It’s here. The year is officially 2017, and as horse people know best, there’s no rest for the weary.

But hopefully even the most dedicated horse trainers, grooms, and riders are refreshed from the holidays and ready to make their plans for the twelve months ahead. Another life lesson that equestrians are particularly good at is the setting—and achieving—of goals. So, really, New Year’s resolutions were made for us.

For those looking for a little inspiration for what to decide on for the year ahead, take a look below for snippets of wisdom imparted throughout the year here on NF Style. And for an idea of what other riders may be deciding to set as their resolutions, remember to read about them here.

Resolution 1: Go for it.

“I think it’s just to go for it and not worry about if it looks pretty or not! Sometimes you have to ride really strong to help your horse and it doesn’t always feel as smooth as you might hope. Not to get distracted by little things going wrong on the course, I think, is important.”

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Resolution 2: Focus on the fundamentals.

“Beezie always stresses that “fundamentals are your life preserver,” so striving to perfect the details of your basics, such as your aids and position, can maximize your communication with your horse. Likewise, noticing a small tear in your equipment enables you to mend or replace it before it becomes dangerous; addressing a small bump on your horse can also be instrumental to prohibiting a larger soundness issue from arising.”

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Resolution 3: Run a marathon (or at least a 5k).

“It starts with the first step. Even for me, if I wait until the end of the day, I have to push myself. Try to get out there, even if it’s just one time around the block to start. Then each time, do a little bit more. It’s important to make small goals like a 5k. You don’t want to become overwhelmed and make it be a defeat before you even start.”

How Running Marathons Helps Heather Caristo-Williams In The Grand Prix Arena

Resolution 4: Choose to not focus on the results.

“My dad has always told me to not focus on the outcome of the results in equitation. He has engraved in my mind that if I ride the course to the best of my ability, then the results will follow. I kept on thinking back to this before each round, and I had to continuously build confidence throughout the day in my partnership with Kaskade in order to move up in the standings.”

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Resolution 5: Develop your best sunscreen routine, yet.

“One of biggest things we battle as horse trainers is skin damage. I always tell my dermatologist, ‘I want to be a good horse trainer but I don’t want to look like one.'”

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Resolution 6: Trust your instincts.

“An empathetic rider has to stay strong in his or her beliefs. Disregarding the horse’s mental and/or physical state to pursue your own desire to win on rare occasions may pay off, in the short term. Pushing a lame or emotionally stressed horse to win usually creates a long term issue.”

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Resolution 7: Give your horses more opportunities to just be horses.

“Keep it natural and simple. They are still horses. After all, animals are not machines; we have to keep them happy.”

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Resolution 8: Dial in your tack for even the most sensitive horses in your life.

“As one of the most sensitive horses in Scott’s string, it’s only natural that [Hello M’Lady’s] equipment be highly specialized. For example, her saddle pad is incredibly fluffy and the Poponcini bit is effective yet soft.”

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Resolution 9: Appreciate every moment you get in the saddle, whether good or challenging.

“Enjoy the journey! Appreciate the fact that you are able to ride and connect with an extraordinary animal. Take the time to enjoy that trust and relationship together. After all, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”

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Resolution 10: Say yes to opportunities.

“Pumpkin [Charlotte Dujardin’s new horse] was not supposed to be part of Charlotte’s clinic but a horse could not make it so I received a phone call two days prior to ask me if I could fill in with Pumpkin. He had just had three days off out in the field, but we went out there the next day, had a light ride in front of Charlotte, and he performed perfectly the next day.”

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