Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Those Dang Nerves!

I rode my sweet mare today and we had a fabulous ride. I swear I could lope her for hours and never get tired of it!

A certain someone has been harassing me for a loping video. I finally figured out how to manage it since there's never anyone to video for me, and I set out to accomplish it today. The video didn't turn out as well as I had hoped because the sun was shining at the camera lens and I had to position it pretty far away to get most of the arena in view. The problem with "most of the arena" was that all the good stuff happened outside of the camera's view. I still might post it, but I might end up trying again, and hope for better results.

I noticed something about myself when I was recording our little loping session, though. I got nervous! Thinking about how many people might watch, and perhaps criticize, made me nervous and no doubt changed the way I rode my horse. This had an impact on Lilly as well, and I found her a bit more forward than she usually is and a couple times she jumped the gun and tried to lope without my requesting it. She hasn't done that in weeks!

After I was done recording and the camera was turned off, I went back out and loped some more, where I found her much more relaxed and we settled into a rhythm. We had a much better ride, and I wish that part of my ride would have been recorded on video instead of the footage I now have.

It makes me think about past shows and even the shows I plan on attending this year. How much of her nerves are really just a reflection of my nerves? How much better would we do in the show ring if I could forget about it all and ride the way I do at home, when it's just the two of us in that arena? Why does it have to change just because I have an audience?

We have a show on Saturday that isn't PAC approved, but it's at my favorite place so I'm planning to use it as a schooling show. I wanted to see how well we'd do in a western class before the actual show season starts, and this seemed like the perfect show. I'm not wearing show clothes and I have been planning all along to just ride.

That might be more difficult than I originally thought if I can't even stay relaxed when I'm recording myself...


  1. I do that too when Im recording myself...its amazing how much our nerves reflect onto the horse. Like just at my last show I thought I bombed my class right in the beginning, so I ended up not caring about the scoring and just rode. We had one of the best rides and ended up placing well because our calm and "careless" manner made us a lot better!

    But...I do hope to see some lope footage. :)

  2. Now you have a great training tool for show nerves - the video camera!

    Hey, I'd love to see the video.

  3. I know just how you feel! Cash plays MAJORLY off the rider's nerves... if you get even a teeny bit nervous, he's a wreck. I had to learn how to be a really cool customer in the arena to set him up to be successful, and it was not easy! We had a nice little pre-ride routine that we'd do, and when we started the actual dressage test, we'd just go about like it was a continuation of our warm-up. Of course, it was all in MY head - as long as I thought it was just the warm-up and stayed relaxed, he was great. Not easy to do for sure!

    Horses sure do keep us honest, if nothing else!

  4. I am the same way! I get so worried about things going wrong that I don't let them go right. I think we spend a lot of energy desensitizing our horses to things, maybe we should start desensitizing ourselves!

  5. I'm the same way when I know I am being recorded. I think it is natural for us to get nervous about that!!
    I love schooling shows, I'd love to get back into that at some point!!