Just do one better each day

"The only person you need to be better than is the one you were yesterday" Rachel Hollis
The quote above got me thinking about how our aim to become better riders often feels like a roller coaster ride with its ups and downs & sometimes you definitely feel like you a loser when compared to other riders, who might be out there competing and winning every weekend, who you wish you could copy or even emulate after seeing their successes... But by the time you’re headed up the "Self-Improvement Mountain" for the millionth time, you might also be vomiting/going for a fear 💩 by the time you arrive at the competition venue, cursing yourself that you once again decided to go competing rather than staying at home. It made me question why so often our attempts to better ourselves are so uneven, and why they so frequently end in failure? There are a few reasons, but for me personally it's focusing on the big goal which can sometimes overwhelm me into inaction and over-thinking. Instead of just being pleased with the fact that my horse is going well at home, I want to dominate the world, win the regionals & go to the nationals! And so I draw up plans for leaving behind the 99% of other riders out there behind, and becoming part of the extraordinary semi-pro 1% of the best... But the enormity of my goals ends up overwhelming me into inaction, as a big & bold goal looks to most people's the brain as something so impossible that it’s actually scary.

So how do we deal with this? As riders, what can we do to help ourselves improve, without making our goals so big we terrify ourselves? Alright, you’ve set an ambitious goal. Perhaps you want to go competing at advanced level, or maybe  your goal is to be able to ride around the arena with relaxation and not have to voluntarily end the dressage test because your horse has panicked and the nerves have gotten the upper hand of you both! But whatever your goal is, you need two things. The first thing you need is the right strategy (strategy = you need to know what it is you need to do to reach your goals). But with just the right strategy you don’t automatically achieve your goals, you need to take steps in your strategy to achieve your goals, so you need motivation. Now you might think to yourself, "of course I'm motivated, I train all the time and I love training with my horse". But over the months we all experience moments when we’re not that motivated, when you skip a training session or for a few weeks you’ll ride less, not because your horse needs to rest but because you don't feel like it. Or that the bad weather messes things up. Or after a hard day at work you throw yourself on the sofa, etc... There are a lot of reasons that can sabotage even a well thought out strategy.
So I've been embracing the philosophy of small & continuous improvement. Instead of trying to make radical changes in a short amount of time, I've been making small improvements every day that will gradually lead to the change that I want to achieve. Each day, I focus on getting just 1% better in whatever it is I'm trying to improve - the effectiveness of my seat, keeping my hands more still, the horse doing certain movements better, etc. That’s it, just 1%! It might not seem like much, but those 1% improvements start adding up, and even though it may take months or even years, but the improvements will come if you just focus on consistently upping your game by 1%. After a month, you'll be 30% better, and after a year you'll have improved by 365%... Now isn't that a fantastic thought 💭

"Don't compete with others. That's stressful. It will cause great unhappiness."


  1. Great post! I've started to realize lately too that I just need to try to improve a little bit each day, and that is what success means for me now.

  2. Everything you say, it makes such perfect sense - I really need to start looking at life a bit more your way!!