There is no equestrian who would disagree that riding a horse is a gratifying experience, but it takes a lot of hard work, effort and sacrifice to become a successful professional. The success of your performance does not only depend on you, but also on your horse, on your trainer and many other factors, which is why many equestrians feel under a lot of pressure before taking part in their first horse show. Here are some tips that can help you reduce the stress and increase your chances of performing well in your first horse show.
Choose the right discipline
The first tip for all equestrians before their first show is that they should make sure that they have chosen the right discipline for themselves and their horse. There are various disciplines, such as dressage, eventing, horseball, reining, show jumping, tent pegging, vaulting and so on. Not all horses are capable of performing well in all these disciplines, you should be aware of your horse’s abilities and weak points and choose the discipline accordingly, while keeping in mind your own strengths and weaknesses. Your horse is your partner, so you are responsible for both of you.
Make sure you are ready
The next tip is that you should think seriously about whether you and your horse are ready for the show. If you don’t feel confident in your skills or you have doubts as to whether your horse will obey you, you may not perform in the show as successfully as you would like to. Of course, building confidence takes time, so you should practice a lot and you should develop a strong bond with your horse. If you cannot decide for yourself whether it is the right time to participate in a horse show, you should consult your trainer or someone with more experience.
In addition, you have the possibility of entering a show “H/C”, which means that you are not competing. You can still get scores and comments from the judges, but they are not displayed publicly.
Choose the right wear
Doing things for the first time is stressful by itself for most people, so you don’t want some less important things to come into your way, such as your clothes.
You should feel comfortable in your clothes because your horse will notice if something is bothering you and may become uneasy. Riding wear is known for being rather expensive, but it doesn’t have to be so. There is a wide variety of shirts, pants, helmets, boots, and chaps on the market that everyone can find something suitable for themselves. However, it is important to remember that, for your first show, you should not wear something for the first time. It is advisable to try out every piece of clothing and equipment at least twice before you decide to use it in the show. This will improve your readiness and will help you focus on the performance itself.