I am an eventer currently showing at novice, but hopefully will be trying to move up in the late summer/ early fall of next year. I rode at the novice level on a pretty experienced horse for about 2 years, but those were the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Now I ride my 5yo OTTB mare and we have done 4 shows at novice.
So starting with dressage. I usually have a wonderful warm up and as soon as we enter the ring, we get stiff, nervous and stuff starts falling apart. Or at least that's how it feels to me, but my scores never reflect that. I often come out of dressage thinking that there is no hope for placing at all, but recieve a score that just blows my mind.
You know how some people are terrified of XC? Well that's how SJ is for me. Im not sure why I get so nervous, but it might have to do with the fact that every round I put in is messy messy messy. Since we have moved up to novice we havent had any penalties though (probably just pure luck and my horse saving my butt). When I walk my SJ courses I usually feel pretty confident about most of it, but there's always one or two things that make me think I can't do it.
My mom has pointed out to me that whenever I walk my XC courses for shows I am very negative. I will say things along the lines of "we can't do this" "no way she would ever jump that" and "I don't even have to worry about that jump because we won't even get past the first jump."
The thing is- I have no reason to say these things because we have never had a XC penalty and I placed first in the last three shows of the season. I love XC- it is my favorite and one of the only reasons I event and it doesn't scare me. So why do I say this? (I didn't even realize I was doing it- it was other people that pointed it out to me)
At home I'm confident with my flatting, but I really don't jump her that often. When I do, it's a hot mess and I usually walk away feeling worse thatn when I started. I also have this thing where I refuse to take her on trail rides because she was wild the last few times and I don't want to give her the opportunity to misbehave again. I like to be happy with her so we just work on things that I actually see improvement in (aka flatting and conditioning).
So I think its time to change my negativity because its not fair to my horse. She has done nothing to deserve my lack of faith in her and I want shows to start being fun and relaxed like they use to with my old guy instead of fun but nerve wracking like they are now. I just felt like I needed to write this down some where and if you guys have any suggestions on how to think positively, let me know!
Sorry for the book