“I get really nervous riding in front of other people. I’m okay jumping but I keep messing up my dressage tests. I seem to panic and end up rushing to finish! Do you ever get nervous? What do you do to keep calm and focus?”
Oliver answers: I’m lucky in that I don’t really suffer from nerves until the really big events! Ways to avoid getting nervous are to make sure you are well prepared.
Make sure you practice your test lots at home so that you are confident doing it and you know you can do it really well. You could get your friends or family to come and watch you at home too so that you are used to doing it in front of people.
To avoid getting faster and faster you could try counting the rhythm in your head and make sure it doesn’t change throughout the test. If you feel yourself speed up towards the end, take a half halt at the end of every movement which will help to slow you both down.
Remember it is supposed to be fun so try not to worry too much and enjoy it!