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Equimins Ltd Blog | Natural Horse Supplements, Supplies & Products Equimins specialises in producing natural horse supplies, products and supplements for the major areas associated with caring for a horse. All products are proudly made in the UK and excellent specification quality products are of paramount importance. Using this blog we want to share some of the knowledge we have gained through nearly 30 years of experience.

28 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

How to deal with competition nerves

Many of us deal with competition nerves and, although a little bit of this kind of energy can actually be positive, too much can be very negative.

Depending on the extent of your issue, you might have butterflies before you compete, or your might be nauseous, panicky and a ball of stress. In some cases, this can then make the horse feel anxious, which can exacerbate the rider’s feeling of anxiety. And so it continues. Here, we bring you some top tips on how to deal with competition nerves, including a couple of great tips from our lovely Facebook fans too.


  • Prepare. If you know you get stressed at competitions, or even if you don’t, preparation can make the experience much more pleasurable. Plan to get to the event early to prevent any time related stresses, make a tick list of things to take so you don’t have to worry about forgetting things, and do your best to get a good night’s sleep too. Jill Fowler from our Facebook page also suggests allowing plenty of time as rushing makes everything more stressful.
  • Focus. Not on what could happen, but what you’re doing at each phase. When you’re tacking up, focus on that, don’t think about what could happen cross country if x, y and z happen, or how your horse might react if something happens in the dressage arena. You’ll have the skills to deal with something if it comes up, but getting anxious about every possible eventuality isn’t that helpful.
  • Be kind. Be kind to yourself and don’t stress about your position after the competition. Aim to go out, do your best and enjoy the experience. See it as a training exercise rather than the end goal.
  • Dora Fitzgerald from our Facebook page says that taking a few friends you can have a laugh with will reduce stress. In fact, some experts recommend smiling (just the simple act of smiling, even if it’s forced!) to help reduce anxiety. On top of this, a distraction might help you get ‘out’ of your head, which is the root of the issue!
  • If you’re struggling to deal with your competition anxiety, consider seeking help from a sports psychologist or other expert. A LOT of people have these type of issues, and they can be reduced if you learn how to deal with them. You’re not alone.

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