Photo Credit: Molly Lumsden, 2015 Virginia Tech IHSA Team
5. Not putting enough emphasis on turnout
The moment you walk into the ring you are being judged, and sometimes people don’t place as well as they should because they don’t look the part. Boots should be spotless, shirts should be tucked in, and your hair should be neatly done in a hairnet. Turnout is important, make sure you look your best. Dress well, test well.
6. Not riding the horse you drew
Everyone has their favorite type of horse. Some people like forward horses, others like the kick ride. But no matter what you draw, ride the horse you’re on, not the horse you wish you drew. If you have a difficult horse, don’t make a hard situation worse by overreacting. Ride the horse the best you can, and allow the judge to see you ride through it.
7. Forgetting it is a mental sport
Many people forget to take care of themselves mentally before they go into the ring. They let their nerves ruin their experience. Take a minute to mentally visualize and walk through the entire process of the show. Visualize yourself having a perfect flat class or jumping round. Imagine all aspects of the show, like how you will go down the quarter line. Take a deep breath at each corner of the ring. Figure out how to mentally prepare yourself. And if the show doesn’t go, use it as a learning experience and shake it off. Don’t let it bring you down.
8. Confidence is key
Enter the ring with confidence. Think to yourself: “I am going to win this class.” Having a positive attitude and showing the judge you are confident will help you stand out to the judge.
No matter what happens, never speak negatively about the horses or the show. The teams and schools put a lot of effort organizing the show and preparing the horses. It will go a long way if you say thank you to the horse holder and the school.
10. This is fun
Remember, this is a fun learning experience. Get close to your team, and put in the effort. Your team will become your best friends, and the memories will last you a lifetime.
FREE VIDEO: 2012 IHSA National Championship Experience
Take an inside look at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, behind the scenes at the 2012 National Championships, the Collegiate students that participated, The judges, and the people that make the IHSA “Genius.”
Running Time: 8 minutes and 45 seconds