“Fake it till you make it” is a pretty common phrase but not in the horse world. There are many things you definitely don’t want to fake when it comes to horses but there may be somethings that are helpful to fake for a bit.
Confidence is key. I know corny but so true! If you aren’t confident in something, your horse more than likely won’t be. My schoolmaster has said no to things that I wasn’t confident about. Knowing when to say “We got this” when you are secretly screaming in your head is a good trick to have. Of course, confidence and courage are different than ignorance. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to the safety of you and your horse! If you aren’t if something is your level, ask your trainer then fake it till you make to the other side.
Don’t fake this when it really does matter but at a show, it can help calm nerves. If you act like it’s just another day and nothing is a big deal, the nerves may go away. Of course, everyone is different but it has helped me in the past. I do get the opportunity to show a lot but the nerves can still creep in. Telling myself that this is just a normal ride but at a different location helps make the competition aspect not seem so scary.
I know it’s weird but faking social skills has come in real handy for me recently. This goes along with confidence but it can be different. My mom is someone with amazing social skills which I, unfortunately, did not get. I remember almost passing out when I had to ask one of my teachers a question. Pretending to be someone with social skills with help you think of what you should do when it is time to socialize. I like to think about how my mom would go about doing something or how she would act in a situation and try to imitate that as best as possible. Don’t be fake but be confident, or at least fake being confidence. I normally do better once I get to know someone in which case I faked it until I made it.