Tips for Riding and Showing in Front of Others

We all ride in different situations from time-to-time that include other people, whether it be at a show, a clinic, on the trail or a gather with friends.

We want to look good. We want our horse to look good. In short, we want to have it all together!

But no one escapes the fact that we can’t wave a magic wand and have it all together! (Not that we expect that, but we would love it!)

The fact is, you’re always collecting and assembling puzzle pieces of information and experience every time you ride.

This video is about helping you organize those puzzle pieces into four distinct steps. I’ll also share tips that can make a big difference in your preparation – and then staying cool and focused as you ride.


VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

We all ride in different situations from time-to-time that include other people, whether it be at a show, a clinic, on the trail or a gather with friends.

We want to look good. We want our horse to look good. In short, we want to have it all together!

But no one escapes the fact that we can’t wave a magic wand and have it all together! (Not that we expect that, but we would love it!)

The fact is, you’re always collecting and assembling puzzle pieces of information and experience every time you ride.

This video is about helping you organize those puzzle pieces and giving you tips that can make a big difference in your preparation – and then staying cool and focused as you ride.

I have organized the puzzle piece buckets into four steps for when you go on an outing. I use the example of a show, but it could be for anything.

I’ll describe each step. I’ll explain the purpose of each one. I’ll talk about when the ideal time is to do them. I’ll also give you a practice for each one and a tip for how to do it.

Adopting a practice is the most efficient way to make changes. A practice is a routine, or something you do consistently, which engrains the positive behavior into your bones!

Our first Step is ‘Set True North’. This step is all about getting clear about what you want in your riding and showing and staying true to yourself. It’s very personal and never compared to others. It’s also about learning to stay cool, slow on the inside and within yourself in pressure situations.

Staying true to yourself and calm on the inside is something that can be practiced all the time – not just when you’re with a horse.

I have two practices for Step One (because I couldn’t decide which one to share!).

The first is to write and methodically review a type of Personal Mission Statement called a ‘Personal Reflection.’ The second practice is to ‘Manage Your Energy’, which is a way to keep yourself calm and focused as you ride. My simplest tip for staying cool is to talk to yourself as you would a good friend… and keep breathing throughout your ride.

The second step is ‘Prepare and Polish.’ This step is all about strategically preparing yourself and your horse prior to an event. It involves a plan that focuses on your needs and your horse’s needs. The time frame for this step varies, depending on how long you want to take, or need to take to get ready for an outing.

While there are a number of practices for this step, the one I chose for you here is ‘chunking.’ Chunking means breaking your discipline down into pieces. My tip is to not only think of the chunks as the many different maneuvers, but also include the transitions between them.

Step 3 is ‘Get Your SHINE On.’ Now it’s show day which is all about thorough event day preparation of you and your horse. Then you enter the ring or start down the trail to do what you and your horse came to do. The time frame for this step is at the show/event itself.

Again, there are a number of practices in this step for both you and your horse, but the one I chose here is the Pre-Ride Ritual. This routine ensures that both you and your horse are in a state of calmness, focus and readiness to enter the arena.

The practice for this step is designing a Pre-Ride Ritual for you, one for your horse and then weaving as the rider, you weave them together before you enter the arena.

Step 4 is a ‘5-Star Review’. This is a process of gathering data with the purpose of designing a plan to strategically move forward after your even.

You plan how you will strengthen areas you are skilled in, and how you will shore up weaker areas. This step happens sometime after your ride after your heartrate has come down, at least! (-: You have the ability to step back from your ride, reflect on it and strategize without feeling rushed or pressured by external people or situations.

The practice for this step is taking the time to drill down in 5 areas: your riding, your horse’s performance, your energy management, your interactions with others, and your character: responsiveness, flexibility, resiliency and problem solving.

There you have it. The four steps, their purposes, time frames, practices and a tip for each.

I hope these tips are helpful to you. If you want to dig deeper into the details of these areas, access to the SHINE in the Show Pen website with all of the trainings (8 hours) plus resources is open until this Thursday evening, March 18th.

Leave a comment for me. Did you like the tips? I’d love to hear from you!

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Comments

5 Comments on Tips for Riding and Showing in Front of Others

  1. Barbara Washburn on Sun, 14th Mar 2021 10:53 pm
  2. Super helpful. Thanks for sharing this info.

  3. Cindy Togstad on Mon, 15th Mar 2021 11:32 am
  4. Thanks again for all the info you have given us to be successful riders! I have been doing the planning my practrice in my head and need to start writing it down. I also have been practiceing in chunks which clearly helps. It helps my horse not to anticipate and helps us in the transitions! This weekend will be my 1st show in over a year so I am going to talk to myself as if I am talking to a friend to help my nerves and talk to my horse! I really liked that!Thanks again Barb! Your the BEST!!

  5. Carol MacGregor on Mon, 15th Mar 2021 5:37 pm
  6. Thank you Barb, Of course I always appreciate the information you are giving us, but I also appreciate your calm voice! Right now it is muddy on our property so I am not doing anything with my horses, but looking forward to using this information when I do start working with my horses again–both doing Ground Work and under saddle–arena work and trail riding.

  7. DeAnna on Wed, 17th Mar 2021 10:21 am
  8. Barb,it is so helpful how you slow my thoughts down by breaking down the process before I jumble all of the processes together.
    Thank you De.

  9. Julie Garrison on Thu, 18th Mar 2021 10:18 am
  10. Thank you for the steps, they help me visualize the “chunks” calmly. Breaking them down so I don’t feel over whelmed.

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