Show Anxiety - Barrel Horse in Jumpers
Just like test anxiety, but at least during test you don't have a 1100lbs animal feeding off of your own feelings.
I have both, I guess its just my personality. A lot of time when I show, I forget the basics, and all my work goes out the window. When practicing I can have very consistent practices, but get to a show and have both myself and my horse in a high, frustrated place where both of us end up fighting.
I have my first English show on saturday. I have only done gymkhana and rodeos before, so I am in a whole new ball game here. Now, everyone has no idea how my horse will act (without being influenced by me.....at all). With only past barrel racing experience, he can be hot when showing. I do my best to diffuse all fight and lack of focus before I run and he has become calmer. But still doesn't change that he is used to when it comes time to start, he is supposed to haul butt. Yet at the same time, he has been consistently a star at home for about a month now. He balances well, is steady to the jumps, turns well, responds off of leg and seat. But adding in his weird personality and my own jumbled nerves.....Eh.
I feel like I have a million of things to remember, each having to do with different scenarios of how to handle him depending on his mood. I will have my trainer there to help, and support of family and friends, and I am honestly looking forward to it. I'm trying to stay positive and think that my only problem will be memorizing courses.
I'm doing four classes, two at 2'6" and one at 2'9". Two of those are speed rounds.
How do all of you help get rid of show anxiety and enter the arena calm and focused?
Well I only run barrels in gymkhana and stuff like that but usually once I get my first run over and it was a good run, I calm down a bit and instead of worrying if something is going to go wrong I just get myself confident and say to myself (in my head) "you can do this and everything will turn out good"
Going from barrels and rodeos to jumping is so different, you're in a whole new ball park but I'm sure you will do great! :D
yep... just gotta go in with the right course in your head. getting disqualified for an off course is the most LAME thing ever... and you'll be super upset with yourself if it happens. Keep in mind that the power and speed rounds are usually really long... so make sure you know the whole course INCLUDING your jump off.
Breathe. You both will do great!
Thank you you two. It sure was something different, and I got quiet a few unwelcome stares. Guess its what I get for bringing in a hot horse. =o
Once I got over my first class (which I felt like my heart was going to climb its way out of my chest) I did a lot better and he started to settle down a little bit. He was completely confused and frustrated and had no idea what he was doing. But nothing big. I have to say we knocked 1/3 of the rails. Haha but no runouts/refusals/rears or taking out of any jumps, so I'm feeling pretty good. I got D-qued for an off-course. <---I was hating on myself for a while, and a failure to pass the starting time line. =\ Ah well, I lived and hopefully it can only get better from here.
I don't have a remedy. I also have an ex barrel horse whom i was doing show jumping with at that height for 2 years. i guess the trick is to ride it out. In your own head. you need to memorize the course, and get your horse warmed up with as little stress as possible. Good luck.
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