Standing Out in the Show Ring
As we stride into show season, most of us are dedicating our energy to determining the best way to shine and stand out with our performances in the show ring this year. Here are some valuable tips and tricks.
1. Prepare Yourself
No matter which discipline you ride, one thing rings true for all equestrians: riding horses is hard work, both mentally and physically. It’s typically quite easy to distinguish riders that take the time to fully prepare themselves before getting into the saddle.
Before you head into the ring, it’s important to make sure that you are physically and mentally up to the task at hand. In addition to your time in the saddle, maintaining a regular exercise routine can keep your body in ideal shape.
To mentally prepare yourself, set goals and expectations for both yourself and your horse while also keeping your limitations as a team in mind.
2. Prepare Your Horse
In the show ring, your horse is your partner; without their full cooperation and trust, it can be extremely difficult to perform at your best. It can also be difficult to reach your full potential as a team if your horse isn’t feeling (or looking) their best.
Make sure your horse is ready for the task at hand by establishing a training routine and schedule ahead of time. This will help ensure that your equine friend is physically prepared for what will be expected of them in the show ring.
To ensure that they look their very best, speak to your veterinarian about adding coat or mane and tail-enhancing vitamins or supplements to their diet. It’s typically a good idea to have your farrier come out to check your horse’s feet before a show, as well.
3. Set Realistic Expectations
It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and find your head in the clouds when it comes to setting personal goals and expectations for how your performance will go.
When you’re realistic with yourself and consider what you and your horse are currently capable of, you’re less likely to find yourself in over your head and/or disappointed with the outcome.
It’s best not to compete out of your comfort zone or at a higher level of riding that you have yet to tackle with your horse. After all, this sport is all about learning together and growing as a team over time – you’ll get there!
4. Have Fun
Above all, don’t forget one of the most important things: have fun.
As equestrians, we sometimes get so caught up in our ambitions and goals that riding can feel quite stressful or even like a chore. Remember to enjoy the ride and learn from your experiences – riders that are obviously enjoying themselves and having a good time in the saddle always stand out among the rest!
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