Riding to Horse-Showing Success

Explore the undeveloped potential that all equestrians and horses possess.

Two amateurs can look for the same kind of horse at the same auction on the same day. One leaves the sale thinking there was nothing there worth buying. The other purchases an inexpensive gelding and eventually has more show success on that horse than ever before.

Joe gets along well with Jim, a famous trainer, while Mary thinks he’s too demanding and rude when he coaches.

A reining horse labeled crazy and unresponsive could be rejected by one person and catapulted to great success by another.

I bet you can come up with at least two people who think you’re a magnificent rider and at least two or more who think your riding needs a lot of improvement.

The truth in all of these examples is that judgments are totally subjective and in the mind of the beholder. The auction horse, the trainer, the reiner and your riding are neutral in and of themselves.

Are you ready to step into the show ring for the first time? Download AQHA’s Beginner’s Guide to Showing Report to make sure you’re prepared for your show-ring debut.

However, all people and horses possess an undeveloped potential for future good. It’s how we view them that determines, to a large extent, if that unlimited potential gets mined.

The original owner of the reining horse probably focused on weaknesses. The second owner undoubtedly gloated over the horse’s positive points, and so she rode him to his potential.

Now, I’m not talking about making a cutting horse that’s not cowy into a futurity champion. But the way you view and treat all horses and all people in your life determines your experience with them.

You cannot always control your initial mental response. But you can begin to do a powerful exercise that can change your entire experience in a positive direction or make a good experience even better

Plant seeds in your mind many times a day of how you want your horse to perform or how you want to ride or how you want to interact with your trainer. See it; think about it; go to a place in your head where whatever you create happens. I’m talking about the age-old technique of visualization but with a little more juice.

You’re mentally prepared to show, but did you forget anything else? Download AQHA’s Beginner’s Guide to Showing Report, and make sure you have all your bases covered before entering the show ring.

Sue was at a cutting and made the finals. She drew last, which at this particular arena was always a challenge. For some reason, before the finals, she got more excited than usual about showing her horse (whom she had not been particularly successful on) and started to experience her “go get it” attitude over and over mentally. She wasn’t trying to beat anyone else; she just got fired up about the challenge and kept showing aggressively in her mind. As a result, Sue tried a new cow-watching strategy that worked, rode beautifully, expected the best of her mare and ended up second when more than half of the competition could not put in a good run because of the difficult cattle.