Comp nerves, beginner-shaming and Interschools. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-22-2018, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Comp nerves, beginner-shaming and Interschools.

Hello riders!

At my school there is an Interschool Equestrian team that I have been dying to join. 2 of my friends are part of it, one with a horse and one without. Technically, you need to own a horse to compete for the team but many people come to watch shows and help out, and eventually ride when they get horses. I plan to join one day, but I honestly feel like I will be shamed because I’m certainly a newbie to the world of equine. I know what I’m talking about but I’m unsure how the dynamic will work in the team.

This team is well known and has high standards. One of the girls there has been riding for 13 years, her horse is $100K and she is sponsored by countless companies. She competes Secondary Medium which is pretty darn high. My friend joined, and on the first day they ask if she wanted to ride at state championships with them. It seems to be pretty high intensity with loads of training. It sounds like such an amazing experience and i would dream to participate, but how would you deal with nerves? I would be frightened to put my horse in an uncomfortable situation and have it be unenjoyable. Does anyone have any experience with this kind of pressure/how to deal with nerves/keeping your horse calm at comps?

These people who compete are very serious riders. Another rider just completed a training clinic with Carl Hester and they all ride in Bates saddles and Double Bridles. You can obviously say no to compete at these events, and they do host and pay for many incredible training days and pay for individual lessons for each rider to have private time with top-country coaches for each discipline. Anyone can join, it’s not too pricey which surprises me, but I’m desperate to join but my questions have me wondering.
Horseyfever13 is offline  
post #2 of 4 Old 07-22-2018, 12:41 PM
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I know that things have changed over time but when a barn I use to work at hosted inter-collegiate school horse shows no school brought horses...the host facility provided horses for the competitors so no favoritism could one knew the horses.
Luck of the draw...
I'm sure some team riders have some very expensive horses, and to be honest if I owned a $100,000 horse no rider of unknown abilities would be sitting upon my horse.
I have seen riders of all levels compete at those shows from a rider who could barely trot to ones who obviously rode for years at upper levels. They all competed in appropriate level classes and on appropriate level mounts.

Do join and learn...have fun.
So you might not want to or be ready to ride at competition right away, but you can still go and cheer on your team members.
This is supposed to be fun....sometimes if to competitive it can take some fun out...
You need to be of a certain "mentality" to enjoy competition stresses...not everyone does.
You won't know unless you try...
Do not try to keep up with everyone else in equipment acquired till you know for sure this is something you want to continue with once out of school.
Just like horses are provided at competition, so is the tack the horse rides in.
Only things a person was to provide was a properly outfitted rider of riding shoes, pant/breeches, shirt and jacket {discipline specific}, approved riding helmet and gloves...some schools also had riders with spurs and bats some did not.
Those from this school and team with saddles have very large investments, not everyone likes the same specific saddle either so just cause one has doesn't mean it is best for you...hold off on such a $$$$ item...especially since not all fits every horse either...and you don't have a horse to even consider the thought for either yet.

Do join... give it a chance..
Develop some friendships but don't feel like you "must have" as others do...
What you must have is fun...
If it isn't fun why bother..


The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-22-2018, 12:45 PM
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"I plan to join one day, but I honestly feel like I will be shamed because Iím certainly a newbie to the world of equine. I know what Iím talking about but Iím unsure how the dynamic will work in the team."

You only know what you know and it is attitude I feel that leads to beginner shaming. Attitude also leads to avoidance and ridicule (behind your back). If you go into a group with the attitude that you have the answers without having the experience to back it up (and even if you do) then you open yourself up to what I think you are referring to as "shaming". Being part of an active discussion is not the same as presenting yourself as having the answers. Asking a question about something - I know you _________ but what would happen if you did ________ instead. Why or why not is that an option? Shows you are familiar and opens the door to learning on both ends but does not set you up for what you are asking about.

I rode with a similar team throughout college. I enjoyed being around the people I rode with, enjoyed the practice sessions and comradeship that we developed. Nerves are just a part of competing. You focus on you and your mount, figure out what brings you to your "happy" place (for this it would be calm, centered place) and use that. For me it is concentrating on breathing and melting into the horse.
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QtrBel is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 07-22-2018, 05:40 PM
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Always remember, everyone you will ever meet in the equestrian world was at one time a beginner. No one will ever know it all. Each of us falls somewhere in between.

You will meet life long friends. You will either love competing or hate it - both are ok. Some days your riding will flat out suck, and some days you will ride better than someone on an expensive horse.

All these variables are part of the magic of horses. So while you can learn some things by reading or forums or videos, your best learned lessons happen in real life. Get out there, get involved on whatever level you can. There is no such thing as a wasted experience. In a very zen way, cleaning a stall can teach you amazing things.
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