Horse Show Nerves - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-27-2013, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Horse Show Nerves

Hey you guys, I was wondering, how do you deal with the nerves and anxiety that come from horse showing? I'm not sure if everybody has horse show nerves, but I know that I can't ride when I get to a show. Nothing feels right and I go in the ring and I humiliate myself time after time. It's so frustrating because I know I can ride better than that. Do any of you experience this too? And if so, how do you overcome it?

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post #2 of 8 Old 01-27-2013, 11:54 AM
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I never really went to shows to win. But winning was always nice ;) Getting there early might help. When I was showing, I got to the ring early and walked my horse around, then I would get on bareback and ride around for a little while. I do get pretty nervous upon entering a class, but I tell myself it doesn't matter if I win, as long as I have fun. I find when I pay attention to what other riders are doing, I tend to focus more on how they're doing, and not what I'm doing at all.

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-27-2013, 12:04 PM
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I always try to arrive as early as possible (preferably the evening before the show). I tend to have terrible nerves, for no real reason, but I've found that treating my classes like I do my school exams (ie. "I'm not going to learn anything more at this point, so I just need to go do my best.") helps a lot. There's a saying that goes something like: "Ribbons are won at home, you only go to shows to pick them up." and I really like it for helping me keep my perspective. It's a horse show, that's all.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-27-2013, 12:13 PM
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I get really bad horse show nerves because I have anxiety. I've found that using checklists to make sure you have everything, arriving early, and just looking at it as a fun time helps out a lot.
Also, in the ring just focus on yourself. The audience is too busy gossiping and complaining about the cold weather and the bad coffee to be watching you for microscopic little mistakes, and your competitors are just as nervous as you are! And chances are, if you do mess up, the judge didn't even see it. (or at least that's what I like to tell myself)
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-27-2013, 01:01 PM
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Also, keep in mind any mistakes you make are much more noticeable to you than anyone else!
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-27-2013, 10:08 PM
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I don't get nervous at shows for 2 reasons.

1. I show below my level so I am not overfaced. I don't move up in class until I am dead bored.

2. I'm older and long since stopped beating myself up about every little thing. That's the one big plus to not being young. You have inner confidence and can enjoy the smaller victories. Just try to enjoy your horse and day in the sun. (unless of course it's pouring)

An added bonus is I am an eventer. Most are very nice people and are very helpful and supportive. You'd be hard press to not have a good time at a low level eventing show.
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You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-01-2013, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, thanks! I really appreciate all your responses! I think I'm too focused and concerned on messing up that I don't actually enjoy riding and showing. Thanks for the advice!

I've spent much of my
life
on the back of a horse, the rest I've wasted.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-02-2013, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterJumperXC View Post
Hey you guys, I was wondering, how do you deal with the nerves and anxiety that come from horse showing? I'm not sure if everybody has horse show nerves, but I know that I can't ride when I get to a show. Nothing feels right and I go in the ring and I humiliate myself time after time. It's so frustrating because I know I can ride better than that. Do any of you experience this too? And if so, how do you overcome it?
Yes! Need help with this too!
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