It’s the end of December, time for the holidays, for festivities, time for being together with friends and family… It’s also the perfect time to reflect on the year past and think about the beautiful and difficult times you’ve been through with your horse. Did you learn from your horse? What did you achieve together? What do you regret? What made you happy? And how does your horse feel about it?
A yearly reflection is a very effective exercise in mindfulness. It will make you become more aware of your horse, of yourself and of your state of mind. You’ll learn what makes you happy and what doesn’t. It deepens the things you’ve already learned, and it will make you appreciate the year past even more, both the big and small things. It’ll make you grateful.
It’ll also help you to set new goals for the year ahead. By looking back you’ll learn how you want to continue, or how you might want to take a new direction.
To help you I’ve made a list with 44 reflective questions about the past year with your horse. Questions about what you and your horse did together, what you’ve learned, experienced and achieved.
I advise you to take your time, perhaps an hour or even more, because it’s best to write it all down. Don’t provide answers in your head only but write them all down, as you are much more focused when you are writing. It also allows you to read it and it will be easier to set your goals for 2019 when you’ve written them down.
Reflective questions about 2018
- If your horse could describe how he has experienced 2018 in 3 words, which words would that be?
- Describe in 3 words how you’ve experienced your horse.
- Which new skills did you learn?
- Which new skills did your horse learn?
- In which activities (which training component, which exercises, etc.) did you put the most energy and why?
- What did you discover about yourself as a horse trainer?
- What did you discover about your horse?
- Which problems/ challenges did you overcome?
- Which problems/ challenges did come up and do you plan to overcome?
- According to you, what are the causes for certain problems/ challenges?
- Of all the things you’ve achieved, what fills you with the most pride? Why?
- For what are you most thankful for? Why?
- For what do you think your horse is most thankful for?
- What has been the favorite activity with your horse this year? Why?
- What has been difficult to do together with your horse past year? Why?
- Which activity made your horse happy? Why do you think that is?
- During which activities you saw that your horse lost interest and motivation? Why do you think that is?
- How has the relationship with your horse changed? Are you happy with it or not?
- How has the training with your horse changed? Are you happy with it or not?
- What was the most touching moment together with your horse that you’ll never forget?
- What was the most thrilling moment together with your horse?
- What was the saddest thing you experienced with your horse?
- What was the funniest thing with your horse, the moment which still makes you laugh when you think about it?
- What was your biggest discovery?
- Which compliment do you want to give your horse?
- Which compliment do you want to give yourself?
- Which little things together with your horse gave you the most day-to-day pleasure?
- Which little things gave your horse the most day-to-day pleasure?
- How was your physical health this year? How do you think this affected your horse?
- How was your mental health? How do you think this affected your horse?
- How was your emotional health? How do you think this affected your horse?
- How were you able to develop yourself spiritually? How do you think this affected your horse?
- How was the physical, emotional and spiritual health of your horse this year (answer each level separately)? How did this affect you?
- Which thing did you do together for the first time ever in the past year?
- What was your biggest goal for 2018? Did you achieve it? Why or why not?
- Which worries did you have which turned out to be unnecessary?
- What would you love to do again next year with your horse? Why?
- What regrets do you have and would like to do different next year? Why?
- Which activities got you into such a flow that you forgot any notion of time?
- Which horse-related topics you increased your knowledge on?
- From who, which book, which movie, which website,…did you learn the most this past year?
- Which new habits did you develop?
- Which advice would you give to yourself for the new year?
- Which advice would you give to your horse for the new year?
Take your time for this, ‘cause in my next blogarticle I will share the questions which can help you to set your 2019 goals. The answers you give to these reflective questions will be of great help!