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First ride with BNT- nervous !

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  • First ride with BNT- nervous !

    OK-I've ridden my whole life, newer to dressage. I have been riding with "known- upper level" trainer(s) for a few years, but this is going to be my first clinic ride with one who's "famous".

    My trainer thinks my horse and I are ready, but my lack of self confidence is making me doubt our abilities. We are training solidly Second, showing First, but very limited amount of showing also....

    Any one else get intimidated riding in front of a really big name clinician- thoughts, feelings, advice !

  • #2
    Don't think about riding "with" someone. You're taking a lesson, not giving a performance. Go to learn.
    The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry


    • #3
      Originally posted by easyrider View Post
      Don't think about riding "with" someone. You're taking a lesson, not giving a performance. Go to learn.
      Exactly. and so what if you make a mistake? are you gonna die? no! and who cares what some people think. You are there to learn and have a good time! you need to feel confident

      You can do it!


      • #4
        If you don't make any mistakes, there will be no opportunities for the clinician to teach you!


        • #5
          Try to remember that there is no reason to feel nervous... you are paying them to help you. Everybody had to start somewhere, and even though some trainers may act like they were born into the FEI, remember that they too were once a lowly student.

          Also, work as hard as you can. Listen carefully to what you are told and do your best to follow instructions. Do not waste time. Combine this with a positive attitude and you will find that many trainers will genuinely do everything they can to help you meet your goals.


          • #6
            If you chicken out, I'll go ahead and ride for ya.

            Seriously, you are there to learn, try not to worry too much about impressing the person. Of course I say that, but my dream is to someday ride in a Steffen Peters clinic and YOU KNOW I will be a nervous wreck if that ever happens. Anyway, try to relax and try to soak up as much as you can. If you have someone who can video tape, that would be golden! Good luck, have fun and remember, you have a back-up. (kidding)
            ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
            *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
            *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
            My Facebook


            • #7
              Agreed. Clinicians are there to HELP! ...Just like judges really WANT to give out 10's. They're rooting for you to do well.

              Now for a practical tip. It's ok to be nervous. Think about what being nervous feels like. Increased heart rate, sweaty palms. rubbery legs etc...Well, that's exactly how you feel when you're excited!

              So "reframe" what you're thinking and feeling. You're not nervous about riding with the BNT. You're EXCITED!!!

              Have a blast and learn lots!
              jane savoie
              dressage mentor


              • #8
                I'm doing the same thing in a few weeks, also nervous! I just keep thinking about it as a "lesson" and not a "clinic". Although I must admit I'm really worried about the fact that paid auditors are going to be there, so there will definitely be an "audience".

                I am just going to try to tune them completely out and focus on the instructor. And also hope that my horse is not going to be a spook monster! He usually is better when he's really focused on working harder than normal, which is what I am sure will happen!

                Good luck to you!!


                • #9
                  I would have to have a shot of something strong to relax me first! Go have fun and learn! I'm jealous!!!
                  Last edited by BoyleHeightsKid; Jun. 20, 2011, 12:31 PM.
                  Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
                  Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
                  "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


                  • #10
                    Don't be nervous. Most people who are well known are not well known because they are condescending and out to ruin your life. Will they be brutally honest? Most likely, but that is what you are paying for. Will they be discouraging and nasty? That is a definite no. The clinician is there to help you as well as to propagate their good name, and that is certainly not done through undeserved harshness and cruelty to the rider.
                    And this is the story of your red right ankle.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jane Savoie View Post
                      Agreed. Clinicians are there to HELP! ...Just like judges really WANT to give out 10's. They're rooting for you to do well.

                      Now for a practical tip. It's ok to be nervous. Think about what being nervous feels like. Increased heart rate, sweaty palms. rubbery legs etc...Well, that's exactly how you feel when you're excited!

                      So "reframe" what you're thinking and feeling. You're not nervous about riding with the BNT. You're EXCITED!!!

                      Have a blast and learn lots!

                      It's like redirecting a nervous horse's energy. It's pointless to try to grab the reins and shut the horse down...just like you're own energy won't dissipate simply because you tell yourself not to be nervous. Instead, redirect it! Get excited! Think of how incredible this opportunity is to be with someone who not only WANTS to help you...but probably has the skills and abilities to actually do it!



                      • #12
                        The only thing I'd suggest it to remind yourself to breathe. Often. The lack of breathing (something I do when I'm nervous) will actually wear you out faster, plus negatively influence your effectiveness as a rider.

                        If your trainer knows the BNT and says you're ready (which means also that the BNT will enjoy working with a reasonable ammie at your level), please DO have a wonderful time.

                        My experience has been that the B-er the NT the less they put any time into trying to impress you with their brilliance as clinicians and the more they devote to using their experience and insight to help you and your horse experience breakthroughs!


                        • #13
                          First of all, way to go! I hope you have a fabulous time.

                          If the BNT is worth their salt (and hopefully they are!), they should be respectful of your desire to learn and happy to work with you, as it sounds like you're working to improve.

                          I've been fortunate enough to ride with several BNTs in the dressage and eventing world, and I agree - it is nerve-wracking. You've been given some great advice, and I'll try to add a couple things. One thing that might help calm your nerves is simply ensuring that you're prepared (cleaning your tack, warming up properly, and so forth). That can also be another outlet in which to channel your energy. Another thing to remember is that you are taking a lesson. This is something you know how to do - you know how to take a lesson. You're simply taking a lesson from someone new.

                          I've found that while I might be nervous ahead of time, once I'm riding, there's usually not a lot of time to be anxious. And remember - have some fun! That's what it's all about .



                          • Original Poster

                            THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH !!

                            What wonderful,insightful, useful, and kind advice all of you have given.

                            This has really helped me feel more confident about myself along with a better idea of what to expect from the clinician.
                            I plan on incorporating all of this into my next couple of rides before the clinic.
                            I'm also going to pretend the BNT has been my trainer for years, or imagine them naked(haha).

                            Also, hearing directly from one of the "Famous" trainers right here says a tremendous amount about the fact they really want to help us- thanks Jane

                            Funny- showing has never made me nervous- go figure(LOL)


                            • #15
                              Well I can tell you a story about my first lesson with a (local) BNT. This woman is selective about whom she takes in as clients and I finally worked up the nerve to call and ask for a lesson. After giving me detailed directions on the phone of how to get to and park at the arena (a different driveway than her house), I of course forgot them at home. I did remember she said to go right. But when I got to the crossroads, there was a straight option, a kind of right option, and a very right option. Trying to remember what I had visualized as the directions when she was telling me, I went kind of right. Which was wrong.

                              As I was driving down her driveway in my GN trailer (which isn't as handy to turn as my BP trailer was), I realized too late that I had taken the wrong driveway, as I got my trailer basically wrapped around a tree. I couldn't move forward because of the narrowness of the driveway and tree limbs, and I couldn't back up and follow the same line that I took in. I must have tried it for 30 minutes or so before I realized that I would have to unload the horse into her round pen, back up ONTO HER LAWN, disumbilicate the truck/trailer, turn the truck around and hook up from the other direction, then drive across her lawn to get out.

                              Can you say embarrassed and mortified? I did go on to have my first lesson with her (and she LOVED my horse) am still riding with her two years later.

                              So I don't think you can do as dumbass a maneuver as I did!

                              Have fun!!!
                              "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                              • #16
                                And don't forget to journal! Be sure to write everything down just as soon as possible. This way you will get the most out of the clinic as you can.
                                I can't tell you how many great things I have forgotten after a clinic because I didn't write them down....
                                Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.


                                • #17
                                  They are normal people, just like you and me! Get excited that you will have the chance to learn from someone who knows more then you!