Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Cincinnati, OH (USA)
I used to be the exact same way about jumping. And I have to say that there's no way to rush confidence. Regardless of your actual riding ability, if you don't believe you can get over the jumps, you most likely won't (unless you have a horse who REALLLLLLLY likes to jump).
My trainer tried to push me faster than she should have when I started jumping, and it took me forever to get over the confidence issues that created. Jumping is insanely fun; don't ruin it for yourself by doing more than you're comfortable with.
I never really gained confidence until I started riding a very reliable horse. When I first got Jazz on lease in Dec '09, I thought 2'7" fences were MASSIVE, and by the time he left, on Oct 3rd 2010, he had me jumping 3'3" confidently and wanting more of a challenge. (BTW, he had only jumped up to 2'7" before as well :)
But you don't really have the need for a horse switch. Your mare looks like a very willing accomplice! :) I think your best bet would be to stick to the little stuff until you really feel ready. I would do Starter; it will give you practice with the higher dressage test without stressing you out about the jumps - being stressed and nervous is NOT fun, and riding is supposed to be fun.