Ok I need help. I have two questions.
1) the first may be kind of controversial. I'm not trying to start a debate, but just want what you've been taught and why. The question is this: How often should you jump a horse?
I have a fairly green jumper. We have been working with jumping semi-consistantly for a few months now. I typically jump her 1-3 times a week but usually only over a few jumps. For example, we will warm up, work on flat work for a bit, and towards the end pop over a jump about 4-6 times and end the lesson. It has only been in the past few weeks we've really been working on our jumping. My trainer seems to think that I should be jumping consistantly, like full on jumping lessons 2-3 times a week. Her reasoning is that professional jumpers can't just jump once a week. I would focus on a full jumping lesson once a week and pop over a jump 3-4 times in between the lessons. But this question also plays into question two, which is why I'm not making them separate threads...
2) I'm not a confident jumper and I can't even tell you why. I'm a heck of a rider, I have excellent balance and a fairly solid jumping position. (I've been complimented on how my legs stay still and don't move back). Sometimes I get to forward and lean on my horse's neck which causes problems, but I've been working with it and have finally figured out how to get up and back easier. So it isn't for lack of ability. It isn't for lack of wanting. I LOVE to jump. It is so thrilling. I have fallen off a time or two jumping but, luckily, have never been seriously hurt. And those falls were many years ago.
But I just can't seem to find confidence. Maybe it is that I don't trust my horse to do it. She will sometimes crop-hop after the jump or sometimes run out and not jump at all. I figured out she usually crow hops when I'm to forward and on her neck. The running out is super random and I always get after her with a crop. I try not to let her actually pass the jump and make her do it eventually. On the flat, I'm a great rider. I took first and second in everything at our last show, minus jumping classes. I'm not afraid of a bucking horse and can typcially ride out just about anything--on the flat. Jumping, though...I can't figure out my fear. And since I can't pinpoint it, I can't master it. I just get scared. I can just 18" and even 21" just fine. Two foot is still scary, but I can do it if I really really try. Today my trainer wanted me to do a 21" oxer. It was wider than it needed to be-intentionally. I agonized over it for almost 15 min, even tried doing it two or three times and just going widely around it or stopping about 10 feet from it. After much fear, I finally did it twice and it was a BLAST.
The question truly is, why do you think I might be afraid and how can I get over it?! She feels if I jump more i'll improve more. Which may be true, but I don't want to sour my horse or overwork her legs. She is 15 y/o Arab who is quite fit and truly has a hunters' form and seems to like jumping. I've jumped her on the line and she does better with bigger jumps and seems to like having something to do. I just lose faith in her AND myself, sometimes just one of us, (Me making excuses she can't do it) sometimes just me (saying I can't get a good position). I just don't know how to overcome this fear. Like I said smaller jumps I can take no problem at all. It is anything over 2' that scares me and my trainer really wants me to try and master 2'3 this week. I just...yeah. HELP!!!!!!!