That’s very possible too, you could be the one that is anxious and anticipating and he feels that. Try taking a magnesium drink like Be-Calm (I had to the morning of EVERY show or else i was a train wreck!), that will help ease the edge you feel and might make it more fun for you and help with your horse. After all, they do feed off our own emotions.
And yes, some shows will even let you enter a class for free if you are doing it for schooling purposes only. I would say talk to the judge and show coordinator ahead of time to see if they will allow you to ride for free in other classes to school, or for a discounted price. I always felt it useful to ride in a class below or above me in the age group so that my horse was surrounded by different horses to further make the schooling experience a good one. Just flip your number upside down and ride him as if you were practicing by yourself or in a group lesson. That might help the both of you. You: to realize that there’s no need to be anxious at a show, teach yourself to relax and just ride your horse. You can’t beat anyone else until you beat yourself. So you have to strive for it to be your best ride every class, whether you place or not. You will eventually be more consistent and start seeing consistent results at every show and will be less nervous because your not worried about placing. Your horse: he will learn that he cannot get his way, and he won’t get reprimanded when he is a good boy and listens to you, that there is no reason to be a racehorse at a show and that the show ring is not scary. I would also suggest doing more groundwork at home to gain his respect. Making him move out of your space when you ask (even when he is unprepared) and making him really pay attention to you.