- Try to keep all training light and easy on the run up to the event. It's no good trying out new moves on the week leading up to the competition! This can cause issues and means mentally neither you or your 4 legged friend will be in a good 'harmonious' place! Keep the work easy, but don't be lax, ensure the training you have been doing up until now is correct and on point!
- Set a target or a goal. Quite often mine is to just get round a dressage test in one piece! The thing to remember is you might not win every time! We are riding horses who tend to throw the odd curve ball in every now and then. But it is important to set small goals each time you're out so you can look back and think positively about the experience! For example; 'This outing we are going to try and aim for a straight centre line & focus on accuracy'... OR... 'This time we are aiming for a double clear!'.
- Use an equipment check list to make sure you've packed everything! I once ended up at a competition to find I'd left my girth at home! Thankfully there were some lovely people who kindly let me borrow one! *doh
- Always check directions to the venue before you set off. Even if you know the way, check to see if there are any delays like roadworks. I've missed tests before due to this and its alot of money to waste!
- Try to remember you do this for fun! Everyone gets competition nerves, but the idea is to enjoy the process! Plus whatever you do, do not fear the judge! They are routing for you to win too! Don't believe me? Read our 'Fear of the Judge' blog post HERE!