Four tips never to forget your course again!

Are you one of those riders who gets really nervous when you have to enter the show ring? You can walk the course and remember it perfectly, but when you jump over fence number five or six you don’t know which direction to go anymore? (pleat me guilty). Of course this usually happens when you’re still clear and you were riding a great round… With these tips you will never, ever forget your course again!

Be calm and clear your mind

This probably is the most important thing. You can not memorize a course if a lot is going on in the back of your mind. Focus your attention on the course and on the course only Let go of all thoughts that aren’t about the course and clear your mind when you get on your horse.

Prepare yourself and your body

If you notice that you are too nervous, try to calm yourself by taking a few deep breaths. If you’re not alert enough, try to ‘wake up’ your body by jumping up and down a few times. Once you’re ready to jump, visualize the course in your head.

Visualizing is key

Make the mental image of the course in your head. Try to ‘jump’ the course in your head as if you’re watching a video. Try to visualize everything: the crowd, the speaker, the music. The more ‘real’ your mental image will become, the easier it will be to actually jump the course. Try also to visualize how to jump all lines and how to keep a good rhythm through to course. Try to do this three times. If the course is really difficult or technical, you can do it more often. Once you’ve visualized the course a few times, let it go and trust that everything will go as planned.

Keep on practicing 

Most important thing remains to keep your focus on your course and your course only. You can practice this skill by focussing on another task. An example is your breathing. You set a time and practice to focus on your breath only without thinking of anything else. Try to stay focused and don’t get distracted.

Another thing you can do is going to the supermarket without a shopping list. Visualize how you will go though the aisles and picking everything you need.



Source: Noelle Floyd, adjusted by Equlifestyle