5 ProTips for Competition
With just a few short weeks until the biggest competition of the Arabian-breed show year, I want to send out a few pro-tips to my loyal clients. These 5 simple tips will help ease your mind, focus your attention and, well, shamelessly plug Show Girl Glam, of course!
1. Be prepared
Seems simple, right? Not necessarily. I don’t know about you, but for at least a week leading up to the show, I start making check lists in my head...I leave sticky notes around my office, my Jeep, my bedside table... little reminders that I left my gloves in the hat box I’m not taking, I need to bring the E6000 glue to secure that rhinestone that fell off my costume at the last show...oh and my sports bra! Can’t forget the sports bra!
My point is, make sure you start planning in advance. There are tons of horse show checklists available; some of my favorites I’ve saved on my Pinterest for you HERE!
Don’t forget your accessories and hair bun necessities! Show Girl Glam can’t be at every show, but you can be ready at every show. Order your accessories online in advance; if you are looking for something specific or custom, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), call/text (913.638.9648), DM on Facebook or Insta, send me a courier pigeon or smoke signal. My business is to Glam you up even when I can’t be there to do it myself!
Give my Pinterest a follow and there are a few boards that show you how to make your own bun. Be sure to pack your necessities:
- Hair netSSSSS (always pack extra)
- Bobby Pins
- Hair brush
- Hair spray
2. Be polished
All too often, exhibitors are racing to the ring with a crooked number, mismatched magnets, a lapel pin missing large stones. Is that enough cumulative faults to edge you out of the competition? Probably not. But I’m not willing to risk it, are you?
Don’t overdo your bun, but don’t underdo it either. Buns should be well formed, fit your head size, and most importantly, be secure. As I said, I can’t be at every show and I may be in the arena at Nationals when you need me most! If you need a bun done and I’m not around, head-up to the vendor area and ask The Hat Lady to whip one up. She’s also included this video on Facebook, which you and your barn friends can practice over and over until your heart’s content!
Most importantly, have a helper:
- Check that all your keepers are still secure.
- Wipe off your horse’s mouth.
- Dust off your boots, including the soles.
- Put on a smile.
- Go, show, win!
3. Be confident – get in the “why not me” state of mind!
One of the hardest pills to choke down - confidence. Not confident? Fake it till you make it. I guarantee you are as guilty as I am when it comes to the RMF (that is, um, Resting Mare Face). Slap a smile on your face and enjoy the ride. If you’ve paid attention to the #1 and #2 tips above, you are prepared, and you are polished. You have paid the same fees as the girl in the warmup next to you. You have (hopefully) worked as hard, if not harder than she has. You have spent hours sweating, practicing, envisioning the announcer saying YOUR name, the roses being put on YOUR horse.
So, riddle me this: why NOT you? What did your competition do to edge you out of the game? If you can come up with an answer, you might need to go back to the drawing board on what you are doing when you are working towards your competition goals.
4. Focus on what you can control
May I remind you, the sport we love, the one we have voluntarily signed up for, starts every single class with this one statement: “You are now being judged”. If this sport isn’t the most brash, please tell me which one is.
Control what you can, let go of what you cannot. You can control how much sleep you get, how much time you have to warm up your horse and how organized you are. What you cannot control are kids running up metal bleachers, dogs barking, trash sacks rustling, a judge who doesn’t like you or your horse. Get your mind in the game; practice like you have never won, compete like you have never lost.
5. Take it all in stride
Riders are hands down the most critical group of people. We’re critical of ourselves, our horse, our competition, or trainers, our families…. not always a bad thing. When you are on top of a 1200 lb. animal with a mind of its own, you can’t afford to be content. However, if being critical about yourself is all you do at a show, you’re missing the point and most likely making everyone around you miserable. Do not undermine yourself.
Last, but certainly not least, be a good sport. If that thing beyond your control (aka the Judge) does not place you where you thought you belonged, walk out of the arena and focus on all of the positive things you did in your ride. You qualified, you paid your fees, you made it to Nationals. Remember, there is always a younger version of you who is so jealous of all the things you just accomplished. Celebrate. Buy yourself some new accessories at www.ShowGirlGlam.com and get ready for next year.