PreRide Nerves, A Co-Post, Part 1

Welcome to our co-post. PonyPomAdventures and I have written a joint post on pre-show nerves. To get here, we both wrote posts. We swapped. We commented. The result is a combination of guest post and conversation.

Today on Virtual Brush Box: My comments. Lauren’s response.
Today on Pony Pom Adventures: Lauren’s comments. My response.
Tomorrow, we swap.

You can read both today by clicking over, or wait and read the second installment here tomorrow.
Welcome Lauren.

PreRide Nerves, Now What? By Katherine

Where I Stand
I’m at an impasse with my nerves.

First problem: Beforehand, my stomach hurts, I cry, I hide under the covers. Not fun.

Second problem: Once I get on, all of this goes away. I have been known to rise to the occasion at horse shows. Afterwards, I think horse shows are wonderful.

This applies to horse shows, lessons, and sometimes just getting on my own horse to school.

It is exhausting.

What I’ve Done
I’ve tried to find a way to mitigate the first without damaging the second.

I’ve tried books. The ones I’ve found focus on not letting your nerves affect your ride. A worthy goal. Not relevant to my situation, see above.

I’ve tried sports psych appointments. Haven’t see much change one way or the other. [ And So We Leave Behind the Sports Psychology Adventure]

I’ve tried self-talk. I liked it. Coach Courtney didn’t. [Show Reports NE GA Charity: The Before]

I’ve tried OTC meds. I loved it. The horses didn’t. [From – Weekend Reports: The Physiology of Nerves To – Show Report MSSP 2016: No More Magic Bullets]

Examining when I’m not nervous leaves me mystified. Examining when I am nervous makes the nerves worse. Neither route brings me closer to an answer. I wish I had advice to give out. Or a redemptive anecdote to share. I’m in a log-jam.

What I Can Do
The best answer/only thing that makes any difference is the same as for the rest of my life. Moving. Keeping busy. Not thinking about it. This is easier when showing my own horse because there is more to do. This method doesn’t help at 3 am or when I’m sitting in the truck on the way to the show. Nor does this approach solve anything. I represses the problem rather than addressing it. But it’s all I got.

Lauren’s Response

Katherine talks about wanting to hide under the covers. I can totally relate to that. However I always get out because I know I will enjoy it when I’m there. And, I’ll be sad if I don’t go.

I also feel wonderful on the way home from a horse show.

Contrary to Katherine, I think I’d quite like some sports psychology. However, I can imagine it doesn’t work for some people. Something I’d like to try though.

Agree keeping busy is the best way. But, as Katherine says, it’s easier said than done at 3am when you can’t sleep/trucking to the show. Sometimes, all you got is good enough.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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