Competing is a part of the equestrian lifestyle and culture.
Whether you are riding in the Olympic Games or a local schooling show, competing is a part of the equestrian culture. Even if you never plan to compete and your only goal is to be able to trail ride comfortably, you can benefit from being involved in the competitive lifestyle. Sure, winning is fun and being recognized by your peers in a positive way feels great but competitions are about so much more.
Competing helps us appreciate our horses. When we are preparing for a competition it forces us to spend more time with our horses than normal and helps us learn how they tick (and which buttons should be pushed!). It also teaches us what we need to do at home to help ensure that our horse always manage his best performance even if we aren’t competing. Competing also allows us to see what others are doing and opens our eyes up to new ideas that we may want try with or without our competition horse!
Competing helps teach us lifelong lessons such as perseverance, resilience, risk taking and confidence building. It teaches us how to set goals and develop plans that will help guide us towards achieving those goals successfully! It also teaches how important it is for all team members (horse included!) work together in order achieve success! The list of skills gained through competing goes on forever – these skills make you not only a better competitor but also a better person!
If you aren’t competing, riding can get boring.
Even if you are not a competitive rider, being around competition often can help you to grow as a rider. If you have ever been in an environment where the same routine is followed every day, it is easy to get bored and lose motivation. In this case, competitions can be very helpful in keeping your riding and motivation fresh.
Competition is also a great way to learn and grow as a rider because they provide an atmosphere that allows riders from all disciplines and experience levels to come together to try things that they may not have tried otherwise. You will meet other equestrians in many different areas of interest which may spark new ideas for yourself!
Competing is not just about winning.
Competing is not just about winning.
Competing is a great learning opportunity. You can learn from the other riders, judges, and your horse during competitions. You are competing against yourself to do your personal best and to improve for next time. This helps you focus on riding well rather than focusing on what everyone else is doing around you.
Competition is also a great way to get feedback from judges and others who know more about riding than you do so that you can improve in the future. They will point out any problems they see with how you are riding or if your horse has any issues that need to be addressed before the next competition. Competitions also give riders an opportunity to see how their horses react when there are other horses around them, as well as when there are people cheering and clapping at close range in front of them while they ride off into the sunset! This will help prepare them for real-life scenarios where this might occur (ex: if they have ever been held hostage at gunpoint).
Showing your horse is a great way to bond, whether it’s just because of being in close proximity with one another or due to some kind of existential crisis which causes both parties involved (the rider and/or the ridden) feel like they should’ve never left their home country in order to escape poverty by moving somewhere new but have now found themselves back where they started without having accomplished anything meaningful whatsoever during this journey through life (aside from maybe making some money along its route).
Competition creates a safe space for failure.
One of the most profound things competition can do is create a safe space to fail. It’s an amazing opportunity to try new things you might not otherwise have the courage to try, like asking your horse for a particularly difficult exercise, like a pirouette.
It’s also a chance to test out strategies you’ve been practicing in lessons or at home, whether it’s how you use your pelvis when jumping, or how you communicate with your horse when riding down the centerline of the arena. Competitions are a vital part of the growth process for riders and horses alike–and learning how to rebound from failure is one of our most valuable lessons as riders.
The key to learning from losing is to be gracious in defeat.
When you lose a competition, it’s natural to feel frustrated and maybe even a little angry. While sometimes in the heat of the moment, you might express these emotions a little more than you intend. It happens. Take some time to be upset, but then move on.
Don’t fixate on your losses or failures for too long, or they’ll become anchors that drag down your riding and slow your progress. Instead, focus on the positive things that came out of the competition and what you can do to improve in the future.
Take all that pent up anger at losing and channel it into something useful: practice!
Every competition gives you a chance to learn something new and improve your skills as a rider.
Every competition gives you a chance to learn something new and improve your skills as a rider. As the saying goes: “there’s always room for improvement.”
Even if you lose, you can still learn something from the experience. Every competition is a chance to learn from other people’s rides as well as your own. Looking at how others approach their riding and how they prepare for competitions can give you ideas about how to do things differently with your own riding. Or it might show you what works well so that you can try some of those techniques. If there are any problems with your riding during a competition, it can help to write them down so that when they come up again in future competitions, or even during practice sessions, you remember the problem and have time to think about possible solutions before it becomes an issue again.
Taking lessons is essential to improving as a competitor.
When you’re learning to ride, you can’t expect to improve on your own. Lessons are important because they allow you to work with a trainer who can teach you the skills required to become a competitive rider and help correct any bad habits that might be limiting your success in the ring. However, it is also important for riders to practice what they are taught in lessons. Some examples of skills that riders may want to develop include:
- Posting, which allows for some balance of a rider’s weight along the horse’s back
- Trotting and cantering, which involve more speed and control over the horse
- Loping in circles at different speeds for better steering ability when turning corners during races or competitions
It is important for riders not only practice these skills on their own time outside of lessons but also ask questions about how best they could do so while taking them together with an instructor.
Competition makes you work on your horsemanship as well as your riding skills.
Competitions are also a fun way to improve your horsemanship skills. Horsemanship includes everything from tacking up to grooming, feeding, watering and taking care of your horse’s health. If you are competing in dressage, for example, you may need to demonstrate some of these skills as part of the competition.
There are many competitions that focus on different aspects of horseback riding. One which focuses on the rider’s ability to control their mount while jumping fences is called show jumping. Another type focuses more on the relationship between rider and animal; this is called dressage or “the art of equitation” (equestrianism). Most competitions involve both these aspects and others such as endurance racing over long distances with obstacles such as water crossings along the way (endurance riding) or working cattle without touching them (ranch work).
One good thing about this type event is that riders get to experience new things and improve their riding skills while being judged by experts who have seen countless other competitors come through before them so they can give honest feedback based on years’ worth of experience rather than just personal opinion alone! This means it’s great practice for when someone else might judge one day too!
Competition should be enjoyable and rewarding, even if you don’t win.
Riding competitions are not only about winning. There are many other rewards besides the thrill of winning or competing in itself.
When you participate in a riding competition, you have the chance to gain a sense of achievement and develop your skills and knowledge. You might also take away new experiences and improve relationships with your horse and other people. You might even have the opportunity to travel to new places while doing it! It’s no wonder that these types of events can be so great for riders at every level, ranging from beginner riders all the way up through professionals.
Even showing in-hand can make you a better rider when you’re in the saddle.
Horses have a mind of their own, and you can’t always predict what they’re going to do. Showing in-hand gives you practice on controlling your horse. When you learn how to handle your horse during competition, even when he won’t cooperate with you, then when you get back into that saddle, it will be easier for you to pick up on cues and correct any mistakes that might arise.
Competing in-hand also teaches you how to pay attention to the details. And any little detail is important when it comes down to the judge’s decision. This helps hone your skills as a handler because not only are you paying attention to your horse but also how he compares to the other horses.
Additionally, competing in-hand gives you plenty of opportunities for practice before the big day with your mounted ride. When showing in-hand, it is important that everything is perfect from head to toe—that includes setting up yourself and your horse appropriately without making it look like too much work went into every little thing! It is vital that each tiny thing looks effortless while being perfect at all times (this especially goes for if there are any inquisitive judges on the panel).
Riding competitions help with your riding skill development
As a member of the equestrian community, you are expected to compete. It’s a central part of the culture, and many people look at it as a necessary part of a horse’s training. Sometimes this can seem intimidating. You may wonder if you’d be able to stand out enough to get noticed among all the other riders competing in your skill level, or if you’d embarrass yourself by falling off your horse in front of everybody. Even experienced riders have these fears! But it is precisely because competition is an expectation that it can help new riders flourish.
Competing on its own isn’t enough—you have to actually try and do well in order to get recognized, right? Not necessarily! Every competition gives you an opportunity to learn something new and improve your riding skills. Competitions often involve different courses with unexpected obstacles, which can help introduce new challenges into your riding routine and make you more prepared for things like trail riding or fox hunting. You’ll also learn how well–or not-so-well–you handle pressure from performing for crowds of judges or spectators. Even when you lose, each loss helps prepare you for winning later on as long as you pay attention and think about what went wrong!