Improving confidence for my next horse show

I have a horse show in two weeks and I'm already getting a little nervous... at least I think it's nerves, maybe just excitement. I suppose it could be a little of both.

I find myself wondering if I've made progress over the winter or if I'm going to pick up right where I left off last season. Last year was my first year showing and I started very late in the season. I only competed in two shows, both at Showpark in Del Mar. I feel stronger and more confident, but will it show in the ring? Cisco and I have worked through some issues, but definitely not all of them. Will it be enough to feel successful? I was really hoping to have improved more on our canter work so that I could move up a level in my competition. We've made progress, but not enough to feel in control in a show. It's more likely we would end up in a wreck or just stop altogether and be disqualified, not to mention embarrassed. Nope, not going to go there until I'm good and ready. It's embarrassing enough being surrounded by kids that ride better than I do. Of course you would think that would be motivation enough to improve, but it's amazing how fear of falling and physical limitations easily override fear of embarrassment. I'm not a competitive person... at least not competitive with others. I compete more with myself. I certainly want to do my best, but I also want my best to get better and better. Plus, it seems a bit ridiculous to be competitive when you consider most of my "competition" is under the age of 12!

So I remind myself I didn't start riding seriously until I was in my mid-thirties and it hurts more to fall off a horse than it does a pony. At least I think it does.