Horse Breeds

Sandie Robertson Interview Tess Carmichael, How To Cope With The Pressures In and Out Of The Ring

Sandie-Robertson Our Guest Columnist & Equestrian Coach Sandie Robertson

Sandie Robertson, the Equestrian`s Life Coach is delighted to share this interview with Tess Carmichael, the first in a series with international riders. She finds out what makes them tick, how they cope with the pressures in and out of the ring.

If you suffer with nerves or have confidence issues on or off the horse, then why not reach out to me via Facebook Messenger or all my details are on my website.

I offer a free, no obligation consultation for all new clients. My qualifications and background in NLP, therapy and years of experience with equestrians means I can help you overcome nerves, make them work for you and get your horse/homelife balance right and set and achieve goals that are relevant. Let me help you start the New Year of 2021 in the right frame of mind.

Tess Carmichael on her horses and showjumping.
`I feel so fortunate to be able to live the life I lead with the horses. The opportunities I`ve been given have been beyond my wildest dreams. I never imagined I would compete at the amazing places we go to and to be able to work with some of the riders and trainers that I have had.

Image Carl in St Tropez Credit Sportfot. Image Tess Carmichael in St Tropez Credit Sportfot.

I believe achievements aren`t always about winning a class. To me personally it can be overcoming something I thought I wouldn`t be able to or producing a horse and feeling like our relationship is turning a corner. To me everything is about my relationship with them. That`s why I do the sport.

There are always things that don`t go so well. Nerves are something that I really, really struggle with. I`ve worked closely with sports psychologists to help me manage them and have also gone under hypnotherapy. Mental preparation in this sport I think is something that gets overlooked. I know my nerves can have a hugely detrimental impact on my performance in the ring and so it is something that I work hard on to manage.

The best rounds I jump are when I don`t think. It just happens and it feels like the most natural thing in the world. Me and my horse are one.

This is what I always aim for in the ring and when I`ve had my best results, I`ve had this feeling. I think my greatest achievement so far is when Atlantis won the Amateur Grand Prix at Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2017. It was my first Grand Prix win as well as being a home win as Windsor is our local show. I knew and respected a lot of riders that were in the class so the win genuinely came as a surprise! Our jump off was one of those rounds when I felt that we had gone as fast as we could. There was no feeling of `I should have done this I should have done that`, it was completely smooth and Ally took every turn and line as short as possible. To be honest the feeling of that round was amazing in itself so to win the class as well was really truly special.

My aims for the future would be to feel more confident in the 1.45 classes. Historically I`ve always found it really difficult to step up levels. I can get into a really testing cycle of being nervous, riding badly then it doesn`t go well so then that makes me more nervous next time, I ride badly etc. At the moment this hurdle is going from 1.40 to 1.45. A single cup hole that makes all the difference! So, my absolute aim is to be able to be as confident around a 1.45 class as I am around a 1.30. To go in the ring and feel nervous because I want to win not because I want to survive!! At the moment I`m not sure I want to jump bigger than that, but I`ve also said that about 1.30 so you ever know. The dream would be to win a 2* Grand Prix, preferably on the LGCT! This year (2020) the tour was cancelled, so working on things at home or at training shows has been my focus and I hope that next year will be my time to do this.
Sandie Robertson.png
Equestrian Coach Sandie Robertson

Sandie Robertson  Interview Tess Carmichael, How To Cope With The Pressures In and Out Of The Ring