When helping a client learn the ropes of getting a horse shown, one important lesson I emphasize is: no matter what happens, just keep on showing. If something goes wrong in a class just get your horse back together and continue to ride, keep calm and keep showing in a dignified manner, as if nothing has occurred. Continue to exhibit confidence and coolness, showing off your horse in the best possible way. Don't tell the judge through your actions that they just missed seeing something - because for all you know, maybe they don't know!
This is important for several reasons. First, you don't know what the judge has actually seen. Even if the judge appears to be looking right at you, he or she may really be looking elsewhere. You also never know what else is going to happen during the class or maybe has already happened. You may not be the only one having trouble. And, lastly, if a judge likes your horse, they may really want to use it somewhere in the placings. Maybe your 1st becomes a 3rd but you must keep showing your horse to the best of your ability.
Another word of advice: try not to get emotional, because "stuff" happens to everyone. Just keep riding and don't give up. Judges are judging horses, not a riders' feelings. If you are disappointed or upset, try not to let it show but just keep on riding. Remember, you'll have more classes to come so make the best out of any not-so-good situation. Many times things can really turn around and a poor start can have a great ending. You also never know when you may show under that particular judge again so make his or her memory of you as good as possible. Be pleasant and enjoy the horse show. Win or lose, it's all a great learning experience! Talk to you next week. JD