Competition nerves - The Horse Forum
 2Likes
  • 2 Post By QtrBel
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 3 Old 09-14-2019, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 252
• Horses: 2
Competition nerves

Hi! I was wondering how you train horses to chill out at competitions and shows, or if there are any exercises that you do. And anything you do to relax yourself before a competition. I'm going to a freshman's dressage & showjumping soon, which is not a 'real' competition, it's more for inexperienced horses and riders to practice without the stress of winning or losing. I want to prepare to make sure it's a good experience for both of us.

So a bit of background. My horse is rising 6yo and I've had him for about 2 years. He's the chillest thing ever most of the time - the only times/places he's consistently been spooky and nervous are competitions and cross country. I imagine the thing that's making him nervous is because both of those are high energy, scary things. I'm not a competitive person at all, but I do have a bit of anxiety when I'm riding in front of other people, especially when my horse is behaving less than perfectly, and he definitely picks up on that.

I don't care about winning competitions or anything like that, the only reason I want to do them is that I think it will be a good way to show our progress, and it will show areas we can work on more clearly.


Anyway, any advice is appreciated. For the rider and the horse

duskexx is offline  
post #2 of 3 Old 09-17-2019, 10:15 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 6,991
• Horses: 12
Here and in the past babies are ponied off their moms and hauled whenever, where ever. You're past that so tie them next to a calm buddy in the midst of chaos. Expect them to behave and don't baby them through their fears. Not saying no attention just make attention (like grooming) matter of fact and business like. You're there, you're not stressed so they have nothing to feed off of. Walk them around, stop and talk to people and let them look. All matter of fact.
Woodhaven and knightrider like this.
QtrBel is online now  
post #3 of 3 Old 09-17-2019, 11:23 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 7,264
• Horses: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by duskexx View Post
Hi! I was wondering how you train horses to chill out at competitions and shows, or if there are any exercises that you do. And anything you do to relax yourself before a competition. I'm going to a freshman's dressage & showjumping soon, which is not a 'real' competition, it's more for inexperienced horses and riders to practice without the stress of winning or losing. I want to prepare to make sure it's a good experience for both of us.

So a bit of background. My horse is rising 6yo and I've had him for about 2 years. He's the chillest thing ever most of the time - the only times/places he's consistently been spooky and nervous are competitions and cross country. I imagine the thing that's making him nervous is because both of those are high energy, scary things. I'm not a competitive person at all, but I do have a bit of anxiety when I'm riding in front of other people, especially when my horse is behaving less than perfectly, and he definitely picks up on that.

Your horse is young and inexperienced. It usually quite normal for them to be nervous and spooky in a new place with commotion. It takes times to "season" a horse and get them used to the sights and sounds of a show. Some horses are quick to season, and others take some considerable time. It usually helps if you can get there early and allow your horse time to see the arena and the course, and have time to settle in.



It is important to keep yourself CALM. If you are nervous or anxious, your horse will feed off that and become nervous/anxious themselves. Do what you can to "fake it". One thing that helps a lot of people is to sing outloud. Sounds ridiculous, but it works. If you don't like singing, whistling will do. (also serves to expel air out of your abdomen, which is what helps keep you calm..... breathing and air exchange!)

∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
beau159 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome