Here’s How I See Competition

Hi, it’s Barb!

Show season is in full swing, and people are so excited. It’s always that mixed bag of feeling personally hopeful, a little scared to get out in front of people, eager to see how your horse does, and having fun with your friends for another show season.

For the past couple of years, I’ve done a series of live webinars called Shine in the Show Pen. I’m planning to do this series again in May, but I need your help to make sure I cover what interests you most.

Here’s how I’ve organized things so you understand how I approach the vast topic of competition. I’m all ears. Let me know if you like the flow of these steps, and please give me any feedback you have.


VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:
I see the 30,000-foot view of doing your best in competition in four steps:

1. Step One: Build a Powerful Foundation

This is always a work in progress.

It’s making sure you’ve squared with yourself why you show and what determines your success. Of course, you want results, but knowing your true purpose and living it will keep you inspired and sustain you through the tough times.

Also – how do you see yourself as a competitor? Do you believe you can do it?

And what’s your faith in and commitment to your horse? They are your teammate, so that’s a huge piece.

And who are the people in your show life who will stand beside you through thick and thin? That’s another critical piece of your foundation, especially when you feel vulnerable.

2. Step Two is to Prepare and Polish

This step is about committing to prepare yourself, your horse, and the two of you as a team.

There are many moving parts to polish – like the technical skills for both of you, the mental skills for both of you, and how you and your horse get on as teammates – especially under pressure.

Preparation is ONE OF THE BIGGEST KEYS to competitive success.

3. Step Three is to Compete with Confidence

When the arena gate opens to walk into the ring, it’s time to show the best of you and your horse.

What does show day look like for you and your horse to be ready and do your job as a glowing performance team in the arena?

Again there are many moving parts to this. How do you see this?

4. Step Four as an Insightful Review of Your Ride

It’s like a data-gathering mission on both the strengths and weaknesses of you, your horse, and your teamwork as you performed on demand.

With the insights you glean from your ride, you can go back to preparing and polishing, which you will do forever.

So those are my four areas:

1. Step One: Build a Firm Foundation

2. Step Two: Prepare and Polish

3. Step Three: Compete with Confidence

4. Step Four: Review Your Ride

I’m working on adding new information to the Shine in the Show Pen Series as I always do, so please, please give me your input.

And don’t hold back. You might see things a different way?

Over the next few weeks, I’ll let you know some of the comments I received in general – and – I’ll dig a little deeper into those four areas I mentioned to let you know what I think is essential in each of them. I’ll share my personal experience, the success of riders I’ve coached, and detailed research with great performers.

Okay, hit that link and let me know what you think!

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Comments

9 Comments on Here’s How I See Competition

  1. Robin Nichols on Sun, 24th Apr 2022 1:46 pm
  2. Hi Barb. I’m excited to build the relationship with my new mare. I’m learning about what helps her be her best and also better ways to prepare her to show that will also support her soundness long term. She’s 7 and the best quality horse I’ve ever owned and sometimes I feel pressure to get everything right.

  3. Lloyd Estes on Sun, 24th Apr 2022 2:31 pm
  4. Hi Barb, One of the biggest words I know is “WHY”? Why didn’t this work, and why did that work? However, that question becomes less complicated with a foundation, A/K/A Road Map. There are those that use only the same help, because of trust, similar to their horse. Even the help horse can be recognized by the Show Horse. The help may form a funnel, a method all parties might leverage. Confidence and Trust reduce micro managing the horse, and oneself. One of the Futurity Champions offers one of the hardest experiences as setting quiet on the third cow.

  5. Jill on Sun, 24th Apr 2022 5:41 pm
  6. A simple question for me is knowing when your mount is warmed up enough but not too much. Have seen the under and over of this situation.

  7. Kathryn Stark on Mon, 25th Apr 2022 10:17 am
  8. I’m interested mostly in part 3, competing with confidence. How do I be the same quiet, confident rider in the warm up arena and carry that to the show pen. How do I not let all of the distractions of gossiping, comparing, etc effect me at a show. How do I just have fun and have a smile on my face while be nervous/anxious? And how do I quit being so hard on myself :/
    Thanks Barb ❤️

  9. Christy Agan on Mon, 25th Apr 2022 11:48 am
  10. Great video series Barb! This will be so helpful. One thing (could be under Compete with Confidence) I have both been told and have learned the hard way to show the horse you have. Along my show journey, my horses have been at different developmental stages and most of my mistakes in the show pen have been where I get “greedy” and ask more than the horse is ready to deliver. It bites me every time! Now I just show the horse at his level, not what I see others doing or where I want him to ultimately be. And we do much better, go figure!

  11. Christy Agan on Mon, 25th Apr 2022 11:49 am
  12. Great video series, thanks Barb! This will be so helpful. One thing (could be under Compete with Confidence) I have both been told and have learned the hard way to show the horse you have. Along my show journey, my horses have been at different developmental stages and most of my mistakes in the show pen have been where I get “greedy” and ask more than the horse is ready to deliver. It bites me every time! Now I just show the horse at his level, not what I see others doing or where I want him to ultimately be. And we do much better, go figure!

  13. Carol MacGregor on Mon, 25th Apr 2022 1:03 pm
  14. Hi Barb, This is very interesting subject matter. I do not show but I do appreciate your information and also just reading the comments that are posted above. I can only imagine how nerve racking it would be to show your horse in front of an audience no matter how large or small. I got nervous to “show” my horse on a simple pattern that Shannon Piggot had set up for us at the end of a 3 day clinic she held for us here in Nor Cal–But it was fun. There were just 7 of us in our clinic but I still got nervous–Ha Ha.

  15. Dawn on Mon, 25th Apr 2022 2:18 pm
  16. I still have my notebook from the last time you rolled out “Shine in the Show Pen” It really helped me settle myself, settle my horse, and just relax at the show.
    Truth be told, I have 3 full notebooks from all the online webinars of yours that I participated in. Somewhere along this journey with you, I recall writing an equestrian mission statement. I have this written on a google doc that I refer to often. I think it would be great to have a “competition mission statement”.
    The beginning would be our true north (why we do what we do), our commitment to preparation, pre-ride ritual, be immersed in the moment, and collect data to make improvements for next time because WE NEVER ARRIVE.

  17. Elaine Bohlin on Wed, 27th Apr 2022 7:50 am
  18. Hi Barb!
    I took your “Shine” course last time but looking forward to repeating it as I have found whenever I have repeated a course, I ALWAYS find some new information, and just reviewing the information benefits me and my horse; or perhaps a piece has a greater meaning than the first time because of where we are now on our journey together. I also keep all my notes from your courses. I had to get a bigger notebook for all of them!

    We are not quite ready to compete in cutting (rehabbing an unrelated injury) but that is the goal; but our biggest goal is feeling that bond and being the best we can be and the confidence to tackle new/challenging situations with joy and not dread.

    Questions that came to mind were how to be confident in yourself when you must face “scary”or new situations at home or the show pen, with a horse who is well trained but has a big “motor”, is super in tune to the rider’s emotions; has quick reflexes and who can be reactive.

    What can the rider do to maintain their confidence in their ability to handle the situation: what mental, emotional and maybe communication/training tools(?) can the rider use to remain confident so the horse will be confident in the rider and the rider can be confident she/he has the tools to keep the horse listening and trusting?

    Another question might be for those of us who do not have easy access to live cattle, but do have a flag and Pro Cutter. What are some useful exercises we can do for ourselves and our horses?

    How do you go about finding “help” (turn back and herd holders) when you may only have one other person traveling with you who is also competing? Hopefully by then we will have established some trainer contacts; the question may be more relevant for small practice cuttings.

    Loved how when you were talking about teams that Nic looked to you like “Yes! Let’s go show them how!” Never get enough of Nic! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us.

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