Calming Show Nerves - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-09-2013, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Calming Show Nerves

So I used to show frequently, like once a month for a yr and a half. Then I switched barns and didn't show for almost 3 years. Last Oct I took my horse to a show, just a local schooling show. We only entered flat w/t classes as it was her first show ever, and my first show in a long time. I'm very happy to report that we took a first, two second, a third and a 6th (<-- that was in champion. We could have done better but we were both tired and the champ class was our last class of the day. I probably shouldn't have done 3 classes in a row, either. Still, not bad with 16 people in the class)

Anyway, the week leading up to the show, I trained every single day. Typically I go to the barn 3-4 times a week, but that day I went out 7 days straight. Buuttttt....I was super nervous. The night before the show a bunch of family and friends went out to eat at one of my fav places and I just picked at my food. I couldn't eat. At the show itself I thought I was going to throw up at one point, and my stomach hurt like mad.

But then I enter the ring. And as soon as I do, I stop worrying and just RIDE IT. It's just the time leading up to the show that I get so nervous. And its not that I don't WANT to show, oh don't get me wrong. I LOVE IT. I love the atmoshpere. I love the people. I love getting ribbons. I even enjoy watching other people in classes I'm not in. I train at home to go to shows. I bought my horse intending to go to shows. But I just get so nervous and I don't know how to calm down until I enter the ring. And jumping classes? While I haven't done any yet with my horse, I did at my old barn. If I think flat classes are bad, jumping classes nearly kill me.

I do everything I can think of to relax AT the show. I lunge my horse first, I warm up, I'll just get on her and casually walk around the grounds. I just need any possible tips people with more showing experience (as all in all I've problably only done a show 15-20 times in my lifetime) do to calm down. It sounds so silly being put like this, because it makes me sound like I don't want to do it, and don't want to be there. I really do. I'm not sure what exactly I'm nervous about. Not winning? Sure it is disappointing, but there is always someone better than you. Not placing at all? Sure, it is a little discouragining, but you always try your best. Knowing that is good enough. Maybe knowing where you went wrong to practice more at home. Looking like a fool? Who DOESN'T have a "I'm so embarrassed!" moment from a show? I've already had a few myself. So I'm not sure how to pinpoint what makes me almost shake/feel sick just thinking "next week is a show!"

Help anyone??

~He knows when you're happy
~He knows when you're comfortable
~And he always knows when you have carrots.
Horsequeen08 is offline  
post #2 of 5 Old 03-09-2013, 01:11 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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I have the same problem, I am curious as to what some of the replies are.

RIP Minnie, 1981-January 15, 2010
RIP Maggie Mae I miss you
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-09-2013, 01:12 PM
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deep breaths, and replay the best class form your last show in your head over and over. Pick out the things you did great, the reasons you got the place you did. by the time you rethink the whoe class, you should be smiling from how many good things both you and the judge could find. it used to help me remind myself "im here cause i love it, ive done it before, and i did it well with proof, so imma do it again!!"

one of the girls on my old team (we'll call her x) used to have nerves at shows, but at the barn she was one of those, super confident, kinda looks down her nose kinds. she rode great, but she was prissy about it. My trainer used to tell the younger girls (cause she'd pick on them) "pretend your x!" and they'd puff all up and put on their best "snooty" face, but they'd go around and get every stride, every lead and every corner.

So, when i went to a show with one of these girls, and she got nervous, i told her to pretend shes x, only with a smile. :) she got two seconds and $50 gift card ;)

Good luck!!
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AnalisaParalyzer is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 03-09-2013, 01:20 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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That is too funny!

RIP Minnie, 1981-January 15, 2010
RIP Maggie Mae I miss you
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-09-2013, 01:43 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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good luck with the horse show and have fun

Country Woman

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