The first time Helen Yakin-Palmer and her mare Cera com- peted in local horse shows, she was prepared to be judged on her riding skills alone. She never even considered the fact that her case of show ring jitters could mean the difference between just taking part in a class and bringing home a blue ribbon. Now, with several show seasons under her belt, Yakin- Palmer admits that when it comes to performance anxiety
she has a classic—and sometimes score-smashing—case.
“In fact, I’m the poster child,” she jokes.
Anxiety Strikes Back
According to Jennifer Moshier, who
is certified to judge a variety of horse
show disciplines, including western
dressage, western pleasure and hunter
classes, riders can lose performance
points when they focus on their
nerves rather than on the task before
them. This includes the most basic
task of all: staying on course.
jitters with some tips
from the experts.
BY PATRICE D. BUCCIARELLI