Nerves from jumping - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-30-2011, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Nerves from jumping

I am getting ready for a show coming up. I'm riding 2 different horses. One of them I'm really confident on and enjoy riding.

But the other one, I've started getting nervous jumping. He has a hard jump to get use to and I haven't ridden him in a while before now. The other night I rode him in my lesson and while the flat was wonderful, the jumping was atrocious. I kept getting left behind at jumps, falling forward on his neck, etc. It really shook my nerves. And every time a jump wouldn't go well (which was basically every jump) I would get more nervous.

I rode him again today. My trainer lowered the jumps some to make it easier for me. It wasn't as bad as the other night, but there were still some moments when I was wondering where the things I've learned in 11 years of lessons, clinics, etc. had gone.

I am now more nervous than ever. I normally only get nervous after a fall or in anticipation of doing something. But I always get over it fairly quickly. This time is different. I can't seem to shake my nerves and it's so frustrating!

This was more of a rant than anything, but any suggestions on getting over nerves is appreciated.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-30-2011, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by horsequeen373 View Post
I am getting ready for a show coming up. I'm riding 2 different horses. One of them I'm really confident on and enjoy riding.

But the other one, I've started getting nervous jumping. He has a hard jump to get use to and I haven't ridden him in a while before now. The other night I rode him in my lesson and while the flat was wonderful, the jumping was atrocious. I kept getting left behind at jumps, falling forward on his neck, etc. It really shook my nerves. And every time a jump wouldn't go well (which was basically every jump) I would get more nervous.

I rode him again today. My trainer lowered the jumps some to make it easier for me. It wasn't as bad as the other night, but there were still some moments when I was wondering where the things I've learned in 11 years of lessons, clinics, etc. had gone.

I am now more nervous than ever. I normally only get nervous after a fall or in anticipation of doing something. But I always get over it fairly quickly. This time is different. I can't seem to shake my nerves and it's so frustrating!

This was more of a rant than anything, but any suggestions on getting over nerves is appreciated.
I give you credit for showing a horse your extremely nervous and green with! Honestly, I wouldn't do it.

From what I've read, and from my personal experiences, maybe the nervous part is making you get left behind? I know whenever I'm nervous or get left behind, the opposite happens. Once I get left behind a bunch of times, my counting gets out of whack and I start anticipating the take off for the fence. About 4 strides out, I'll lean forward, which causes my horse to lose his rhythm and either jump long or short. Just sit back, take a deep breath. It seems like this horse knows what he's doing, because he wouldn't be taking the spot if he didn't know his own step and rhythm. Just sit, count 1,2,1,2 and get in 2-point once you feel like he's getting ready to take the fence.

I know, it sounds easier said than done! But trust me, I've been there. And I still have those days! Just take a deep breath, and have confidence. Believe in those 11 years of training that you have on your back, because you know what your doing!

Also, a good way to settle nerves before a show, is take a B12 vitamin. My whole barn takes them before big shows, and we totally calm down. You can get them at wal-greens or any pharmacy(: There's no side effects or anything, just total calming!

Good luck at the show, you sound like a great rider who's just going though a tough time!
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-30-2011, 04:19 AM
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Your pretty brave, showing a horse your nervous with. But why don't you just show the one horse while gaining confidence with your other horse. There are some Excersises on this post to practice jumping. Excersize Ideas?

Hope these help.

If your horse says no, you either asked the wrong question, or asked the question wrong.* ~Pat Parelli
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-31-2011, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I'll check out the B12. My trainer really wants me to show him and thinks that I'll get over my nerves after a few more rides on him.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-01-2011, 12:15 AM
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I had the same problem, except the horse whom was green that I was riding was the only horse I was riding! Personally, I don't think she liked to jump, at all, so that didn't help much. She would show the whites of her eyes right before the jump and pin her ears back, as well as try to evade the jump. Consdering that she was the first horse I was put on after a year or two of no riding, it freaked me out. To make things worse, two days before the show (my first show and only show so far) we were doing awesome all of the sudden, then the night before the show, she kept refusing the jump. I tried everything I could to keep her going straight. Leg on on side to push her over(and i mean leg ON! Got off and couldn't walk from having to work so hard to keep her straight) but no matter what you would do, she would billow out to the side and refuse the jump. So my trainer tried to guide her over one time when we got frustrated. Needless to say the horse and I both fell to the ground on our sides together, my boot slammed into my trainers face when we went down since she got pulled forward by the reins. It was not a pretty sight. It was my first fall! I immediately got back on, sobbing while trotting around to gather my nerves, but I stayed on and jumped it again. The next day was the show. Now the horse wouldn't even walk over a ground pole! Bah, mares. They even checked her to see if anything was wrong, pain wise, but nothing was. I guess I don't need to tell you I don't ride her anymore, but my point is that you can't give up. Really you can't. NEVER end off on a bad note during a lesson, or else you will assume the next will start off the same. What I do when I'm nervous about jumping a horse whom is hard to jump, is just sit to the jump. Don't do anything until you -feel- the horse take off, and just let your body "slide" up into the position over the jump. It's hard to explain, but just, don't think about it. Don't look at the jump before you either. Don't try to calculate when your horse will take off by looking at where his hooves are in comparison with the jump. Relax and just ride the canter until your horse takes off, all the while looking at a tree in front of you, the fence to the arena, a bucket, etc. As my trainer always says, breathe through your diaphragm, eyes up, thumbs up, and relax. I can't stress it enough by saying don't think about the jump. Let your body go with the the flow, and it will feel fluid, like your flying. I notice that when I breathe through my chest and tense up, so does the horse I'm riding, and so he takes off early. If I breathe deep through my diaphragm, his ears go forward, his stride becomes more flowing, and he takes off more fluidly. Try it during a lesson. Breathe through your chest and see how he feels, then breathe through your stomach and study him that way. There's a big difference!

Sorry for the novel, bwaha, I just can relate so much to this.
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