Good Habits for a Strong Show Season

Photo by Heather N Photography

With a new show season upon us, members of our Plaid Horse Adult Amateur Lounge got to talking about what changed our riding for the better in 2022 that we’ll bring into 2023.
Some of our favorite answers are below…

Finally finding a trainer who genuinely likes and believes in my horse, who is now straighter and more forward than she has ever been! As a result we’ve had our best rounds yet lately, and are closer than ever to the goal of the high adult jumpers!

Riding my own horse day 1 in the ticket and doing all the riding at shows was a huge leap forward for me this year. I feel more confident knowing what things she had to work through (or not) on the way to the ring. Also, showing at WEC on and off pretty much the whole year, it is clear to me that ALL of us ammies are out there learning every day, working hard to get better and getting harder to beat every week! Good stuff!

I have a green OTTB that I’m bringing along to hopefully be my adult eq horse one day, and this year we moved up. I am by nature a very competitive person, but this year every show we went to was purely a learning experience. We didn’t win many blue ribbons but we had fun and we learned! I definitely rode better just being in it for the miles rather than the ribbons. It made the experience more fun for the both of us.

I started listening to meditations on YouTube the night before a show. It helped me deal with pre-show jitters immensely, and I’ve actually had FUN at shows now rather than being all nerves. The horse really feels your anxiety, and I wanted to show up for my horse to give them a great ride. I’ve also learned to say “yes” more to chances at riding and trust in myself; it’s opened more doors to trying new horses which is just making me a more competent rider.

I moved barns at the end of 2021. It was a big and positive change for me. 

I found my bravery over fences, and realized that I could in fact ride my own horse when he is spooking or acting silly versus just getting off. I realized I’m not scared of moving up in fence height. A lot of this was due to working on correct flat work and fundamentals at home, rarely jumping a full course. Mistakes were viewed as something to learn from. It was a big mindset shift for me and has made riding so much fun for me again.

*This story was originally published in the February 2023 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!

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