Rebooting your energy level is key to maintaining concentration and performing to the best of your ability. Photo © Rebecca Bunting

Tips on Rebooting Yourself at Horse Shows

Every exhibitor has experienced those horse show nights where sleep appears to be nonexistent. This sport requires an extreme time commitment, even when that means running on three hours of sleep.

Between the preparation, showing, cleaning stalls, etc., exhaustion strikes quickly. It is crucial to feeling energized to achieve success in the show pen. Next time you feel tired at a horse show, consider these tips on rebooting yourself both mentally and physically.

1) Turn your phone off

Texts, phone calls and notifications can quickly become overwhelming. Take time away from your phone. I know it sounds scary, but you will feel much better after spending an hour (or more) disconnected from social media. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, start a meaningful conversation with someone in your barn. It is essential to connect with others through human interactions rather than likes and comments. This will help clear your mind and develop relationships.

2) Take a short walk

There is nothing like fresh air. It is scientifically proven that exercise reduces stress, even something as simple as a brisk walk can reenergize your body and mind. Whether this is a walk around the barn or just a stroll to your trailer, fresh air is a potent asset to reenergizing yourself.

3) Create a schedule or list

When you feel drained at a horse show, it becomes increasingly difficult to accomplish every task at hand. Mainly, to get everything done correctly within the appropriate amount of time. Create a list or schedule to help you work efficiently. To-do-lists helps make these tasks seem less overwhelming. Thus, allowing you to feel more productive.

4) Listen to music

Music promotes a positive attitude and efficiency. This can be especially useful at horse shows. Grab your headphones or earbuds and relax for a few minutes. Do not focus on anything else and listen to the music. This helps prepare your competitive mindset outside of the show pen. Listening to your favorite tunes helps clear the mind and recharge your energy levels.

5) Take deep breaths

This is a simple, yet challenging task. It is difficult to focus solely on your breathing but very beneficial. It is essential to give yourself some space from all the horse show chaos; deep breathing allows an individual to achieve this solitude. Find an area that is quiet, maybe your trailer or even just the tack stall, and take a few cleansing breaths. Be mindful of how your breath travels and even close your eyes if you’d like. After these deep breaths, you should be ready to show.

6) Focus on one thing at a time

In a world where everyone has a million things to do all at once, it can be a daunting task to focus on one thing at a time. However, an exhibitor can increase their efficiency by slowing down and taking it one step at a time. Focus on the task at hand and commit yourself to it, then move on to the next job. It is also important to realize that multitasking at a horse show is extremely difficult and exponentially draining. An exhibitor will experience greater success if he or she commits themselves wholeheartedly to one thing at a time.

7) Relax

This may seem like a straightforward task that you hear frequently, but relax. Remaining calm is crucial. Whether it be a weekend show or the world show, take control of those nerves. You can do this by spending quality time with your horse, taking a nap, etc. Relaxing during horse shows dramatically reduces stress, which directly coordinates with increased energy levels.


This sport requires an exhibitor to be on the top of their mental and physical game. Fatigue is not conducive to success in or out of the show pen. Rebooting your energy level is key to maintaining concentration and performing to the best of your ability. Next time you are at a horse show and feel the emergence of exhaustion, consider these seven useful tips.