HORSE CHARGES THROUGH GATE DURING SHOW COMPETITION
QUESTION: My show jumper is fine during training sessions with me and very laid back and calm. But I entered my very first Competition and everything went wrong. During the warm up before my class he was as good as gold like he always is. But when it became my turn into the ring, he suddenly went crazy, charging through the gate, running out of control in the arena, heading for what ever jump he saw, totally out of control. It was so scary and dangerous. Why did he do this? He is completely "Sound" and his tack fits perfect. He did this apparently once before with someone like me at her first show?
ANSWER: Okay he is completely Sound, no physical problems, his Tack fits so..............................
I think you were nervous yourself? He felt your nervousness transmitted through your seat, hands, body, voice, etc.
When a rider transmits their own nervousness to the horse during "Actual Competition", the horse reacts in an unwanted, unexpected way.
As your own experience grows at any show, you should be more relaxed, thus relaxing the horse.
The only other thing is if the horse has finally figured out the difference between normal, everyday more relaxed schooling and being competed on. They resent the pressure of actual competition. Such horses are becoming "Ring Sour".
I think your problem is the first one mentioned here. When you relax, the horse will relax. That takes TIME and experience under your belt.