The goal doesn’t have to be big or lofty. It might be to simply have fun, to get stronger, or to improve a specific skill set. It might be to ultimately ride in the Olympics! But, without a map, a rider will just be riding aimlessly with no idea what to do or where to go next. There will be no “momentum.”

So Maggie, let your person know she needs to talk with her trainer (or with herself) and set some short and long term goals. Be sure to celebrate the achievement of each goal, no matter how small. Then set the next goal. You’ll see your momentum take off!

Love, Moshi