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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Today I had a lesson like always. But, I got there and found out that there was a jumping clinic going on. So, we had to move outside. We go outside and it was to muddy (why the clinic was moved inside), so we started out there. The only thing is that the outdoor arena is right in front of Bee's paddock. So, she was getting really fussy because her friends eat breakfast at that time. When we went to trot, she tried to buck and go over and eat the weeds... We moved inside.
We get inside and go into the back of the arena so we wouldn't get in the way of the clinic. I am not used to riding in a group at all, so having two other horses in the arena jumping about six inches to a foot higher then me was scary. I felt like Bee was going to try and go over one of the bigger jumps after we jumped our two foot jump, or follow someone right over one of them. I also didn't like the people all over the place walking around the arena when we were trying to do something. It scared me. I didn't like the bigger jumps in my way, or all the people. I couldn't tune anything out. That's why my lesson today didn't go very well. I have a show in less then two weeks, and I KNOW all the other things going on around me are going to be the big problem. Does anyone know how to tune out everything else going on around me? I am going to take a little practice/group lesson the day before the show, and there are going to be other people around in the arena practicing with me. So that will help a little. I am very afraid of people watching me too. I will barley be able to get up and do a report in class. Anyone know anything or any way to get over this? I really need help with this! It was making me nervous the whole lesson!
 

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i'm not sure how you focus otherwise when jumping, but perhaps singing a song in your head will help. also, the right song with the right rhythm can help with your ride as well.

good luck!
 

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Look at it this way...the show will have crowded warm up areas with lots of people and confusion. That was the PERFECT lesson, IMO, to help prepare for that atmosphere for both you and the horse.

As for concentration, you do have to keep a type of radar going when at a show, to keep from crashing in the warm up. Just be mindful of others and learn to concentrate on whatever you are doing. No real hints, other than practice with confusion going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! The reasons I don't like people around is because I trust myself and Bee, but if I don't know them, it makes me worry. I remember riding with people and horses I knew and I was fine, but I don't exactly trust others I guess. And, it was a good experience. I am going to have another lesson like this next Friday before the show that day. I will post a video in a little bit of today. I don't have to much footage because my mom didn't video tape until the end, and because there were so many people in the way. They are not the best, but there are some good ones in there. We did have some better ones that my mom didn't get on tape.
 

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Take as many group lessons as you can before the show. As you get more advanced, it's common for people to start taking group lessons instead of private or semi-private because it challenges them more and helps prepare them more for shows and other more realistic horse situations. Let me tell you, I have NEVER ridden with less than four other people in the same area as me. Or try taking a trail ride, especially with more beginner riders- that will cure you of this fear real quick.
 

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"but if I don't know them, it makes me worry."

Worry seems to be one of my biggest challenges. I've found when I calm down and think all business, my horse calms down, too. the more shows I've gone to, the calmer I've gotten. It has a lot to do with experience. It also has to do with trusting your horse. If you do, that's the biggest hurdle right there!

Don't let all the other stuff MAKE you worry. Think of a postive thought, and the minute you start to worry, MAKE yourself use the positive thought. I have used "this is just business", "this pony can do this", "I'm just out for a nice ride, now worries." Things like that.

I would also ask your teacher when group lessons are so you can do ALL group lessons between now and the show. YOu really need the experience with other saround so you can learn how to make yourself think positive and tune the others out. Except, of course, you do need to know where the other riders are and what they're doing so you can avoid them.
 

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You NEED to get used to riding with distractions. If your horse was getting fussy and trying to buck, you need to ride outside alot more often. IMO your trainer should NOT have brought you inside after your horse was acting up, but rather helped you with the problem.

Group lessons/riding with other people is really good before a show. Ever been in a warmup arena? They're DEATH TRAPS, and getting used to them now is really important.

Also, get more comfortable with your horse. If you are afraid you don't have enough control to keep him from jumping other fences that are not ment for him to go over, that is not good! Sometimes in courses, there are jumps left from other courses that will not be for your level, and you will have to work around them.

Good luck!
 

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I find that when I communicate with the people in the arena I instantly feel more comfortable. If I am going for a jump and I feel they are getting close I say , "Heads up, please" in a very nice voice, Or I say "Oxer" as I'm passing so they know which jump I'm going for. And if they give me right of way I say, "thank you!" to let them know that their consideration is appreciated. And I say hello to everyone riding in the arena to break the ice and let them know I'm approachable too. Now, I wouldn't take it too far and over-communicate every move you are go make. But, you know, if you are nervous, just tell the rider, "I'm a bit nervous and just getting used to riding around other horses in the arena. Thanks for being patient with me and "Mr. Horse"."
 

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I would think the last thing you'd want is tune everyone out. It a busy show warmup ring, you need to be paying attention to where everyone is. The are rules of the road in place to keep everyone safe and avoiding collisions. You should always ride left to left and call out every warmup fence you intend to jump. You can't do those things if you "tune out" and don't know where anyone is relative to your horse.

Honestly, if you are that worried about people watching you, why are you even showing? That's kind of what happens at shows. Ideally you should practice your jumping in front of as many people as possible so you get used to it and it ceases to have an effect on you. Just concentrate you what you and your horse are there for and try to have fun.
 

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Sing your ABC's.

I kid you not. On our state's equestrian teams, the phrase 'Your ABCs' has spread like wildfire. Whens omeone gets nervous, the coach just says 'Sing your ABCs'

Nothing is more amusing than during a show, hearing your coach and your teammates yelling "Sing your ABCs!!! Sing your ABCs!!!"
 

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Look at it this way...the show will have crowded warm up areas with lots of people and confusion. That was the PERFECT lesson, IMO, to help prepare for that atmosphere for both you and the horse.

As for concentration, you do have to keep a type of radar going when at a show, to keep from crashing in the warm up. Just be mindful of others and learn to concentrate on whatever you are doing. No real hints, other than practice with confusion going on.
Agreed! Its a brilliant way fo you to start using legs and seat more to avoid collisions... unlike you're like one of the dressage riders on our yard. She is a REALLY good rider, and her horse is one of those that makes your jaw hit the ground when you see him. I got to ride him once...ahhh bliss... but she rides into people to practise people getting out of her way when she warms up lol!

It might be harder to concentrate on doing things, but think, yes... I have the long side of the school free so I'll do a one loop serpentine, or use smaller circles for a figure of eight etc :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Really, the thing I don't like is for me to mess up, and so many people see that. I love to have people watch me when I do something good. I really like the idea to sing the ABCs! I would be focusing on the other riders, but yet kind of tune out how they ride! Thats what would distract me the most!
 

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for cross country i use a "theme sng" ozzie's was "come on aussie come one...COME ON!" PMSL! then i'd have a conversation with him....like "look ozzie, the next jump is *only* a scary ditch jump, but that's ok, you won't see the ditch...whoops look out theres a jump judge, mind that stick, look, it's *just* a pole, oh good boy! ok lets find the next jump, ok i know that felt good but come back, no ozzie don't go behind the bit, ok slow down now, whoopsie, that was a little fast"
that kind of conversation LOL ^^
 

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If you're just worried what people will think when you mess up, I had the same problem. Remember that probably everyone there has gone through embarrassing moments- it's not possible to show without messing up at some point! Everyone has gone through it, so if it DOES happen (not that it WLL), everyone's been in that boat before and knows what it feels like. Refusals, rails, and the like are all part of showing and what you have to remember is to take them as learning experiences.
 
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