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CASE STUDY: Overcoming anxiety in the showjumping warm up ring

Meet Client R, an avid showjumper with a talented horse, a commitment to train and ambitious to push themselves. However she found herself grappling with major anxiety leading up to competitions. This case study delves into her journey towards overcoming showjumping anxiety through the transformative power of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH).


Client R experienced heightened stress, irritability, and anxiety in the days leading up to showjumping competitions. The pressure intensified during warm-up sessions, where she found herself comparing her performance to others. The culmination of her anxiety occurred during the actual round, where she would freeze and experience memory lapses, making it difficult to recall her performance.

CBH Intervention:

1. Identifying Trigger Situations:

The CBH sessions began by identifying the trigger situation— the warm-up arena. Understanding the specific circumstances that triggered anxiety allowed for targeted intervention.

2. Mindfulness Practices:

Client R was equipped with mindfulness techniques tailored to enhance her focus and self-awareness during the warm-up and competition. This involved guided imagery, deep breathing exercises, and mental rehearsal to create a positive mindset.

3. Self-Reflection and Comparison Avoidance:

The therapy addressed Client R's tendency to compare herself to others in the warm-up arena. Cognitive restructuring techniques helped her challenge negative thoughts and shift her focus to personal improvement rather than external comparisons.

4. Memory Recall Enhancement:

Techniques were employed to improve memory recall during showjumping rounds. Visualization exercises and mental cues were utilized to enhance cognitive performance and reduce the likelihood of freezing during the competition.

Results and Feedback:

As a result of the CBH intervention, Client R experienced a significant transformation in her showjumping experience. The once stressful warm-up arena became a space of self-reflection and focus. During the rounds, she reported feeling more in control, resulting in a joyful and memorable experience.

Client Feedback:

Client R expressed her satisfaction, stating, "I did feel that my hypnotherapy had been positive in helping me to prepare for and enjoy the day."

The positive outcome was further emphasised as she purchased a photo from her round, symbolising a recognition of personal achievement and what they achieved together.


This case study highlights the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy in addressing showjumping anxiety. Through a combination of identifying triggers, mindfulness practices, and cognitive restructuring, Client R achieved a positive and fulfilling showjumping experience, marking a significant triumph in her journey toward overcoming performance-related anxiety.

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