Show season might seem like it’s still a long ways away, but in fact it will be here before you know it. Here are seven tips to help you prepare for show season.
Decide On Your Goals
Come up with goals for the upcoming show season. Try not to focus on winning a particular discipline or class – coming up with other goals can result in a more rewarding and productive show season. Consider goals like “I will learn to better control my nerves in the ring,” or “I will take disappointments in stride and consistently put forth my best effort.”
Plan Your Show Schedule
Sit down with your trainer and schedule out the shows that you plan on attending. While you don’t have to stick to this exact schedule, having a schedule can help with your planning and can give you an end date to work towards with your training.
Try On Outfits and Tack
Now is the time to try on your show outfits and your horse’s show tack. Remember, the shape of your horse’s back can change as his fitness increases or decreases, so you may need a new saddle pad or a tack change. If you find something wrong with your outfit or tack, you still have time to get a new item before your first show rolls around.
Get Your Horse Fit
You can get ahead of the competition by beginning to get your horse fit now. If you have access to an indoor arena, then it’s time to start using it. Even if you don’t have an indoor arena, you can still hand walk your horse, then progress to lunging and riding when weather conditions allow it.
Get Yourself Fit
In addition to getting your horse fit, it’s time to get yourself fit, too. The more fit you are, the more effective you can be as a rider. Start heading to the gym and spend extra time in the saddle to get yourself fit.
Invest in Extra Lessons Now
Many riders make the common problem of investing in extra lessons right before a show. Trying to cram in your education before a show doesn’t exactly work too well, and it can leave you feeling flustered and frustrated. Instead, start now by scheduling extra lessons well ahead of your show. You’ll be able to put the education to better use, since you will have time to perfect the techniques you learn before your first show.
Come Up with a Mantra
Come up with a mantra that you will use through the show season. A mantra is a short phrase that you repeat to yourself over and over, like “I am prepared for this show,” or “I am a talented rider.” Mantras can give you a little added boost of confidence and are great to repeat to yourself silently while you’re in the show ring.
Best of luck with the upcoming show season!