Keeping your cool *rant*
I love showing. I love everything about it, the atmosphere, the crowd, the horses, the prep, everything. I mainly like helping people during shows, i like to help them get ready and ride. I would much rather help people than show. But when i do show i dont do it to win, i do it because i enjoy it. At the peak of my showing "career" with Roman i was loving it. I went into every class with a smile on my face. I would talk to people during the class, i would laugh, i would dance (local 4h shows only). I went out there to have a good time riding my horse. I found that i always placed top 3 whenever i didnt have a care in the world.
Now when i take a riding test, i always seem to mess it up. I will be warming up and doing wonderful. Once i am testing it all goes to ****. I pull a blank, i rush, i get fast with my hands, and i make really dumb mistakes. I know better then to make these mistakes. I ride Leroy twice a day, i work one on one with trainers atleast twice a week. But as soon as i start testing i turn into a mess. What is wrong with me?! I lose sleep at night going over and over what i am going to do; how i am going to do it on the test. I used to shine riding under pressure. I used to make it fun, i used to love it. Now I cant sleep at night.
I feel like the teachers expect alot out of me. Since i am always there, always working with him. They told me last year that i had alot of potential to be a trainer. But i feel like i am letting them down! They see me during riding hours and Cindy always comments on how great Leroy is doing. But then he goes to hell during a test. I got a 73% on my midterm. 73%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the crap was i thinking?! I had no position for the lope, i was too close to the wall, my hands were everywhere an so was he. I didnt even practice the lope before my test. What is my problem?!!?!?!?!?
Last year we had a trail test. I was on a very broke ex-reiner. We had to back out of an L. We had been doing perfectly for 2 weeks, flawless. Then when test time came, i crapped out and backed him away from the L. Its so frustrating!!!!!! Tomorrow i have my showmanship midterm & Leroy has been really heavy about coming forward. But once he is with me, he is with me. The last showmanship test he decided he didnt want to walk off from a stop. Or pivot Really?! His pivots are near perfect, and he always walks off no matter what.
Im done ranting...kudos for reading. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I guess I won't suggest you take up an instrument bc you'll dread a recital!! lol
Seriously, though, I think you just have a mental block. I also think that you should the take the fall/winter/early spring and practice, practice, practice the next "class," or "test" that you want to do in the next show you want to participate. I am a pianist--Music Major, LOADS of accompanying under my belt--and we are used to putting in a mostly flawless and sometimes terrible performances. Most of the time, non-pianists don't know which notes we've flubbed, and I also bow afterwards, as if it was perfect. Musicians learn to do what is called, "spot practice." Most pieces of music have at least one difficult section. We practice it slowly, over and over and over and over and over and over and over, etc., then up to tempo until it is perfect. Then we know that it won't give us trouble in the performance.
Identify what your trouble spots are and PRACTICE THEM TO DEATH until they don't scare you anymore. Then, go out to the show ring, again!!
**hugs** and good luck
This is totally off subject but i played piano for 9 years :lol:
Thank you for the advise. Unfortunately its not like i am struggling with what i am doing. I practice it perfectly, in the warm up pen i have no issues. Its as soon as i start to get tested i fall apart. No matter how much i work on it, i always screw it up.
OMG--Maybe you've got nerves from playing piano in front of other people!!! LOL
Perhaps you should practice the test and have somebody tape it for you? You're probably performing LOTS better than you think you are.
You know, the Williams sisters (tennis champs) were coached by their father. He baited them, yelling at them, called them names, etc., when they played bc he thought they might hear these things from the crowd and he wanted them to be desensitized. Maybe this, too?
Climbing this mountain should be your goal for 2012. I'm sure you can conquer it.
I had similar issues with dressage -- could get the horse going nicely at home, in the warm-up ring, wherever, but as soon as we set hoof into a dressage test, I'd forget how to ride. After a few years of that I decided I could be frustrated and miserable for free. Didn't need to fork out over $100 and lose a whole weekend doing it. Haven't shown since 2002.
I've never shown, but here's what's worked for me in other public exhibition aspects of my life (played piano for almost 21 years and have done countless recitals, plus singing in church or at a local talent shows): forget that there's anyone else there except for you and whatever you are performing with. In your case, it would be you and Leroy.
Forget that there's judges. Forget that there's an audience. Go into the ring thinking "This is just another practice. This is just another warm-up. If we mess up, it's okay." A lot of times, we get so caught up in the "OMG! I can't mess up or I'll fail and my life will be ruined!" aspect of performing that we become tense and end up making all the mistakes we're fearing because that's what we're thinking about. You did so well showing with Roman because you didn't care if you won or not. Now that you're riding for grades (at least that's what it sounds like), you're so focused on being perfect that it's making you tense and making you think about everything that could go wrong...and therefore causing everything that could go wrong, to go wrong.
So, I guess all that adds up to my advice being this: don't think of it as a test or a show or anything else. Think of it as you just going out and riding with Leroy. Of doing what you both love doing. There's no one to really please but yourself.
remember it is a hobby, It is supposed to be fun, once it stops being fun, you need to quit doing it. Just ride, no shows, no practice, just go out on the trails or in the arenas and just ride.
I used to be a competition shooter I got really good, I moved up the ranks, but to stay competitive I had to keep practicing, and keep going to matches, and so on and so on. It got to where I was dreading getting up and going, so I quit. I may do a fun shoot once in a while, I may start again in the spring. But maybe not. I got big into horses and I just like going out in the woods, singing some songs, sharing some homemade wine, and enjoying life.
Work has enough stress, why on earth would you want a hobby that stresses you out.
Yikes! I'm glad all my degrees are in things that I don't freak out at doing under pressure. Is your grade contingent on doing reasonably well at shows?
I think everyone gets nervous. Sometimes I get nervous just knowing that someone is watching me. No one really likes being judged and told how terrible they are doing... at first. But then later on its nice to have something concrete to work on! I haven't shown in a really long time but am planning on getting back into it at some point. I wish I had something magical to say to help you out. I think you just have to do it as much as possible, then it doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore. If you find something that works though, please remember to share it!
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