With show season already upon us (seriously, how is it already show season!), we thought it would be helpful to share some tips from fellow equestrian and blogger Dana Moskowitz. No stranger to the show ring, Dana lays out six simple tips to help you prepare and succeed at your next show.
Tips For The Show Ring
Whether it's your first time in the show ring, or you see the same strict critic in the crowd, everyone gets nervous at shows. Don't worry about it! Perhaps you're nervous because of the new environment and your horse is a bit spooky, or maybe because you see the audience. Here are some good tips for staying calm and being prepared for your turn in the ring:
Lay out everything the night before: Make a checklist of everything you need for the show. Start by laying out your clothing, then tack. If you are super nervous already, give those black tall boots an extra cleaning. Once you have put everything out, do a smell check! Trust me, you don't want to smell like barn before you even get there. After making sure everything is passable, start packing your clothes into bags, and follow with your tack, cleaning supplies, and possible protective gear.
Run through your schedule: Your day will be pretty much fool-proof if you write yourself a schedule the day before of what will happen. Make sure to include timings, such as when to wake up, when you need to be "out the door", and when you should arrive.
Sleep: I can't stress this enough! Sleep is the key to not just being relaxed, but also to be successful. If you're tired on the day of your show, you'll get jittery and nervous! Try your best to take your mind off the show for the time being. It may sound a bit cheesy, but putting on some soft, relaxing nature sounds really helps calm the brain.
Eat a *key word* HEALTHY breakfast: Some people think that chomping down the biggest breakfast possible helps for the day ahead- they couldn't be more wrong. More food in your stomach = more food you can throw up! I know that sounds horrible but seriously people, try to eat your normal breakfast (unless you don't eat breakfast, then try something light). My personally favorite is a banana, some cereal, and a energy bar for the car.
Go to the bathroom: I know, I know, I sound like your parents but they're right! Go to the bathroom before your trip to the show location- you never know how nasty that bathroom might be, if they have one at all!
Relax: Try some breathing exercises before it's your turn to go (in the warm up ring as well!) My go-to exercise is 4 second inhale, 7 second hold, and 8 second exhale. Do this for a minute to slow your heart rate and relax your muscles.
What do you do to be show ring ready? We would love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below!
This blog originally appeared on EqStyleTheory, your "mane" source of inspiration.