From Moshi

I just love show season. I’ve worked all summer long to get ready for the winter shows in Florida. There’s something about the camaraderie of the horses and the people that make a show feel like a special party.

Do you feel that way about showing?

Not everyone does. Some people get really stressed at shows. They know they’re being watched and judged, and it makes them squirm. That’s a natural reaction. We’re all conditioned to worry about what others think about us. And a show is the one place where you’re actually asking for someone to judge and openly “criticize” you.

If you’re trying to figure out what the judge is thinking about while he or she watches you, you’re creating a feedback loop that takes you out of the moment. Instead of concentrating on your ride, your mind has to make a full circle to think about what the judge is watching. As you try to see through the judge’s eyes, it’s hard to pay attention to what you and your horse are doing. WHEW! It’s confusing just to describe it!

The key here is to stay in the moment, and only give your mental energy to your ride. Forget everything else. Don’t look at the judge or at the spectators. In your mind’s eye, make you and your horse crystal clear and let the spectators appear fuzzy, dim, and out of focus. Take a deep breath, feel the air go into your lungs to bring yourself back to the present moment, and then do exactly what you do every day at home in practice. Ignore everything else.

Showing is supposed to be fun! The key is deciding you’re going to have fun, no matter what. Remember, it’s not just about the ribbons….

Love, Moshi

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