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Help with pre show nerves...

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  • Help with pre show nerves...

    I'm showing jumpers tomorrow for the first time in 11 years and I'm already a nervous wreck sitting in my office at work! I just don't know what's wrong with me! I used to show 6 or more times a year as a teenager is the 3'-4' jumpers and then hunters at rated shows and was never a bit nervous... I'm only doing two 2' jumper classes tomorrow at a local show, but with my nerves you'd think I was debuting at a Grand Prix somewhere. Any advice would be much appreciated and any tips on doing jumpers for the first time in a long time would help too. I was pretty good at it when I was 14 and 15, but 11 years is a long time...

  • #2
    I had the same exact problem last summer when I went to my first show in 33 years, LOL. And I had to haul my horse myself to the show grounds which were 3 plus hours away, that freaked me out too. When we pulled out of the barn where I board my hands were literally shaking.

    You will be fine. You are doing this for fun, correct? Just think about all the fun you will have, and a wonderful opportunity to do something new with your horse. It will be a great bonding experience.

    (There. I'm paying forward the good advice I got on this BB last summer!)
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Haha, I definitely appreciate it! I'm doing this for fun and because DH is making me. He just bought a new super nice WP show horse and the show we're going to has a pleasure ring and a hunter ring so he said that since he was going and the show had a jumping ring and I have two jumping horses I better pick one and come with him

      Comment


      • #4
        COTH is scaring me - second time in as many days someone has started a thread that I needed to see! Overo, I'm right there with you. Will be attending my first show in well over a decade next weekend. Like you I showed pretty regularly as a junior and never had an issue with nerves. My show is a week away and I'm already having sporadic panic attacks!

        My trainer keeps assuring me that once I get there, school around, and actually get back in the ring that will go away. I love and trust my trainer (and thankfully will be carted around by a good ol' school master mare this time out!) so I'm choosing to believe her. It helps a little. I just keep telling myself it WILL come back to me.

        However, I'm also trying to tell myself that if I screw up due to nerves it is OK. I think we have to go in with the attitude that we can do this, but if something does go wrong we have to be ready to forgive ourselves too.

        Good luck to you! Don't forget to breathe! I'll be hoping for an update next week.
        "I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy. My reality is just different from yours."
        ~Lewis Carroll

        Comment


        • #5
          Bummer, about the pressure from your DH for you to show, too.

          Make the show about being a learning experience for you and your horse. When you jump at home, do you get worried about doing it? If not, then the show can be used as an opportunity to school your horse over something different.

          If your DH is putting pressure on you to get a ribbon or you feel pressure within yourself to get a ribbon, then the show will not be fun. Showing can never be about ribbons.

          Try setting yourself a goal. If you have not shown in a few years, then make your goal to remember all of your jumper courses or even to just jump clean.

          Being nervous is normal. If you can refocus your goals, then some of the nervousness will be diminished.
          When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

          Comment


          • #6
            And if it helps, I screwed up in the first class at the show big time. The judge was really a big help there, he came over and talked to me about what I was doing wrong, and in subsequent classes we did better - even got a blue ribbon in one!
            What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm envious you guys even had successful junior years! The couple of years I did show, I was so mentally unprepared (and, as someone who suffers from anxiety, even more anxious and obsessive than I am usually) that I never had a good time showing and don't look back on it fondly.

              Most shows should be looked on as fun, not just for the ribbons, and as a learning experience for you and your horse. You two could have a good round that just doesn't make it for placings, but that shouldn't matter. I'm sure you know this

              If your SO was essentially the one to pressure you to come in the first place, you have even less of a commitment, so to speak, to getting a ribbon. You didn't really pick to be there, you didn't sign up for this show on your own, this wasn't your game plan. Have fun with it. If you are still a nervous wreck the day of, scratch. When I was nervous, I was miserable, and totally shut down. My riding suffered, my horse suffered because I was riding horribly, and I'd do badly which only played up the idea that I was an awful wreck at riding. I don't know that your nerves are that bad, but if you think the whole thing is so doomed, you might as well pull from the class and go for a hack. If your SO gets a bee in his bonnet over that, than that's just too bad for him!

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                DH doesn't care whether or not I place, he just wanted me to show with him... even though I'm in a completely different ring and my classes are in the morning and his are in the afternoon... apparently we're still somehow showing together

                That's why I decided to do jumpers. I have been fiddling around with the idea of doing it with my paint (who is my fun horse) for awhile and figured it would be as good a time as any to start. I primarily take lessons on my WB hunter with my trainer and she won't be at the show with me, but I figured the worst I could do was trot around the jumps and have the highest time. I'm pretty much going into it just wanting a nice balanced ride and if we're slow that's fine with me... but for some reason I'm still nervous! I sure hope y'all are right and it goes away once I'm in the saddle in the ring.

                ETA: DH kinda has a history on COTH of convincing me to show with him on my perfect paint pony. Last time this happened I did WP on him! It was a pretty funny thread: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...date-w-pics-30!

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