Skip to main content

As the doors begin to close upon Summer I feel compelled to share an experience with you that will keep my soul warm through the imminent chilly seasons.

For those of you who follow me via Instagram or Facebook you have become familiar with the three “project horses” that came to me for the Summer. One being my Mom’s very first and somewhat green horse, AR Martini. Upon her arrival I made a list of goals for our eight weeks together. I find that goal boards (literally white boards that are kept in the tack room with each horse’s goals listed) help me keep focus and find purpose in my daily sessions. Goal number one for Martini was to become more emotionally centered and safe for my Mom. After that, items such as “relaxation at all gaits under saddle, canter under saddle, confidence on trails, more understanding of the bit” appeared. Lastly I had written down “Perform at the Savvy Summit” in tiny letters at the very bottom. The Savvy Summit is Parelli’s annual event hosted at the campus in Colorado.

Weeks into playing with Martini I realized how much tension this little girl had pent up inside of her, and how far we would have to go just to accomplish number one on my list. Safe for my mom to ride. At some point during “Goal Board review” I subconsciously erased my last goal off the white board, succumbing to premature defeat.

Five days before Summit I was notified that I had been assigned to perform on Sunday as the morning entertainment to get the crowd pumped for the last day. After the initial shock I had to laugh. I was already riding my other two horses in events that day and was left with Teeny-Martini for the Savvy Team. Maybe I should have had more faith in the power of writing goals down. Even If I had erased it in a moment of doubt….

I had a couple days to prepare for the biggest Parelli event of the year and I will admit, I was nervous we would fall short of everyone’s expectations. However, thanks to the support of my amazing team mates we were noted, by Pat Parelli himself as “the best savvy team of the whole weekend” and received a standing ovation from the crowd as we finished with our harmonized handstands. Giorgio, my team-mate from Italy had taught me three days before!

To view my journey with Martini at the 2014 Savvy Summit click the link below.

Martini went back to California the morning after Summit. I was surprised at how much we had bonded over two short months, and was sad to see her go. However, I am happy to say that under the layers of tension and uncertainty lives a sweet and gentle mare that will be a phenomenal partner for my Mom.

I have always believed in “the power of positive thinking” and was raised in a home where the motto was “if you can conceive it in your mind, you can achieve it.” However, I welcomed this experience as a reinforcing lesson that the power to embrace our future lies first in our thoughts, then in our actions. Action item number one is to write things down! There is something amazing that happens when we are bold enough to write down our goals, especially when the size of them is humbling.

I hope you take this as a firm nudge to be more intentional with your horsemanship. Set goals for yourself, and your horse. Then, allow them to be the blue print for your interaction and decision making. As you create your lists and start envisioning where they will take you, make sure that your goals are SMARTSpecific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic and Time Sensitive. This is a really powerful strategy that Dr. Jenny Susser, Sports psychologist, has been kind enough to teach me throughout our sessions together.

If you would like support in creating, and achieving SMART goals I would encourage you to explore my distance coaching program. Everyone needs support and it is my passion to see you succeed in your dreams with horses.


  • Tammy Tate says:

    Thank you for sharing. I am going to get a white board and start writing down goals for Grace and me. I think it is a wonderful idea. Also, I loved watching you three doing your spotlight. Tammy Tate

  • Sue rum says:

    I’ve been tracking my horse time on a white board now I will write some goals down as well. Thks:)

  • Sue Crum says:

    Haha Sue Crum! rum not involved:)

  • MIndy says:

    beautiful! i have watched your journey with martini all summer and have been AMAZED at what you two have accomplished 🙂 wonderful job!!

  • Kathy Draffin says:

    Watched you perform at the Sumitt was such a inspiration to watch.
    Was my 1st Sumitt, we traveled from Canada , for me a dream come true

  • Grace Sternad says:

    Great jump onto Martini’s hind end! Shoulder stand was equally impressive. I will follow up with the writing down of goals. The power is in the focus, right.

    Silently yours, Grace 🙂

Leave a Reply