5 Tips on Being Mentally Prepared For Any Equestrian Competition

Competing is never easy. Even top professional sports people need help with their mental state when it comes to competition and as the National Equestrian Championship is around the corner, preparation needs to go on the next level. Being able to do something well does not mean you can compete well and when you enter a competition, the emphasis shifts from pure ability to mental ability as well. Successful competition is 50% mental and 50% ability

So, what next? All your training has been done; you and your horse are in peak physical condition to compete.

Here are some tips that will help you on the day of the competition, mentally.

Get organized

Plan your logistics well in advance.

  • Know the best route to the show grounds. If you’re participating in the National Equestrian Championship, then the Hyderabad Polo and Riding club is the venue
  • Establish how you will get to the show grounds
  • If you need to box to the grounds, book a horse box well in advance and make sure you have a vehicle and person to tow the box
  • Know how far away the show grounds are and what time you need to leave to get there well in advance.
  • Make sure you have all the necessary equipment and supplies ready
  • Aim to arrive about 1 hour before you have to ride

Being well organized on the day is the best way to keep you calm. The last thing you want is to be is running around on the day of a show looking for a track and trying to organize logistics. This will just stress you out unnecessarily.

Practice boxing in advance

- If you are planning to take your horse to the venue.

Boxing your horse can be a stressful moment. Some horses box easily and calmly. Some don’t. If your horse is not used to boxing; practice in advance. Here are some ideas to help you:

  • Make sure the horse box is open as possible. If it has a front door open it to let the light in. Make sure all dividing panels etc are out of the way.
  • Once your horse is in the box reward them – you can give them lunch in the box or a treat while in the box. This will create a good feeling for them about being in a box
Warm up strategy

The horse that you are riding has strengths and weaknesses. You need to know what these are and address them in your warm up. For example: if your horse isn’t used to travelling and being in new places take them for a walk around the show ground prior to entering the warm up arena. Show him or her where they are; let him or her look at things and smell them. Or if your horse is stiff to one side do some exercises that will help release this, like riding small circles.

Spend quiet time with your horse

Take a few minutes, either before or after your warm up, to spend some quiet time with your horse. This will give you a chance to breathe, relax and focus. The calmer you are, as the rider, the more at ease your horse will be.

Moral support

Our friends and families are often keen supporters of our riding. But make sure that the people around you on a show day are helping, and not hindering your progress. Family, friends, even instructors can stress you out on the day. You can manage them by asking politely what you need from them and explaining that you need no more.

Competition makes us faster, planning makes us better. It takes three things to be a winner, character, poise and competitive fire. Always make sure that neither you, nor your horse is under any kind of pressure. So, stay focused, stay calm and good luck for the National Equestrian Championship. Remember competition is about mental strength as well as ability.

The Nation’s Greatest, Most Seasoned Horse Riders & their horses, are ready to vie for the National Equestrian Championship, 2016. Are you?
Hyderabad Polo & Riding Club is proudly hosting National Equestrian Championship from 3rd to 7th of February,2016.
For more details contact us at: Mobile: +91-9177000056


If you think we missed out on any other important tip or have a suggestion for us, do let us know in the comments below