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Horse show 101

Big Horse show weekend!! 1 month away from region 9 championships, and everyone is getting the last and final scores needed to qualify. So it’s been 4 months since your last show. My favorite part is all the butterfly’s in your stomach and Adrenalin! When we ride in that show nothing else matters and everything disappears. Those 5 minutes in the test are never long enough.

I’m not going to give 5 tips I’m going to give one, and Share my story a bit

I’ve showed in 71 shows with 8 different horses. Obviously there is a story as to why I’ve shown 8 different horses. 1 of the horses was a sale horse. So I didn’t own them all.

I think we can all admit once you pass 2nd level it gets a lot harder. If anyone knows about failing it’s little me! It took a lot of different horses and different training and experience to get to the point of having consistent 65+ in the upper levels.

There are people who only want to be a competitor and some who want to be a trainer and competitor or just do it for fun!! You need to have the passion and drive but also know sometimes things are beyond your control once your in the ring.

Showing needs to be about enjoying your horse and your team. Honestly a competition doesn’t mean much. What means a lot of what happens behind the scenes when no one is watching. I know a trainer who’s never shown the Grand Prix, but he sells a horse about every week. He could train a mule to do a flying change. I’ve seen him train a horse with a lateral canter to do tempis.

When you come to the realization that no one really cares when you make the team or if you have a super high score. (Except your family trainer and friends. And all your supporters.) you become happier. Failing or getting a bad score doesn’t make you bad it opens you up to learning more and makes you stronger. Because lameness happens randomly. Elimination happens if you step out of the arena or your nose bands too tight or other rules. I was less then a point from making the FEI junior team. I was so proud of myself though, because I made a rush choice and bought an 18 hand horse 3 months from the competition deadline. The horse was hard for me because I was 5’3 I was less then a point from making the team but I was so proud of how much I had learned. I wouldn’t have dazzle if I would Have made the team. Everything happens for a reason. Relax and enjoy your horse in the ring today!!

By Skye Simpson Dressage Shares Insight on the Sport

Skye Simpson is an FEI Dressage & Natural Horsemanship Trainer located in Banning, California.

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