One of the first lessons a showjumper shall learn is that they cannot always win. Lets get things straight, winning is great, but things cannot always work out perfectly.
The sooner one understands this, the sooner they will be happy with themselves and the more they will enjoy riding. At the end of the day, as discussed in a previous blog post Confidence is Key! 6 Tips on how to Beat Competition Anxiety we should keep in mind that there is a lot more enjoyment to riding than just winning.
I remember myself not winning a competition because of a stupid mistake. And when I say stupid I mean kicking the stand of a fence with my foot. Knowing I was more than capable of wining the class, but still kicking the bucket of milk with my own foot was the worst part of me having lost.
However, it’s your lucky day! You are about to learn how to use failure in your advance.
- First off, forget the word ‘failure’. Lets think ‘lesson’. Every time you do not win a competition, think of what you and your horse have learnt this time. Winning is not the only goal when you get in the ring. Getting better is another important objective.
- Break down your course and analyse the good as well as the bad things that happened. Look for the reasons things did not go as well as expected and make sure you make your adjustments before your next competition.
- Do not let other people put you down. Believe in yourself and do not bother thinking or listening to random people’s opinions. Your trainer and yourself are the only people that matter.
- Once the analysis and understanding is done, forget about the bad result you had. All you need to keep is the lesson you and your horse have learnt and use it in your next ride.
Riding is a tough sport, even though not everyone will understand it. Make sure you allow yourself to enjoy it. We all have bad days! Do not allow negative results pull you down!
Your fellow riders are expecting your comments and pieces of advise. How do you deal with not winning?