My First IEA Show is coming up soon. Help!?!

by A.J.L
(TN, USA)

I used to compete on my pony, Subtle Abu, until I had a terrible accident. I just started back up a year and 5 days ago. I am back at a walk, trot and canter.

My trainer is putting me over crossrails, but I still don't have the hang of it again. Just a couple days ago I fell off. We were doing gymnastics, and I didn't put my heels down far enough, and rolled right off my horses neck. I got right back on though, and I'm fine now.

IEA shows take a rider and draw a horse's name for them out of a hat. I am so nervous. Me, being a taller, heavier person, would never be assigned a push button pony, or an older school horse with a bad back.

I have to ride the giant, bouncy, uncontrollable draft cross. I am so scared. If I can't stay on my own smooth, slow horse, how can I just jump on and show a big bouncy thing?

Oh my goodness, this will be my first real show since my accident. I am so stressed, can ANYONE please help me out by giving me tips, or even a story of their first IEA show or horse swap? I am soo stressed.

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Great Job!
by: Anonymous

You may not nail it- but hey, at least you tried. The only ones who can criticize you are the people who are watching you- and guess what, they're only sniffing and turning up their noses because they're doing less! Are they the ones who are being daring and giving it a go? No! You may mess it up, but I for one will be proud of you. Great Job for trying!

Aaaghgh
by: Anonymous

I'm about to do my first walk trip show and my diagonals are crazy! I need to improve, and fast! Please send advice/other help, I'm very stressed!

IEA
by: Anonymous

My first IEA show was horrible. I was still scared (cause of a bad fall) and I drew a crazy horse that later got pulled out. I went in the ring, forgot my course, looked horrible and even walked a few steps in the middle.. I was soo scared.

Just know, you might get a bad draw here and there but don't freak about it, just have fun! Also have that course engraved in your brain so all you have to worry about is your eq and the horse. :)

Just Have Fun😄
by: Bella

I ride IEA too and my first show was very stressful. I shook the whole time because I was so nervous but I'm on my second year of IEA and I'm not as nervous anymore because I look at it as being fun and just doing my best. I also had an injury in the middle of my IEA shows. I only did 2 shows and I got 2 first places but I got kicked by a horse in the elbow. I was out for 3 months and as soon as I got back from my injury I only had 1 WEEK to get ready for my next show. I was so nervous because a girl in the class before me fell off her horse and that horse turned out to be mine. Then I was really freaking out because I didn't want to get injured again but I got on and did my thing. I got 2nd, so just do your best and it might go a lot better than u might think.
Good Luck on your first show back. Just remember to keep calm and have fun. 😄

You Will Be Fine!
by: Megan

This goes for any rider in IEA not just you because trust me, everyone is always extremley nervous before their first IEA show! I was so nervous my first year that I skipped every show until my trainer was told me i had to.

Since then i have learned there is nothing to be afraid of in IEA. Even though it is my third year I am only competing novice because of injuries i had last year preventing me from moving up (not from IEA) I promise you the whole show is run very smoothly and that you are going to be fine :) any horse that misbehaves is immediately pulled and replaced by another more mild tempered horse.

The most important thing is to try and stay calm since horses can sense if your nervous. Try to be strong and confident because its no different than trying a new lesson horse at a barn. you just have to remember the basics. heels down, chin up, and sit tall. AND ALWAYS CHECK YOUR LEADS AND YOUR DIAGONALS THE JUDGES HOLD THAT IN GREAT IMPORTANCE!

Other than that I wish you the best of luck during this IEA showing season and L'm sure you will do great! Just have fun and you will be fine :)
---Megan

don't worry
by: Anonymous

(Idk how old this is lol)

first of all don't worry, I have done IEA for many years and crossrails (novice) is the easiest division, there won't be an "uncontrollable" horse. The harder horses get put in 2' (intermediate) or 2'6 (open). Pretty much everything you ride in that division will be a very easy, straightforward ride! And if nothing else, IEA will teach you confidence lol... (: I was there once, crying before going into my crossrails class, now I am about to show bigger divisions and I feel ready :)

Me too
by: Anonymous

I'm going to my first IEA show too! I'm really nervous about it, with my luck I'll get the worst horse at the show! So don't worry, everyone else at the show is nervous too. Even if you do make a mistake in the show ring, everyone else will be too nervous for their own ride to notice. I'm sure you'll do fine though, just relax and have fun! Good luck!

Lots of advice!
by: Anonymous

Hi, not sure when this was posted but hopefully this will help someone out there.
I have been in IEA for 3 years now and let me tell you it's been so much fun! Riding in general is fun but being on a team is awesome!
Tip #1: Work on your position. My coach has special IEA lessons each week and has us work really hard on our equitation by taking away stirrups/reins and having us ride multiple horses. Some things you could do on your own is stretching your back, leg and feet muscles. Just Google equestrian stretches there are plenty out there.
Tip #2: Ride lots of different horses. Don't go jump on a green horse that bucks and rears - NOT SAFE! Just try all different kind of horses, ponies, drafts, thoroughbreds get an assortment to practice on.
Tip #3: You don't need to get first place in everything. I know when I'm at an IEA show all I can think of is "I need to win this class" but really you don't. I'm sure your coach will understand if something goes wrong. Just remember more than half of the time it's the unfamiliar horse who messed you up, not you.
Tip #4: Heels down! The very first thing a judge looks for, whether your jumping or flatting, is a strong heel. When I say strong heel I don't mean jammed down and uncomfortable because that will wear off halfway through your ride. What I mean is try and find a comfortable natural heel position which is down. I like to think "Toes up" rather than "Heels down."
Tip #5: Whether or not you get along with all the members on your team it's important to support each other through good times and bad. A large part of IEA is being a team. Be friendly to everyone. If your not nice to your teammates they probably won't be nice to you and trust me, it's not fun to be on a team that doesn't get along.
Tip #6: Read your horse description carefully. If you are a tall person and you get a small pony go to the show's steward and tell them you want a different horse. If they run their show right then there will be an alternate horse or two for your class. Keep in mind that sometimes the alternates aren't any better (attitude wise) so if it's safe and your not over the height or weight limit sometimes it's safer to stay with the one you drew.
Tip #7: If you get a horse that has a description which says you have the option to use a crop, take it into the ring with you. It's far better to have a crop and not need it that not have a crop and need one. Plus you can always drop it.
Tip #8: Bring extra everything! Play it safe and bring lots of duplicates of things whether it's boots or a show coat. You never know your coat might rip. The first show of the season last year my friends boot zipper broke. Luckily her and I had the same calf and foot size so she borrowed my boots. I suggest making an Emergency kit with tings like extra hair pins, hairnets, a second show shirt and ratchatcher, and extra gloves. Best to be prepared.
Tip #9: Just have fun. Your doing what you love so smile and be confident!

Chill!
by: Anneka

OK.
CHILL OUT! IT PROBABLY WON'T BE A DISASTER!
*before you do your round, you should do something that calms you down. I usually play on my phone before doing anything nerve-racking.
It ain't like ya gonna fall off every time you ride, is it? Practice balance: No stirrups. Bareback. Arms out. No reins. Get someone to lunge you while you walk to canter around, first with no reins (tie a not in them and leave them on your horse's neck. They are there for an emergency. Like there is gonna be one) then without no stirrups, with reins. Then without both. Maybe then without a saddle?
Relax. Absorb the horse's movement with your body. Think positive, it works.
Practice your jumping lots and jump position. Practice on the horse you will be riding!
Take deep breaths
Smile (heck it works)
Neckstrap or monkey grip? Maybe main to hang on too? (Just to hang on to.
Stay calm, cool and collected.
Keep calm and carry on.
Believe in yourself. You can do this.
Make it fun! It will be!
Well, I hope this works and I know you will have a ball!

Good Luck!
by: Anonymous

I've never really been to a big show but when i got my arab horse i was scared of riding him and my trainer always said to ride him with confidence. i rode with her horses and it worked a lot! Just pretend your riding a horse you trust. Good Luck!

I am having one too
by: Katie

I am going to my first IEA show this weekend!!! That is so cool!! I hope that you do well. I'm sorry I don't have any advice, and I hope someone does :)

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