AJJ Rider Mindset Coaching


My Competition Top Tips – Useful even if you’re not competing!

Here’s a few of my competition tips that questions reguarly pop up about when i’m coaching, or we discover are causing tension or anxious moments when we start looking into it. – well worth a read if you compete but also if you go to different places with your horse – some of the tips will help even when you don’t compete.


  1. Allow extra time for the forgotten extras – toilet stop, refreshments, getting from the lorry park or stables to the arena, Boots off & Jacket on – Time pressures = biggest tension builders
  2. Don’t change your plans or routine based on what you see others doing – trust in your training.
  3. You are there to show what you and your horse can do, not prove it.
  4. Warming Up – what do you actually need to achieve in the warmup? You wouldn’t run a marathon 30 minutes before the start as your warm up! Ensure you ride your warm up for you, to prepare you and your horse to do what you need to, be polite to others and follow the warm up rules, but don’t give way continually at the sacrifice of your own warm up.
  5. Carry a copy of your test in your pocket to stop those last minute, where’s my test I need to read it panics.
  6. The Bell is an invitation to start, not an alarm to get in now – get someone to time you riding for 45 seconds – its longer than you think.
  7. Remember to do your pre-ride routines – like stretches, breathing exercises, visualisation. – but don’t add them just before a test because it’s been mentioned if you don’t usually. Practice before a show day to see what works for you.
  8. Take your time from the warm up to the arena, but keep focus it really can help set the scene for your test.
  9. Coming out of the test make your first thought what was my highlight – make the association of being in the arena positive -somewhere you’d like to go again.
  10. Assessing the test sheet – find the positives don’t get stuck on the final % or the lowest mark. Assess the whole test highlights and lower points, remember on entering you agree to be judged – they are giving their opinion of what they saw on the day – not always the same as what you felt.

Most importantly enjoy it! – Don’t forget that smile!

AJJ Coaching 2023

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