Everyone Has an End Game– What’s Yours?

There are always end games.

Most of the time they are less glamorous and a bit more truthful than your goals. In the startup tech world, your goal may be to change the world. But the end game? To go IPO and make millions. Like I said– a bit more truthful. Frequently the end game has the bigger say in setting company strategy, rather than its mission.

We don’t talk a lot about end games in the horse world.

Your goal may be to become an Olympic rider, but what is your end game? Is it:

  • To become well-known? (Prestige/fame)
  • To make a livelihood from horses? (Money)
  • To see how far you and your horse can go? (Personal fulfillment)

How you answer the question guides your decision making in key moments.

On a broader level, it guides your choices of horses, trainers and which opportunities you pursue. It also shapes how you make decisions such as when to keep a horse vs. sell them and why you do so. For instance, if my end game is to be well-known through the horses, I would select shows, judges and tests around which ones I thought I had the best change at winning and getting high scores at, and would go to as many shows as I could. In comparison, if personal fulfillment was my end goal, I might opt to go to fewer shows and spend more time and money on clinicians and lessons.

On a minute level, it shapes how you ride daily.

Your end game will determine the strategies you use, how much you push the horse each ride, and if/when you use force. If my end game was to make money, I might push harder and be more open to training shortcuts than if my end game was something else. In comparison, if personal fulfillment was my end goal, I might take my time solidifying the basics before moving up to the next level.

What is YOUR end game in dressage? No, seriously– what do you want to get out of your horse? Out of your riding? Do you actions align with what you WANT your end goal to be?