How do I combat competition nerves when I ride?

Do you step into the ring and start to panic? If you get competition nerves when you compete, Confidence Coach Caroline Putus has some advice that might help you keep calm. 

Q I love entering competitions but my nerves are holding me back from doing more. My fear makes me think I’m not good enough. How can I change my mindset?

A It’s great to see that you’ve already linked this feeling to your mindset as this is where your fear is stemming from. 

There are some things you can do to change this. Next time you have a lesson, pretend you're competing. 

Your instructor will be able to support you to get it right, rather than judging you, and he or she can enter into the spirit of this, too! 

This is a form of mental rehearsal, which is a very effective way of practicing how you're going to think and behave in a given situation.

Put your horse at the center of your mind when competing. 

How can you make this enjoyable and easy for him?  How can you help your horse to do his best? 

Remember that your combined best may not be perfect, but each competition is a learning opportunity. 

When I used to compete at dressage, I looked at each class as a great opportunity to learn, progress and get feedback from an expert, rather than a nerve-wracking ordeal where my horse and I would be judged. 

It's all about how you think about these things.

The Bach Flower Remedy Larch also helps people who, through a lack of confidence in themselves, hold back and let opportunities pass them by. 

Take two drops in each drink you have until your enthusiasm for taking part returns.

The remedy can be bought from health stores including Holland & Barrett priced at £7.35.