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Eliz 10-02-2010 12:26 AM

Show ring nerves?
Okay, so apparently for some unknown reason I COMPLETELY just spaced out while I was showing in a few of my classes this weekend. I was doing stupid things, like not even guiding the horse and picking up wrong leads. I got firsts in the classes, but I still don't feel like I did that well at all and I'm pretty upset about it :/

I tried to just sit back and take a few deep breaths but my people still said I looked tense (especially after I blew that lead, how embarassing!!). So, what do you all do to keep nerves on the DL, or do you even have them? I used to not... wtf...

Riding21Years 10-02-2010 01:11 AM

Show nerves are normal, and I'll give you a tip. Take an ibeprofin (however you spell it xD) before you show, it will relive stress pains and relax you. It is used for head aches, but I take one about 1 hour before I show. They don't make you at all drousy. Or, try thinking your at your practice barn, your just jumping another course!

Eliz 10-02-2010 01:26 AM

Lol yeah I'll just drug myself up, smoke a lil J, ya know.
Haha jk, thanks for the tip, I'll try that! I kept trying to tell myself I was just schooling the horse, and just getting her working good, but then I kept forgetting things. My focus was wayyyy off.

I'm always surprised at how people don't notice I'm stressing/working my butt off in the show ring. We look so calm and quiet and effortless but that is not the case! People told me we did excellent (and we must've, we clean up the ribbons!) but I'm just not satisfied with that because I feel like we weren't doing the best we could. I found that I look at shows as if I'm competing with myself, trying to get the amazing class, and I could care less about who I beat. I'm just a perfectionist that way I supppose.

And now I'm ranting. See what this does to me?! Lol.

haleylvsshammy 10-02-2010 05:08 PM

I LOVE show ring nerves! They make you feel kinda like it's a life or death situation, but I like them because it means that you love the sport. Just remember that you are prepared! Don't think that you're in it for the ribbons, think that it's just for fun. You'll never be able to really get rid of the nerves, just learn to embrace them! I really like to laugh them off by hanging out with friends and talking. My horse always seems to make funny faces when I'm at shows, so that always helps!

Eliz 10-02-2010 05:12 PM

Haha, aww thats cute! :D
Thanks, that helps me... to think about embracing them!

flamingauburnmustang 10-04-2010 07:53 AM

One thing that really helps, is smiling! I know it sounds stupid, but it actually works! At the Nationals when I lost my one stirrup while jumping when Damper half spooked at a jump, I was smiling and even half laughing a lot of the way around the course. In almost all of the photo's you can see me smiling broadly. :lol:

Another thing that helps is having a conversation with your horse, be it in your head or out loud. Sometimes, for example, if Damper randomly speeds up I'll think "Alright, you wanna get this over with, I know I know. Just focus for a few more seconds" or "I knew someone put rocket booster powder in your food". Something like that. It will take your mind off the nerves and all the other people, while still keeping your mind on the job at hand. :wink:

Below is one of the photo's of me smiling like an idiot. :roll:

JackofDiamonds 10-04-2010 08:47 AM

The nerves are the best part!!! :) That feeling and pressure of either ace it or forget about being there is what I thrive off :p There the nerves now though. I used to freak out at comps too. Have complete melt downs it gets better though. Just think if that awsome feeling if being the best! And how you can catch someones attention and make them say wow...

P.S I wouldn't recomend ibeproufen it nocked me out when I had to take it in hospital...

Good luck :D
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DubyaS6 10-04-2010 09:01 AM

I agree with the smiling comment. It really does help your nerves and attitiude and we all know that transfers straight to your horse.

Also, the judge usually loves this. Even if you do make a few mistakes, the judge is going to see that and think, "at least she is having fun!".

I was once entered (without my knowledge) into a trail class with a horse who spooked at EVERYTHING. This was a AAA AHA show. The horse was a 6 year old polish Arabian who was 16hh!! I was 12 years old, about 4'10" tall and was riding him in HUNTER classes...we didnt even bring a western saddle.

I couldnt even get the gate open to begin the class. Mach (the horse) would not even get remotely close to the gate. After about 10 minutes of that, we get it open and closed. Then canter to the mailbox which was the squeakiest mailbox EVER. That was fun. Then there was the "bridge" which was really just a piece of plywood. Mach would not go over it for ANYTHING. I tried backing him onto it...he got one hoof on and then no way. Then there was the last exercise of dismounting and ground tying the horse with a pan of sweet feed right at their feet. All the other riders with their trail horses are walking 50 foot circles around their horses while they are just standing all nice and pretty. Here I am, dismount (which is like getting off a mountain) and I dont leave Mach's side. I walk all the way around him touching him the whole way he would have stood there if I didnt. Then I have to get back on...SERIOUSLY?! I did it. I dont know how...but I did.

LONG POST...sorry.

The moral of this story is, no matter what happens to you in the class just keep smiling and trying your hardest. It goes a long way, trust me. There were 9 entries in that class. I placed 6th believe it or not. And trust me, it was a complete disaster. There were several other entries who just completely bypassed some obstacles. I attempted every single one without giving up - even if it took 10 minutes. Thats why I placed.

Eliz 10-04-2010 03:02 PM

Awesome :)
This all is making me feel a lot better :)

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