How to Overcome Show Jumping Stress

There is a great deal of stress involved in the world and process of show jumping, from the training to making the grade and then the actual competition itself. The sport is incredibly competitive and because the community that surrounds the sport is so tight knit, it makes for an ultra-stressful environment as people who know each other quite well and spend a lot of time together try to out jump, out compete and outthink the competition. This article will provide you with five tips to deal with the stresses of show jumping.

Plan your year well in advance

The show jumping calendar in any geographic area is always published well in advance and it helps to be prepared. It is thus recommended as the starting point to reduce stress to formally meet with and plan the entire year with your team. Leave enough time between selected events and then plan the travel accordingly.

Have a clear preparation process for shows

It is always useful to have a set process to prepare for shows. Then follow this process if it works. It needs to be consistent and timed to fit the available time you have at your disposal, so as not to add to the pressure. Use these techniques in practice and try not to change the preparation process. The more times you use it, the more normalized it becomes – allow it to be a form of relaxation before what will be an increase in heart rate and heightened excitement during the competition. The repetition, no matter how simple and mundane is what will serve to relax you.

Use the down time and travel time wisely

There is a lot of travel and motorhome living to be expected and it is advisable to do things that are far removed from the sport. Yes, a little stretching is good, but ensure that you have  the technology you need to be able to read, play your favorite computer games or card games. There are some exceptional online slots at that are worth a try and will allow you to have fun while waiting.

Manage your expectations and those of the people around you

Be clear that regardless of how well you and your horse have trained, it is still the prerogative of the horse to jump and behave as instructed and guided. There is always an unknown element and as such you must be clear as to your expectations. Be aware of your ranking and accept each performance as a steppingstone to improvement.

Enjoy it

It has to be fun, or perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it any longer. The process, training and then the actual show and competition themselves should be things to enjoy. If it’s fun, the sport will be less likely to stress you out and cause anxiety.

Don’t worry about how any of the competition is doing

One of the big issues in the show jumping field is the high level of competition and the fact that many riders do worse than they should as they worry too much about how well other riders are doing. Keep mindful of your own performance even when mounted and this will go a long way to improving your performance. 

Showjumping is one of the most competitive sports in the world and it is essential to be able to deal with the associated stress and pressure if you are to compete at your best. This article has provided some practical ideas to deal with these stresses.

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