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Show nerves

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  • Show nerves

    and how to overcome them.

    My goal is to be able to relax in the make up ring, be a functioning rider in the ring and generally enjoy the experience. So far it's just been fear.

    .A little back groun. I used to show carriage driving and had a ball. Obstacles, dressage, reinsmanship, pleasure against some pretty hefty compeition. Loved it. Couldn't wait for the shows. Never fearful of anything.

    Fastforward to now: carriage horse died 12 years ago, horse gotten to replace him didn't take to driving, health issues, realisation the "driving" horse is too much horse for me to ride (overmounted). Enter western pleasure horse. Very suitable mount for me, experienced in the ring with several championships as a junior horse. I've had him for 4 years, limited showing for 2 years. Limited because my fear is increasing.

    I've bought several books recently to help me discover what my problem is and now I'm overwhelmed because it's seem every chapter is about ME. From fear of the crowds watching, to fear of making a mistake, to fear of not being able to complete the class, to fear of the lope transition...just about everything. I'm so relieved with the class is over that I just don't even go in now. I walk once around the make up ring and then scratch.

    How do I get where I want to be: calm, focused, fun. And why is it getting worse. I actually ride better now than I did when I first went in the ring and have developed some ring 'sense'.
    Ride like you mean it.

  • #2
    You need support at the show from someone on the ground to support and encourage you to make it into the class.

    A few fun shows would probably help also. Something to just get you in the ring but that means nothing competition wise.

    It is going to take more than a book, you have to put it all into practice.

    Are you going to large shows?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
      and how to overcome them.

      My goal is to be able to relax in the make up ring, be a functioning rider in the ring and generally enjoy the experience. So far it's just been fear.

      .A little back groun. I used to show carriage driving and had a ball. Obstacles, dressage, reinsmanship, pleasure against some pretty hefty compeition. Loved it. Couldn't wait for the shows. Never fearful of anything.

      Fastforward to now: carriage horse died 12 years ago, horse gotten to replace him didn't take to driving, health issues, realisation the "driving" horse is too much horse for me to ride (overmounted). Enter western pleasure horse. Very suitable mount for me, experienced in the ring with several championships as a junior horse. I've had him for 4 years, limited showing for 2 years. Limited because my fear is increasing.

      I've bought several books recently to help me discover what my problem is and now I'm overwhelmed because it's seem every chapter is about ME. From fear of the crowds watching, to fear of making a mistake, to fear of not being able to complete the class, to fear of the lope transition...just about everything. I'm so relieved with the class is over that I just don't even go in now. I walk once around the make up ring and then scratch.

      How do I get where I want to be: calm, focused, fun. And why is it getting worse. I actually ride better now than I did when I first went in the ring and have developed some ring 'sense'.
      It's not clear from your post, but did a specific event take place that caused the fear from that point forward? For instance, did the new horse buck you off in the ring? Take off with you? etc.?

      It sounds like your western pleasure horse is a solid citizen. I would find a trainer/coach in your area that you are comfortable working with, and go to a small local show and get some instruction and support from that knowledgable trainer so you have some more confidence. Take it from there.
      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

      Comment


      • #4
        OP, you might see what this lady could do for you. She has had a sports psychology van at A Circuit H-J horse shows around this area for years, working with exhibiors to overcome show anxiety. I recently inqired for a male QH assistant trainer in the area (not likely to go to her van) and she said she is now having success using Skype and other long distance aids.

        http://www.mentaladvantagegf.com/bio.html
        Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
        www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

        Comment


        • #5
          'Some' nerves are good. It means you care.

          I would say, based just on my own experience, I'm no expert!, focus on that which is enjoyable about showing. It's not about you versus the rest of the competitors. It's about how well you can execute that which you and your horse have practiced at home. Focus on enjoying your horse, challenge yourself to ride well and communicate well with your horse in a 'new' place, and I think you'll find it's fun. And the placings will take care of themselves.

          I can say that thinking back over the decades, sure, I won my fair share, and it's fun to beat pros (or ammies) on high priced horses with horses that cost 0 to $700 that one has trained oneself, but the most fun is not what placing I got, but how much fun my horse and I had together. And full disclosure, sometimes, how much we did not have fun due to poor riding on my part, or bad luck. It's just a kick, wherever you are, competing or not, when you and your horse are 'in the zone.'

          And keep in mind that the judge only judges what he or she sees in that class. You get to use it as a step in your journey with your horse, and assess how you're doing. Sometimes you'll think you did great, other times you'll think your an idiot. That's life, isn't it? Speaking from experience- when I came in dead last, the world did not end.

          In summary: Don't worry, be happy.

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