Horse show nerves + Greenie?
Okay I just need some advice with shows, etc.
Next weekend I'm going to the first show of the season. I'm hoping very much that this will be Faith's first under saddle show. My goal for this show is just to ride her whether its in the show ring or not.
For being 3 I am not too sure how shes going to do under saddle wise and she is pretty good about it for her age. She acts like a been-there-done-that attitude (mostly) and her first show was awesome. She acted like shes been doing it her whole life.
I think I may 'borrow' my trainer (or take him against his will) and let him watch me and possibly jump on her so that I can calm down a bit and my emotions don't interfere with Faith. I'm not even sure if its that I'm nervous, but I feel that I'm more on the excited side.
Just a possibility. Anyways, any suggestions? :P
Make a list of everything you could possibly need. And include an INVENTORY of things in your first-aid kit that you need, too, because I guarantee you that the day you don't have something is the day you'll need it and nobody else has one either!
Knowing you have everything you need, want, or could possibly fathom someone wanting to borrow, is unbelievably comforting.
Also, rescue remedy is amazing. Non-pharmaceutical, and great for calming the nerves. You can use it on you AND on your horse. Doesn't work for everybody but it's NOT just placebo or it wouldn't work on animals!
You need to switch your focus. Envision every thing your will be doing with your horse from the time you off load to your first class. Don't think about the class but how well you can keep her comfortable, physically and mentally. Run this over and over in your mind.
A horse should always have touchstones in their training that are repetitive and that they can do in their sleep. For my yearling, it's hip disengagements, pivots, and casual circles.
When you get to the show, especially in the early season, expect your horse to forget about 80% of what you've taught them up front. In order to get your horse's mind working and remembering, go back to those touchstones until your horse is soft. Once your horse says "ahah! this is just like how we do at home, my mommy knows what she's doing and i am comfortable doing these exercises because i know i've done them 100 times", the horse will gain confidence and begin to act as himself at home again. And, most importantly, YOU will gain confidence because you can just focus on a couple repetitive exercises at a time.
Your training is like homework, and a show is like a test. If you fail your test, you have to do more homework. If you pass your test, you did your homework.
LOVE what oh vair oh, said! DO have a routine because it's so easy for you to get to a show and have your horse forget mostly everything, even you because of all the excitement. Especially when they're young. Love her last saying, the show IS the test for both of you.
When you pack the truck / trailer triple check it, make more than one list and check it again. I'm horrible when it comes to packing I tell myself I won't forget something I set it somewhere where I shouldn't then I forget it anyways. Last time, his bridle but had packed an extra! Have spare pieces of tack as well that could break. I keep a whole extra set in the trailer just in case.
First aid kit as others mentioned, sometimes there isn't a show vet, sometimes stuff just happens. If you don't have one, they're relatively inexpensive to make. We got an AWESOME tool box / chest from fleet farm. $25 bucks and it's indestructible. I love it and it goes everywhere my horses are no matter what.
Relax, breathe and enjoy the show! That's when you do well, you have to be calm. (:
Another vote for Rescue Remedy! My hero! Some for me, some for the horse, some for the dog as needed. ;-)
Thank you guys for the replies.
Oh Vair Oh, that was a great interpretation you gave. I appreciate it.
In order for a partnership to be successful, someone has to be confident, calm, and knowledgeable. That should at least be your trainer of course. If you cant get your trainer to cone can you get another knowledgeable horsey friend to come?
Get there early and don't get on until you've calmed your own nerves, then take it slow and just enjoy. If she's not ready to go into the show pen, scratch the class and ride in the warm-up all day. Just work on a good experience. The rest will fall into place.
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