Everyone that has been to a horse show knows that there is at least a tiny bit of luck involved. Luck that it doesn’t down pour right in the middle of your round, that the 2 dogs chasing each other don’t cause a raucous as you approach a tricky combo, that your typically foot perfect horse doesn’t trip the moment the judge looks your way in the under saddle. Even things such as how the sunlight hits a certain jump pole, or the placement of a wheelbarrow outside the ring can be your downfall on just the right day. Show ring superstitions are very real for competitors.
These things often feel so random yet consequential that we wonder if a higher cosmic force is pulling the strings and we attribute it to luck (or lack there of!). I sometimes get asked if I believe in luck, and what my show day rituals are. Presumably people do these rituals to incur good luck in their minds.
Honestly, I wouldn’t know because I don’t have any! I’m not a believer in luck, or any such force that my actions (such as wearing a lucky clothing item or performing specific rituals) could alter the outcome. That being said, I do think that if you really and truly believe in luck that your mental frame of mind surrounding that believe CAN effect the outcome, much like a placebo effect. If you are calm, relaxed, and confident because you dotted your superstitious i’s and crossed your lucky t’s, then you probably will ride better, which you will in turn attribute to luck.
Then again, I could be totally wrong, and inciting the wrath of the cosmic luck gods by writing this article!! So what about you, are you superstitious when it comes to showing? Do you have to wear your lucky boot socks or do a specific show day ritual? What are your show ring superstitions?