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10 Great Ways to Make the Leap Into 2017

Posted by Country & Stable Editorial Team on 11th Jan 2017

Forget resolutions, they only get broken. Instead, we suggest setting Intentions. Softer and kinder than resolutions, intentions can’t get broken, they won’t make you feel guilty and in the long run, they will actually work, especially if you can find a way to cultivate and nurture them throughout the year.

Here are 10 Intentions that will release the inner champion in you!

1.Set goals

Write down your intentions for the New Year, map out a clear path of your outcomes and then check these back with each goal and the actions you have taken towards them. This is the best way to actually make those dreams a reality. Here are some tools that can help you nurture and stoke them: The Passion Planner (aptly named) and Powersheets from The Cultivate Shop allow you to keep tabs on your goals month to month. For inspirations, check out Michael Hyatt, his blog will deliver inspiration year-round right into your in-box!

2.Be Present

One of the keys to happiness is to remain in the present. It’s the key to a great riding experience and it translates directly to a successful life out of the saddle. Set an intention to live in the moment. It’s not easy, but with practice, it will become second nature. 

Here are some tips from Leo Babauta, author of Zen Habits.

3.Give yourself a present.

This is the year to be both present and give a present! We know how easy it is to give so much to your horse, but it’s important to give back to yourself. One way is to keep your look fresh, and what better way than a sharp black-and-white ensemble with tailored lines, finished with a Pikeur Penelope Vest in silver with just a hint of luxury.

Caption: Look sharp this season with the Pikeur Penelope Vest, Pikeur Lugana Breeches, Caldene Casoria Boots & Cavallo Ladies Hilly Hat

4.Intend to look at the world differently, perhaps from upside down with yoga!

Yoga is good for you which in turn will be good for your horse. Ann Swanson a yoga therapist in Denver, Colorado, writes, “I work a lot with yoga for balance and arthritis/chronic pain. These are two big concerns for riders long-term. Riding can lead to spinal disc issues and resulting back and nerve pain. Also, the position the body is in can put pressure on the back and knees, increasing the risk of arthritis in the long run. The good news is that through mindfulness and yoga, a lot of these symptoms can be relieved and many of the potential issues can be lessened or prevented.” 

Get Ann’s five tips for better posture here.

Caption: Rider and trainer Hope Glynn’s regimen keeps her looking like a champion. She writes, “I always tell my dermatologist, I want to be a good horse trainer but I don’t want to look like one.”

5.Be kind to your skin

Horse riders and trainers are outside more than most people which makes sunscreen so important for healthly skin and this extends to horses. Light colored horses can suffer from sunburn and fly masks don’t always do the best job of UV protection. In the chat rooms, we’ve heard from some of you that sunscreen for children such as Coppertone WaterBABIES works well, while others of you use adult sunscreen such as No Ad.

Our own beauty regimen might require a little more and for that we turn to Hope Glynn, a Northern California based rider and trainer who has model good looks on and off her horse. The co-owner of Sonoma Valley Stables with her husband Ned, Glynn shares her beauty tips on Noelle Floyd Style.

6.Read a great book, or two

Seabiscuit, The Horse Whisperer and National Velvet are among the classics. This year, take a look off the trail at books that rope in the heart and soul. One author to take a look at is international horse trainer Mark Rashid. He’s written extensively about horse training but many of the lessons are as much for us as they are for the horses.

A Journey to Softness: Inn Search of Feel and Connection with the Horse; Finding the Missed Path: Restarting a Horse; and Horses Never Lie: The Heart of Passive Leadership are a few of his many books that you will find in your local bookstore or on Amazon.

7.Say “Yes”

Speaking of books, check out Shonda Rhimes’ book, The Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person. Rhimes is the force behind such successful shows as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. Her book chronicles a year that began with her own inability to try new things holding her back. As she began saying yes to new things, large and small, entire new worlds opened up to her. This year, say yes to whatever it is that you have been shying away from – is it travel, love, friendship, a new horse, a new riding style? Whatever it is, begin to make your way there and to do this, see No. 1 on our list again!

8.Take the path less traveled

You’ve seen them on the trail and even in the ring … the deep ruts that we’ve made by covering the same ground over and over again. This year, get out of that rut and explore a new trail, a new town in your area, a new store, or even venture out of state to a new show. Having the equestrian world as your anchor enables your to travel with purpose. Begin by researching shows in your state and traveling to them. If it feels right, continue on to shows overseas. The world is yours.

9.Give back

Everyone started somewhere, perhaps putting together a list like this in order to make it to the next level. And no doubt there was someone there helping them. This year, be that person for someone else. Give a helping hand to someone new in the saddle. Seek out young riders to mentor, or introduce others to the sport for a behind-the-scenes tour of the stables. Help the sport grow.

10.Embrace your inner champion

"I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs."--John Wooden. Could becoming a champion be as simple as that? Yes! John Wooden was the coach of UCLA’s basketball team for 12 years, leading them to an unheard of 10 national basketball championships. He was as respected as a man as he was a coach. People like him have a wealth of inspiration even if they are in a different sport. 

Look beyond the world of horses to those champions from other fields. Their passion comes from the same place as yours – a deep belief in their own power and truth. Respect that … nurture it, commit to it. Let the voices of other champions ring in your ears as you set new challenges for yourself this year. We guarantee you at the end you will have learned something astounding about yourself … and it will be the thing that on December 31, 2017, that will have made this year your best year ever!

What are some of your intentions for 2017?