I always think I have goals, but after reading Mia's comment, I realized that my goals aren't very specific. Instead, they tend to be more nebulous: compete at First Level, make it to so many shows a year, go to a clinic. And when my goals are more specific, they cover things like: qualify for the regional show, earn enough scores for such and such award, and so on. Mia helped me see that I might benefit from some actual riding goals.
Sydney needs to get off the property, but shows and clinics are awfully expensive, especially if he's going to be a freakazoid the whole time. So after I got back from the clinic and debriefed with JL, she formulated a realistic, workable goal that I really like.
So here's JL's plan: IF I can get the right lead canter consistently without any theatrics on a regular basis by the end of November, Sydeny goes to the clinic. If not, he doesn't get to go, and I save myself $400. I love this plan.
I am sure you're asking why this particular goal? Simple. The right lead canter has been a tension inducing moment for Sydney. Mastering, or least getting control of, that moment in time will be a good indicator of my control over-all. If I can control the right lead canter, I'll have much better control over the rest of his body.
I don't know if it's too quick to make a judgement, but we haven't had a right lead canter bauble since we got back from the clinic. I've got five more weeks to decide, but things are definitely looking up.