I'm nervous when it comes to courses!

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I'm nervous when it comes to courses!

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  • I have trouble remembering my hunter courses when im nervous

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  • 1 Post By JustDressageIt
  • 1 Post By upnover
  • 1 Post By upnover

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    11-23-2012, 11:54 PM
Exclamation I'm nervous when it comes to courses!

So I know that I want to do hunters. But regardless of whether I do hunters or jumpers, I have always been nervous when it comes to courses. I mean I know it sounds rather dumb being a hunter jumper but I want to fix my "fear". So basically I'm good at schooling courses and I have competed doing a course. However, I see people who ride very complex courses. Now my nervousness doesn't come from not being able to remember the course, that's fine for me. I'm not nervous about whether or not I will clear the fences either, that's going to happen sometime throughout my horse riding career. I get nervous about leads. Whenever I get into a canter I obviously can feel if he's on the right lead but I always have to check to make sure that I'm on the right(as in correct) lead. So to do that I HAVE TO LOOK DOWN! If I have to look down while competing a course I could easily miss a turn or a jump. Any ways I can fix this?
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    11-24-2012, 12:24 AM
Yes. Learn how to feel your lead. Get your instructor to even take you on the lunge line and close your eyes and just FEEL. Go on the straightaway and ask for either lead, and FEEL the lead. Have your instructor get you to tell them what lead you think you're on (left/right) and have him/her yell back "correct" or "incorrect" (never have them yell back "right" or "wrong" as it can get very confusing.
You need to learn how to feel the lead and NOT LOOK DOWN ever. Keep your eyes up!
finn113 likes this.
    11-24-2012, 02:42 AM
Green Broke
What exactly about being on the wrong lead scares you? The part about making a mistake or are you afraid the horse won't jump the next jump well if he's on the wrong lead? If its the latter, then you need to tell yourself that it's not the end if the world if he's on the wrong lead. Yes you'll get counted off and yes the horse isn't balanced blah blah blah. But in the grand scheme of jumping, so what? You'll be fine. Even If he cross canters... So what? A horse can physically jump even a sizable jump off a cross canter. In fact, a trainer once told me that someone (one of the foundational trainers, Bert denemethy maybe?) writes in his book that physiologically horses can jump better off a cross canter. I cannot for the life of me remember why...
Anyways, if you're worried about doing it wrong... First of all often after a line in all but the smallest rings you have SEVERAL strides before you hit the corner. That's the ideal time to change your lead. But technically you can do it almost any time before your next jump and you, again, will have several steps before its considered a late change. So give yourself a bit of a break. But at the same time, how long does it take you to check your lead? You should be able to glance down for a second and tell. If not, work on that on the flat. Yes, what jdi said about feeling... But before you do that make sure that you get good at checking with a very short glance.
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finn113 likes this.
    11-24-2012, 02:49 AM
Green Broke
Just to add to my previous post... Even if you need work on checking your lead off a glance, you need to learn how to feel your lead with certainty anyways so you don't always have to double check, so I'd work on that on the flat. I know you say you can feel it already, but make sure you can REALLY feel it! Your footfalls at the canter: outside hind. Diagonal pair. Inside front. 1-2-3. Your goal is to be able to know what leg is going where at what beat. Personally I think it's easiest to learn a feel off the walk first bc it's the most obvious and slowest. At the canter I've always been able to feel the front legs, but the more advanced you get you'll eventually need to learn how to feel the hind. So teach yourself to feel where your horse's hind legs are. Then after a jump feel, which hind leg strikes off first, inside or outside? That is a very brief explanation. If you want more detail let me know and I'll write out more about that. :) personally I think more people need to learn how to properly feel a lead, it's a pretty important skill to (eventually) be able to do.
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    11-24-2012, 06:16 AM
Thanks guys. I was just wondering what to work on in the future. I mean I suppose I'm getting a little ahead of myself. I am just doing groundwork with Finn right now but I thought I would ask this question for the near future so that I don't mess up Finn's training when I get to it. When I get there with him I will ask my trainer to do what JDI recommended. And upnover I completely understand what you mean. I'm pretty good at glancing down and being able to tell so I will try the feeling thing. I suppose I could try it on a lesson horse to get used to it and then do it on Finn when he's ready....Thank you guys for replying!!
    11-24-2012, 11:17 AM
Any other tips? :)

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