from page 10 weather.
Of course this does not just happen immediately.
You have to be prepared and train your body to handle these responses.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO DEAL WITH PRE-COMPETITION JITTERS? Reframe the situation Let us start with the notion that you have to have the best ride of the season at the championships.
This automatically puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on you.
A more helpful idea is to tell yourself that if you can do your usual good ride in a very challenging situation you will have good results.
Riding in the championships provides stress, but also can be seen as a challenge and fun.
Have a plan Suppose that your horse likes to buck when he does a canter depart, especially if he is tense.
You need a plan to prevent or deal with this situation.
Wishing and hoping that he will be good may have you eating dirt.
The time to make the plan is not during the competition but beforehand, perhaps with the help of your riding instructor.
For example, the plan might be to make sure that he is extra round and/or to give an extra half halt just before asking for the depart.
Also have a plan for if he does buck.
That may be as simple as telling yourself, “He has bucked a lot before and I have stayed on and just ridden through it.” Preferably, the plan starts several weeks before the competition and solves the problem so that it does not even come up during the competition.
Know yourself How do you feel, think and act when you are performing your best? Think about the last few times when you were really happy with your performance and how you felt.
Were you relaxed, focused and calm? How did you act? How did your horse respond to you and the situation? After you have 16 identified your feelings and thoughts of maximal performance, lock those feelings in.
Write down relevant words and use them to remind yourself of the state.
Another good way to lock in the positive feelings is to get a mental image of yourself feeling great and riding with confidence.
Conversely, sometimes it helps to think of a poor performance to contrast it with the good one.
Some people do not get jittery or over aroused before a competition.
Rather they are under-aroused or flat.
When I compete, I like my body to be relaxed but to have some mental energy.
I do not like to be anxious or mad, but rather be in a state that I have come to call “determined”.
When I am “determined” I am more focused and able to prepare for the movements by using the corners and half halts.
When I am too relaxed it is like I am flat or don’t try hard enough.
The movements seem to come up too fast and I seem to be constantly behind.
I may even forget the test.
Know what kind of warm-up it takes for you to be ready and perform your best.
For example, some people like to stay in the warm-up area until the last minute.
Others get very nervous if they do not get up to the competition area with a little time to spare.
What works best for you? Be sure and talk it over with your riding instructor and make sure that you both have the same ideas about this.
Know your horse: What does it take for your equine athlete to perform at his best? Fo r example, what does your horse like for warm-up? Does he like to walk around and look at everything before going to (continued on page 24) News Briefs The NCDCTA Horse Trials at The Fork, set for October 6-7, is proud to unveil cross country courses designed by David Connor and built by Eric Bull.
Bull was sent to Brazil this past summer to build courses at the Pan Am Games! Marc Donovan of Southern Pines will build the show jumping tracks, and all designers are on board with an inviting, straightforward approach.
Bull said this will be the last time the existing cross country area will be used for competition; an all-new loop is being planned for spring 2008 on the 1200 acre private game preserve in Norwood, N.C.
The existing courses will be turned into schooling areas after the October event.
For information, visit and link to the horse trials page.
The Sandhills Area Land Trust needs an additional $144,000 to finalize the Hobby Field Acquisition Campaign in Southern Pines.
SALT’s objective is to save the 60-acre hayfield on Youngs Road in Southern Pines from development.
Perched on the edge of the Walthour-Moss Foundation, Hobby Field is the site of the Moore County Point-to-Point Races, the Moore County Hounds Opening Hunt, Hunter Pace, and many other equine events.
SALT has until December 31, 2007 to purchase the property.
If successful, the land will be under permanent conservation easement.
The perimeter will be a permanent galloping, driving, and hacking track.
The interior will be used for hay production in the summer, and available for traditional horse sports in winter.
Raffle tickets, T-shirt sales, and private tax-deductible donations are sought, for more information, contact the SALT office at 910695-4323. Dressage In the Sandhills, traditionally on Mother’s Day weekend in Pinehurst, will once again host USEF High Performance Qualifying classes in 2008.
Visit for more details. According to unsubstantiated rumors, Robert Dover’s “Dressage Idol” made-for-TV reality series, taped in 2006, will finally air this fall.
Two of the young professionals on the show are from North Carolina: NCDCTA member Rebecca Vick, 26, of Southern Pines and Brendan Curtis, 22, assistant trainer for Jim Koford of Raleigh. The Carolina Horse Park in Raeford, with 96 new permanent stalls, now has a rate sheet for outside show managers to rent the facility and run shows.
The in-house management team (Gwen Parkins, Landon Russell, Lefreda Williams, and Dana Diemer) already organizes five horse trials, one NSA sanctioned steeplechase, and one USEF recognized dressage show annually.
For information, or 910-245-9808. 910-295-0075 email@example.com Antares Dressage Farm, Pinehurst www.antaresdressage.com dressage • Heather King 919-274-0737 firstname.lastname@example.org Castle Farm in Knightdale, NC www.castlefarm-nc.com eventing, dressage, huntseat, jumping • Elizabeth Coviello Moore Victory Hill Farm 919 363-1897 barn, 919 434-7327 cell email@example.com www.victoryhillfarm.net 3804 Mason rd.
New Hill, N.C. 27562 disciplines; dressage, eventing, equitation (H/J and dressage seat), pony school. • Katie Poag Roche 843-860-4520 Kproche@hotmail.com Dressage Trainer Indigo Stables, Huger SC Middleton Stables, Charleston SC • Lesley Stevenson (704) 845-6239 Lstevenson5@carolina.rr.com Dream Catcher Equestrian Matthews, NC Eventing and Dressage Trainers cont’d from page 9 7122 (home/barn) (336) 681-4581 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org BayMare Meadows Farm, Oak Ridge NC Dressage, L Graduate • Julia Dearborn Endeavor Farm, Oxford, NC (N.
Of Raleigh) 919.693.4447 www.EndeavorFarm.com Classical Dressage and Eventing, Youth and Amateur Programs, Seminars, FUN USDF Certified Trainer Instructor, Certified Teacher • Amanda Miller Miller Eventing-252-671-2175 email@example.com www.amandamiller3day.com Bypass Stables/Clayton, NC Eventing- USEA Certified Instructor • Lynn Leath North Star Training Center; USDF Gold medalist Chapel Hill, NC firstname.lastname@example.org 919.968.6670 www.NorthStarTrainingCenter.com specializing in taking green horses to FEI levels of dressage • Claudia Novick (704) 674-3636 cell Stonebrook Equestrian Center/Gastonia NC www.stonebrookec.com email@example.com Dressage • Lynn Doki 910.281.5795 (home/barn) 843.819.3887 (cell) Piafferider@aol.com Walhalla Farm / Aberdeen NC www.walhallafarm.com Dressage and starting children • C.
Michelle Folden Cell: (336) 430-5594 eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org Freelance dressage trainer located in greensboro airport area.
Will drive to you at your facility.
Available for clinics and coaching at shows.
Specializing in goal oriented dressage riders of any level. • Chris Hitchcock Double Diamond Training 919-697-5536 email@example.com www.doublediamondtraining.com Equiventure Farm/Rougemont, NC Discipline: Eventing- USEA Certified Level II • Linda Hoover 910-673-2173 www.foundation2success.com eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org West End, NC dressage, young horse training, • Vicki Kelley
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