It’s almost show time!
Waitara is scheduled for this Sunday but we’re heading to Taranaki on Saturday since it’s a good three hours away and, being our first event of ‘the season’, I’m a little nervous!
I haven’t posted much about our at-home schooling, or even some of our outings (we went out for cross country schooling earlier in the month) but we’ve been working where we can between the downpours.
I feel better prepared for Waitara than I did going to Horowhenua, so that’s a bonus. I took a leaf out of Britt’s book, and began to keep a record of our rides to see how things looked leading up to a competition. I’ve been guilty of under-preparing for the jumping before so, whilst I feel like one more XC school would be ideal, it’s certainly an improvement on previous years. FW stands for ‘Flatwork’, and HW ‘Handwalk’.
A sports psychologist who specialises in the equine industry gave me some tips once for when I’m feeling nervous – it’s usually just the show jumping that puts me on edge, but I’m nervous for the whole show this time around! – and that is to identify three things you want to take from the event, and focus on those three things only. The only rule is that those three things have to relate to you and your horse – so saying you want to win first place isn’t a great goal.
My three hopeful takeaways from Waitara are:
- stay relaxed in the dressage arena.
Dressage is easily my favourite phase, so I want to remember to relax and enjoy it.
- breathe, stay relaxed through the show jumping round.
I really enjoyed the show jumping at Horowhenua, but I held my breath the whole way around and so this time I want to focus on breathing between the jumps and staying relaxed.
- take the cross country fence by fence.
Cross country is definitely the area I’m least prepared for, and so my goal is to take the course fence by fence. If there’s something that seems particularly big or scary I’ll miss it out if I want to, and make a mental note to practise that type of fence at home. If I jump everything, that’s obviously ideal but for the sake of the bigger picture I just want to enjoy myself this weekend and build confidence as oppose to proving it. Thanks, Emma.
Having done all I can in the riding side of preparation, now it’s time to focus on cleaning the horse, the trailer, the show clothes and packing it all up for Sunday! Stay tuned to hear how we get on!