8 Tips for Calming Competitive Jitters During Show Season
You have prepared for the day of competition; hours of practice, sore muscles (you and your horse), sweat, dirt, dedication to perfection, changed habits that were difficult to undo in order to be the best. Your horse is groomed and shinny like a new penny. His mane is pulled and braided, tail is snarl free. You saddle up and check last minute details.
As you mount your horse to be placed “on deck,” your boots are wiped from dust for the last time before you enter the show arena. Your heart pounds as you hear your name announced, your blood drains and your body tenses. “Show shock” has taken over and there is no place to go but forward. Your class is like a blur. As you exit the arena, you regain composure and “you” are back, wondering why you let this affect you in such a negative way.
Don’t feel bad. You are not alone. “Show shock” happens to many riders who tell no one about their fears. The good news is that there are many preplanned steps that you can take to actually make your showing experience fun.
The key word, however, is “preplanning”. This simple action can take weight off of your shoulders and allow you and your horse to do your best.