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Nervous about showing

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  • Nervous about showing

    O.K., I ride lots, but do event derbies, lessons, trails, etc. So I'm going to go to a small local show this weekend (even having a lesson with a h/j trainer) and am nervous about attire. I have tall Ariat field boots (from fox hunting days), paddocks and ariat half chaps, but.....my breeches are dark, except for maybe one brown pair or dark tannish and maybe one green. Are coats always required, and if not, is it better to wear one anyway? Oh boy, I'm too old for this, showing in the arena always makes me soooo nervous.

    Oh and I'm taking the green mare, who has never done a show, just 2 clinics. YIKES...

  • #2
    Me too, and I'm thinking about riding in my first show in YEARS this Sunday. Just a local schooling show, but still! It's dressage, so horse and I will be all alone in that huge arena (which might be a good thing!).
    All I have are dark breeches, and no jacket, and I'm always relieved to go to local shows and see other people in dark breeches without jackets. True, we're in different disciplines, but show nerves know no boundaries.
    Kudos for you for doing it despite nerves. I'm partly doing this because I too think I'm too old for this and I want to do it anyway.
    Maybe we can post back here after our shows!
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


    • #3
      Not sure in other areas. But at the local shows I go to there are people dressed in nice black polos and breeches. Most wear coats and beige/tan breeches, but many wear the polos and I've never seen points deducted for what they wear.
      Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
      Forrest Gump (Catasauqua) , 17, OTTB
      Little Bit Indian, 29, TB
      Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook


      • #4
        I find one of the best ways to help any show nerves is to make sure you're prepared. Make a list of everything you need to do and what you need to pack, so that you know you have everything you need. Can you call the show office or check the prize list to see what it says about attire? I've been to some schooling shows that are much more formal than others.

        Also, enter classes that are appropriate for you and your horse. This will likely be lower level classes than what you are schooling at home - but this will make it easier and put less pressure on you.

        If this is your horse's first show, then just go with the expectation of having a good, positive first experience. I am one who tends to put a lot of pressure on myself, and I am my own worst critic, so this helps me quite a bit.

        Good luck and have fun!
        I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.


        • Original Poster


          Thanks everyone, I will only be showing 2'3" and we've jumped higher at the clinics and at home. The lesson will be over the show jumps, so that's helpful to me. Guess I better go search the wardrobe!!!!

          Field boots will probably be best, right?


          • #6
            It depends on the show, but since it's a schooling show you should be safe with a clean and tucked in polo with a belt. Clean breeches and boots.

            Some shows will allow for schooling chaps and paddock boots. You can ask the event organizer if you want as well. Or it might be on the prize list as far as attire goes.

            Just a clean and neat appearance is really what they are after for a schooling show. I've shown in both a polo and just my ratcatcher and breeches, even though I do own a hunt coat.


            • #7
              are you showing jumpers or what ? attire is different for hunters and Eq,


              • #8
                It definitely depends on the show, in terms of attire - might be best to call ahead and ask. Some of our schooling shows are very formal, others are not.
                They're small hearts.


                • Original Poster


                  I'll be showing in the small hunters - 2'3. I have a lesson the night before, so I'm sure I can ask her, too. Never had a lesson with this trainer as she lives about 3 hours away and is here for the show. Should be fun, or at least interesting!!!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sunnycher View Post
                    I'll be showing in the small hunters - 2'3. I have a lesson the night before, so I'm sure I can ask her, too. Never had a lesson with this trainer as she lives about 3 hours away and is here for the show. Should be fun, or at least interesting!!!
                    even a schooling show, for hunters, you should wear a coat and show shirt with collar. wear the britches that are the closet to beige that you have. and field boots are fine, that is what 99% of folks wear (even though dress boots are correct and predate the field boot thing).

                    its OK to be nervous, especially w/o much experience in this type of show... Just try to be focused and relaxed in the ring, dont put pressure on yourself for it to be perfect. Hunters is all about a flowing canter, getting good distances and the correct strides down the lines. make sure you leave time to learn the course, including the striding. hunter courses are simple (outside, diagnonal, outside) - especially at that height, easier to remember when you are nrevous.

                    and HEY, no more of the "too old" stuff, lots of us over 40 and still at it.....
                    Last edited by Ray; Sep. 28, 2010, 11:29 PM. Reason: typo