I cannot tell you how very important it is to believe in your horse. This is something I harp on with my riders all the time! Now, this belief must be predicated on choosing the right horse for the job and choosing the correct level of competition for the horse and rider. That being said and understood, I'll go further with this short discussion.....
Believing in a horse's abilities gives the rider a confidence that just shines through when needed. It gives a "look at me" appearance that can be the winning edge at a show and it helps the rider ride with assurance. It also helps manage nerves - they just seem to melt away, allowing the rider to enjoy showing their horse.
Believing in your horse gives the horse confidence as well. That confidence can help them give their best performance too. Good horses have a way of coming through with very good performances when they are allowed to succeed (read: believed in!!) by their humans.
So, before your next show do your homework - work hard and diligently, build and stick with those practice routines I've discussed in prior blogs - but then set the highest, most realistic expectations you can - and believe in yourself and in your horse.
Go to your next show or just your next lesson or ride with an "I know we can" attitude and you'll find you can achieve a lot more than you thought - and probably have more fun along the way too! Talk to you next week, JD.