How do I keep show nerves to a minimum?

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How do I keep show nerves to a minimum?

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  • How to show nerves on hand
  • I'm nervous for my horse show

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    02-20-2011, 01:18 PM
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.
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    02-20-2011, 01:22 PM
I have the same problem! I hate showing sometimes for that reason.
    02-20-2011, 06:05 PM
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. ^^
    02-20-2011, 10:31 PM
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 ;)
    02-21-2011, 03:44 AM
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....
    02-24-2011, 06:00 PM
Green Broke
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.
    02-25-2011, 04:21 AM
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
    03-05-2011, 06:08 PM
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.
    04-01-2011, 07:58 PM
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!
    04-02-2011, 11:22 AM
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.

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