It's completely reasonable that occasionally you'll be afraid when you ride. After all, you're dealing with a reactive (reactive means bolt, spin, buck, shy, or rear!) animal that outweighs you by a lot! But you can destroy those fears by adopting an attitude of gratitude.
The first thing you need to remember is that ninety-nine percent of the things you fear never come to pass. So why waste all that energy worrying about things that will probably never happen. Mark Twain summed it up when he said. "I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened."
So don't focus on what you're afraid of. Destroy your fear by focusing on what you're grateful for. Are you afraid of getting bucked off your horse? Be grateful that you get to spend time outdoors with beautiful animals. Are you afraid you’ll bomb at a competition? Be grateful you're strong and healthy enough to compete. Are you afraid of getting sick? Be grateful you’re not blind or crippled. Are you afraid of becoming blind or crippled? Be grateful that you have a sharp mind. Are you afraid you're not smart enough? Be grateful you have a loving heart. Maybe you don’t like your job? Be grateful you have work so you can pay your bills (...and then go about finding your passion so you can do what you love and love what you do!).
Gratitude actually attracts more of the things you appreciate and value into your life. Do what Oprah does. Start a gratitude journal. Everyday, jot down five things you’re grateful for. If you can't think of five things, at least write down, "I'm breathing!"
If you're having a really bad day, and you ask yourself what you're grateful for, you might end up growling, "Nothing!" If that's how you feel, ask a better question. Ask, "What could I be grateful for?" I bet you'll come up with all kinds of answers to that question.
I'll get you started. How about:
The kindness of strangers
Not having to cook tonight (my personal favorite)
Toilets that flush
A cleansing rain
Doing a great job and having your efforts appreciated
The smell of gardenia
Your favorite song
Petting a dog
Eating popcorn at the movies
The absence of pain
Finding a parking space exactly where you need one
A good book
A hot shower
Savoring the scents of life (flowers, food, the earth, your child's hair, the barn)
The gift of sight
A gentle breeze
Restaurants that deliver
Your plane landing safely
Annihilate your fears by nurturing this attitude of gratitude. Suddenly your horse's behavior won't seem so scary, the jumps won't seem so big, the course won't seem so overwhelming, and the judges won't seem so threatening!