How do I keep show nerves to a minimum? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 Old 02-20-2011, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: I don't know
Posts: 1,158
• Horses: 1
How do I keep show nerves to a minimum?

Hello, Western pleasure being the only class that I show with other riders. Otherwise I compete in horsemanship, reining and possibly at the end of the year,cutting. My nerves in reining especially are awful. I've been close to throwing up. My dad tries to keep me calm and I talk to a couple friends I have met but they are often just as nervous. I have forgotten patterns HOW DO YOU FORGET TO DO A CIRCLE! I DO! Champs really good when I'm nervous but he can't memorize a reining pattern for me. What do you do to help calm your show nerves?
Any help is greatly appreciated.

Live to ride. Ride to live.
Tasia is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 19 Old 02-20-2011, 01:22 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,441
• Horses: 0
I have the same problem! I hate showing sometimes for that reason.
equiniphile is offline  
post #3 of 19 Old 02-20-2011, 06:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,167
• Horses: 5
Well, I know how nerves can really get to you during shows, as I often have that during dog shows. If you have the time, you could make games to remember your patterns. Maybe create a make-shift board game or something that you can bring to the show. It will keep you busy plus help you remember. ^^
ButtInTheDirt is offline  
post #4 of 19 Old 02-20-2011, 10:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 2,042
• Horses: 1
Me & show nerves have a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, they are annoying and make me tense up and forget things. On the other hand, if you harness them sort of use that energy, you can concentrate intensely and have the best ride of your life! It's funny when people don't understand why I would get nervous for a show/comp, but it really is life/death to me! :)

One thing that might help is to realize you are SHOWING your horse. You're trying to make the horse look good, no one cares about you as the riders. Think about them only focusing on the horse.

Breathe! When memorizing a pattern, figure out when you are going to take breaths. ie: circle, lead change, breate, back to trot, breathe, walk.. etc.
Before you go in, take some deep breaths and smile! It's for fun, after all :) Maybe hum a song or "listen" to one in your head.

For better memorization, draw the pattern over and over again. If it has obstacles/jumps, go into the arena and visualize your ride. What I do a lot of times (because I literally have to do something before I truly learn it) is find a spot big enough to walk your pattern yourself, like pretending to be the horse ;)

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
Eliz is offline  
post #5 of 19 Old 02-21-2011, 03:44 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: australia
Posts: 125
• Horses: 6
I don't show and don't know anything western really so i might
not be of much help but when i am going to do something like jump i just
try to calm down before i start doing ANYTHING or you will just keep getting more and more nervy and then it will just end with your horse freaking to.So imagine something nice like I imagine riding in the olympics LOL so what ever is pleasant to you.Or you could try and talk to your horse about what you would like to acheive that day.....Hope i helped....

Squirt*19yr cremello pony
BecArabian is offline  
post #6 of 19 Old 02-24-2011, 06:00 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,220
• Horses: 0
Once I let my nerves get the best of me during a show and the trainer I was working with let me have it! (she was not the forgiving type) But something she said really stuck with me. She said, "Don't you DARE ever let anything come in between the communication between you and your horse!!" I realized that day that that's exactly what show nerves do, they affect our relationship with our horses and affect the way we communicate with them. Practice practice practice + Time in the show ring + mental discipline. While I might get a few flashes of anxiety/excitement here and there it's been a while since I've felt true show nerves. Be prepared as you can be, train your mind to focus on nothing but the ride, and don't forget to have fun!

Also, you mentioned you've talked to several people but they're nervous too? Make sure you don't feed into each other nervousness! If you need to get away and sit by yourself to picture yourself doing the pattern successfully, do it.
upnover is offline  
post #7 of 19 Old 02-25-2011, 04:21 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NSW, Australia
Posts: 8,167
• Horses: 3
I had my first show today and to tell you the truth, I felt sick with nerves! And to calm myself I actually pictured myself and Tess kicking them fat show ponies butts! And we did, I beat them good. But just don't get too cocky lol

Cross Country- The act of hurling yourself and your equine partner at a stationary object with poise and grace while attempting to survive...
PintoTess is offline  
post #8 of 19 Old 03-05-2011, 06:08 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Washington
Posts: 24
• Horses: 0
Hi! I used to have the same problem :( I have found that for pattern classes if i practice the pattern alot befoe my class i find the confidence i need to complete the pattern with out freaking out.
thatoneponygirl is offline  
post #9 of 19 Old 04-01-2011, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 121
• Horses: 0
I have the same problem when I'm showing! I just do everything to get to my class on time so I don't have to rush to get on and such. I also do everything I can to prepare for the show beforehand like practicing certian things I'm judged on at the show. Hope this helps and I'm sure everyone gets show anxiety sometimes... I know I do alot!
live2ride8 is offline  
post #10 of 19 Old 04-02-2011, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 13
• Horses: 0
At shows sometimes I put on my head phones and my ipod and just listen to music while I ride around, saddle up, or shine up my horse. Its very calm and relaxing to jam to my favorite tunes before I go win a class (hehehe). But also if you pretend you already won the class, and you just go ride, it helps also.
LionizedMaddy is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Show ring nerves? Eliz Horse Riding 8 10-04-2010 03:02 PM
minimum breeding age jazzyrider Horse Breeding 11 09-30-2010 06:45 PM
Circuit Show Nerves! dreamrideredc Horse Shows 4 09-28-2010 08:29 PM
Show Nerves... A Few Questions AngelWithoutWings54 Horse Shows 2 07-31-2010 07:46 PM
Big Show, Big Nerves MyLittleHunter Horse Shows 9 08-29-2009 12:49 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome