Obstacles and Goals.

“Goals are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the obstacles.” Yes, yes, I know that I’ve got it backwards. It’s supposed to be “obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” But maybe backwards is right.  Therein lies the conundrum.Obstacles are so useful at helping us to avoid pursuing our goals. How many times have you heard or have you said:  I would love to …(fill in the goal)…. but I can’t because … (fill in the obstacle). Finances, dependent children, job pressures can all provide us with legitimate excuses (aka obstacles) that are  valid reasons why we cannot attain our goals.  Goals can be  scary. Goals we publicly admit to are even scarier. Other people will know what we are aiming for. They will know if we don’t make it. AWK! So, bring on the obstacles to protect us from our goals. Obstacles do this so well that sometimes we tell people that we, ourselves, are the obstacle. “Well I’m just not good enough.” Or” I’m not the kind of person who can take on that kind of thing.”

The problem with allowing the obstacles to obscure our goals is that we wake up one day and find that the chance, the opportunity,is gone. With that in mind I have decided on my goals for this winter competition season.  And yes, I will follow the SMART plan. Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant and Time Bound.

My first goal is to ride the Intermediare 1 test. This test is the one that follows the Prix St. George test. I have already competed with Biasini at the PSG level so this is the logical next step. I have already started working on some of the exercises from this test at home with my coach Belinda  Trussell and will continue to do that in my training in Florida where I have trained for the last eight years with Lou Denizard.  I aim to be able to ride the test at a show in February if all goes to plan.

The Prix St. George and the Intermediare 1 are the two tests that make up what is known as the Small Tour. The Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special are the Big Tour and that is the level that is competed in the Olympics and World Equestrian Games.  My next goal, my longer-term goal, is to compete in the Amateur Division in a CDI (Concours Dressage International).  This is a Big Goal. BIG!

The amateur division has only been introduced recently as only professionals would normally compete at a CDI.  A  CDI is the Big Time with 5 very senior international judges sitting around the ring, a veterinary inspection before the competition begins where the horses must be jogged for the Ground Jury ( judges and a veterinarian) before they are allowed to compete and stabling is in a special restricted area with only those with permission and special armbands allowed into the stabling area. In a CDI the judges expect a high standard and even as an amateur I will have to look like a semi-professional to get decent marks from these judges.

As I said this is a Big Goal!

I will be working toward this goal over the winter  as I will need to have qualifying scores to submit to my National Federation and request a “Permission to Compete”.  Also horses competing in a CDI must have an International Equestrian Federation (FEI) passport to show they have been vaccinated and registered. Biasini already has one of these so that is already in place.

At all of my shows I will need a support team; someone who can assist me on the ground with some of the horse care ( feeding, stall mucking, hand walking, tack cleaning, water bucket filling etc.) my coach who will guide me through the warm up before the test and the debrief after the test, and my  husband who will still love me no matter what my test scores will be.

Competing in a CDI is the goal for the future and it will be on the calendar for the next competition season.  Finally I have enlisted the help of sport psychologist Dirk Stroda because I know that mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. My eyes must remain firmly fixed on my goals. The obstacles will just have to step aside.


12 responses to “Obstacles and Goals.”

  1. CatMeena Avatar

    Hi Anne,

    Really enjoyed this piece. It rings very familiar with me! I find the obstacles have made my goals much clearer for 2017. Best of luck!
    Cat 🙂


    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thank you! All the best for 2017.


  2. David Avatar

    Every once in a while, it is good to have big goals. Moving to the next level is always challenge in itself. Much success in your winter season. For my daughters, it is the off-season for them to relax a bit and let the horses be horses. But, they’ll have plenty of video to watch and help chart their practice sessions for the 2017 season.


  3. Sableyes Avatar

    Like the SMART plan acronym. Good luck Anne!


  4. aHorseForElinor Avatar

    This will be something else!!! Like Avery commented, focus on the two of you. And let us come along for the journey!


    1. anne leueen Avatar

      I am hoping you will be along for the journey because you know it will not go forward without some “moments” as all riders know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. aHorseForElinor Avatar

        And that’s why I love reading! To learn, and to be inspired!


  5. Avery Avatar

    Looks like you are set up for success, my friend! Do not forget your support system here in the blog world. I know I am rooting for you! Do not compare yourself to others, focus on the 2 of you and just do your best to improve a little every day. I look forward to hearing about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thanks so much. I appreciate the support and also your wise reminder to focus on just Biasini and me!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. nathaswami Avatar

    God bless you to win the CDI

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thank you. We will enjoy the journey.


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