Two Exercises for Show Time Prep

For many folks, this time of year is a special show season.

In this video, I give a shout-out to my friends who are going to their final weekend show, or a large year-end competition, or a futurity, (or some other big show). I bet you feel excited! Of course, you do and you want to do really well.

I have a couple of exercises to help you do just that if you’re about to go show.

I love this time of year. It’s unique in so many ways. The weather is refreshing, the colors are gorgeous and there’s a lot of change going on.

For many, it’s a special show season.

In this video I want to give a shout-out to my friends who are going to their final weekend show, or large year-end competition, or a futurity, or some other big show – and you feel excited. And I know, of course, you want to do really well.

First, know that I’m rooting for you. Go for it. Have fun. You’ve worked hard and this is your time. Focus. Give it all you’ve got and enjoy the experience.

One of my favorite things about showing, (or anytime there’s a ‘performance’ involved and you want to do something extraordinary in front of others), is getting into that place of a calm, yet energized, laser-focused state of mind and body. It feels like a total immersion into the best of you and your horse.

Nothing exists except you and your horse and doing your job.

One way to practice being in that place is to think through how you want it to go at the highest level possible, and then write it down. Then visualize it. Practice being there so when you are at the show, it feels like you’ve been in that physical show arena – you’ve been on your horse and both of you are doing your glorious thing.

Here’s my next thought for you.

Going to the show is not the time to catch up on training. That part of preparation is done at home.

On show day, treat yourself and your horse to the time it takes to easily get ready – to go show your best. You’re not entering an arena to cover up your weaknesses.

If your horse has some spots that need help, plan how you will do that.

It’s not your job to be perfect – it’s to go for excellence. Staying focused and loose by preparing to show your best will help you do that.

So those are your exercises.

Rehearse over and over in your mind, who are you and your horse at your best. Get that picture and feel in your mind and body. Don’t let it go.

And then give yourself all the time you need to do what you need to do to get you and your horse ready to walk into the arena feeling on top of the world.

None of us have any control over results. They always take care of themselves.

Have a blast. How lucky we all are to have the opportunity to be with our horses and the people we love.

Go get ’em. Leave a comment for me.

Print This Post Print This Post    Email This Post Email This Post   


6 Comments on Two Exercises for Show Time Prep

  1. Katrina Thompson on Sun, 10th Oct 2021 4:01 pm
  2. Took this message to heart today. I’m taking lessons with a trainer once a week now. I started to get nervous about “performing wrong”…I realized I was rushing myself and not going through my deep breath focus exercises we learned in deeply seated.. I’m going to treat each lesson like a “show” and do my best and not rush things. This video helped remind me of that truth. Something so obvious, but so easy to overlook when under pressure.💜

  3. Charleen McManus on Sun, 10th Oct 2021 6:13 pm
  4. Hi Barbara: Don’t know if you remember me from the clinic in Fla. May 6 had the knee replaced and then had problems retaining fluid in both legs. I rode Hickory for the 1st time Sat/yesterday morning. Actually was able to post and canter him. Did some turns and backups, etc. He and I were both really happy. His face and ears were going, are we working cows Maw! long time sitting on the side lines. Still have trouble getting on and off. But now I can use your tips from your book and this video especially the breathing to relax before you go in to cut. Thanks for your time.

  5. Jill on Sun, 10th Oct 2021 11:47 pm
  6. Thanksgiving to you and yours. Visualization is a powerful tool. But i have to keep it in prospective. Each time I ride as I leave I visualize coming home safely on a sound horse. I try not to see the possible bears and cougars that I know are on our trails. Same goes for the show ring I’m sure. Thanks for all your thoughtfulness and guidance and encouragement.

  7. Lucille Menzies on Mon, 11th Oct 2021 6:54 am
  8. Thanks for these encouraging mini-lessons and the daily encouragement. I’m isolated so much of the time, it’s just nice to be able to have some encouraging input, even if it is via my I phone.

  9. Sue Bragg on Mon, 11th Oct 2021 3:35 pm
  10. Great advice as always!

    AND thrilled you are doing a podcast! YAY!! I’ve listened to them all and thorough enjoyed the one with Jim Lehr. Inspiring.

    Hope to meet you one day. Until then I’ll be an avid fan!!

  11. Elaine Carnes on Wed, 13th Oct 2021 1:07 pm
  12. Thank you for this! I’m back to cutting after taking two years off, riding with an excellent trainer and loving it. Now, to get back to showing. Visualizing and trying to stay focused and loose. Watching my Beautiful Cuts CDs again has really inspired me!

Tell me what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.