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Tips on how

to Prepare for

your Horse Show

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Horse Show Mental Preparation
Shannon McCulloch-Verdier with Patty Roll Brumley

Ten tips from trainer Shannon MucCulloch-Verdier that'll help you
quiet your nerves and mentally prepare for the horse show ring.

In the June 2005 issue of Horse & Rider magazine, Carol Metcalfe
shared her stay-cool strategies for the horse show ring. Here are
10 more tips to add to your pre-ride routine to help you mentally

1. Think of your mental energy as liquid in a bottle and never
waste it. Don't sweat the small stuff, or you'll be using up your
mental energy on things that don't matter, when you should be
reserving your energy for the show ring.

2. Don't compare yourself to the competition. It takes your focus
off your own performance.

3. The playing field is always equal. If you're worried about bad
footing, for example, remind yourself that everyone else will be
facing the same problem.

4. Control what you can, let go of what you can't. You can
control how much sleep you get, how much time you have to warm up
your horse and how organized you are.

5. Get organized and use a game plan. Waiting until the last
minute creates unnecessary stress. Make a to-do list, laminate it
and post it where you can see it and check off what you've done.

6. Compete with yourself. Establish a standard of excellence and
strive for it. Remember, the judge's approval of your performance
isn't the ultimate barometer of your success.

7. Never stop showing. If you make a mistake, correct it and ride
on like nothing ever happened.

8. Take ownership of the outcome. Make yourself responsible for
your performance.

9. Set realistic goals. Goals must be specific, measurable and

10. Surround yourself with a positive environment. Block out
negativity and distraction. If anyone affects you
negatively--whether it's your spouse, a friend or even your
trainer--find a way to confront that person and overcome that
affect, even if it means avoiding the person until you're able to
regain your focus.

These tips were excerpted from an article that ran in the January
1997 issue of Horse & Rider magazine.

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