Remember where and why you started to push yourself to new heights this show season
Take a look back on your winter riding program. Many of us went back to the basics to establish confidence within ourselves and our horses. We took the down time and used it solidify our training foundation so that we can build something greater when show season started. We spent extra time doing the slow work as well as extra time just enjoying the ride. Both you and your horse are refreshed and ready to hit the pen to see what the year will bring. However, don’t let the beauty you found from keeping things simple slip away as the year goes on. Here are some tips to keep you grounded as the months roll on.
Keep Your Show Schedule Simple
It’s easy to get wrapped up in wanting to do every class and go to every horseshow possible. However, that might not be the best strategy for you and your horse. Packing in too many horseshows can create stress from having to juggle missing work as well as from the extra maintenance required to keep your horse feeling his best. While it may be tempting to show in every single class you are eligible for, sit down with your trainer and pick out which classes would highlight your strengths in the show pen. Too many classes can lead to long hours and burnout, taking away from the fun that horse shows can be. Keep your schedule simple, and you will find yourself experiencing more joy this season.
Keep Your Morning Routine Simple
Once you are at the horse show, setting and keeping a simple morning routine will dial in the tone for the entire day. Take a look at the schedule for the next day figure out what time you need to be at the barn. Set out your show clothes, numbers, and needed tack the night before so that the morning of you aren’t stressed looking for everything. Allow time for you to gently wake up, get ready and get breakfast in the morning. Even if you aren’t a huge breakfast eater, eating the morning of the show can be extremely important, once you get to the horse show it is easy to lose track of time and not know when your next meal is coming. Put together a playlist that will keep your energy balanced for the rest of the day.
Keep Your Warm Up Simple
When it is finally time to start warming up for your class, rely on the keep it simple method. Thirty minutes before your class is not the time to be trying new maneuvers or ways of training. The warm up should be a simple ride that focuses on your foundation. The warm up should literally and figuratively warm you and your horse up for the performance ahead. Have this be a calming time that allows you to get into the zone with your horse. By warming up with simple maneuvers, you can build their confidence so when they step into the pen they are ready to shine for you.
Keep Your Show Pen Attitude Simple
Mastering your show pen attitude can be one of the most difficult pieces of the puzzle to master, but once you do, the benefits from it are endless. When you walk into the pen, try to silence your mind and allow the subconscious to take over. All the hours that you have put in to practice before getting to the show have taught you how to ride your horse. Trust the lessons that your trainer has taught you and trust yourself to react appropriately in the moment. Don’t try to override what you and your horse are capable of. Stick to a simple ride that maximizes you and your horse’s abilities.
When in doubt, keep it simple. Whether it’s your routine or your horses, keep it simple and go back to the basics. Trust yourself, your trainer, your horse and the time that you have put in to get to this point. Good luck and have fun!
By Lauren Crivelli