Help! Lost confidence cross country! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-05-2013, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Help! Lost confidence cross country!

I have just started working my mare towards going eventing again after a 2 year break thanks to her injuries and what not. I took her out cross country schooling on the weekend, and she was great, but it seems that I have lost my confidence/ability to ride cross country!

It didn't start particularly well, I came off on a turn because my girth was too loose and I put all my weight in my outside stirrup - oops!

The height of the fences isn't the issue, its other things that I had problems with! I was stressed about the going, then it was the approach, then I was worried that I didn't have a decent enough canter for her to jump well, then finally I was stressing that I wasn't getting a good spot in front of the fence.

Unfortunately there are no cross country clinics that I have found to get help, so I am stuck trying to fix this by myself, but I don't know where to begin!

Does anyone have any tips to help me find my cross country mojo??? Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-06-2013, 05:19 PM
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Finding a good trainer to help you along would be at the top of my list for sure. It's extremely hard to go out and "fix" things yourself, there's no substitute for experienced eyes on the ground.

Since you're just coming back, I would just keep things really small and simple until you feel more comfortable and your horse gets more fit. Single fences, logs, nothing too big or spooky at first. Trot lots of things and canter away, you both need to stay rhythmic and relaxed, and concentrate on getting your horse really tuned in to you. You choose the exact spot on the jump you are going over, you choose the moment your horse's feet leave the ground. Don't allow any rushing or anything. Then concentrate on having a good canter to the jump, balanced and relaxed but forward, keeping the horse in front of your leg. Don't worry about seeing the distance every single time, that happens naturally and as long as you have a good canter, it doesn't matter if the distance is a little off. When in doubt, add a stride. Waiting is never the wrong choice! Make sure you are riding quietly and positively, supporting with both hand and leg, and sitting up with shoulders back, eyes up. Working on the little things to start will seem boring at first, but you and your horse will progress much faster in the long run. Once you've got all the basics re-established, the rest will come quicker, instead of just going out and bombing around with no real intentions or goals.

Don't worry about doing a lot right off the bat either. Gradual is better, and since your horse is coming off an injury, you will have to be very careful about not pushing too fast and be extra diligent about proper conditioning as well.

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post #3 of 11 Old 06-06-2013, 06:08 PM
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Sounds like you've gotten yourself into overthinking, second guessing mode. I would think the best way to stop thinking is to go back to things you find unbelievably boring or things that take thinking out of the equation like gymnastics where everything is spaced in a way where no adjusting is involved. Hopefully your confidence will return sooner than later.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-06-2013, 06:25 PM
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honestly, I would find a small course and just canter and canter on the flat for a few minutes. Then just start jumping with out stopping or over riding your horse. Just sit there and put your leg on in front of the fence. Just make it nice and easy and don't put any pressure on yourself. This method works with horses who stress out on xc too =]

Gypsy & Scout <3
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-09-2013, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picup436 View Post
I have just started working my mare towards going eventing again after a 2 year break thanks to her injuries and what not. I took her out cross country schooling on the weekend, and she was great, but it seems that I have lost my confidence/ability to ride cross country!

It didn't start particularly well, I came off on a turn because my girth was too loose and I put all my weight in my outside stirrup - oops!

The height of the fences isn't the issue, its other things that I had problems with! I was stressed about the going, then it was the approach, then I was worried that I didn't have a decent enough canter for her to jump well, then finally I was stressing that I wasn't getting a good spot in front of the fence.

Unfortunately there are no cross country clinics that I have found to get help, so I am stuck trying to fix this by myself, but I don't know where to begin!

Does anyone have any tips to help me find my cross country mojo??? Thanks!

Picup, where are you located? If you like (and it's not too far), I could meet you up at the SEC and we could do some work on the XC course.

GK is a good lead horse, he jumps any and everything. Or I could come out and help out on foot... What ever works :)
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-09-2013, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NaeNae87 View Post
Picup, where are you located? If you like (and it's not too far), I could meet you up at the SEC and we could do some work on the XC course.

GK is a good lead horse, he jumps any and everything. Or I could come out and help out on foot... What ever works :)
Thanks NaeNae, that would be just fantastic! The horses are only 20 minutes or so from the SEC, so its nice and close for us :)
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-09-2013, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by picup436 View Post
Thanks NaeNae, that would be just fantastic! The horses are only 20 minutes or so from the SEC, so its nice and close for us :)

No worries.

I have Harvey this weekend and TB HOTY on 29/6 but other than those dates I am pretty much free until Gidge Part B on 3/8 & 4/8.

Let me know when you are free and I can come on up :)
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-10-2013, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NaeNae87 View Post
No worries.

I have Harvey this weekend and TB HOTY on 29/6 but other than those dates I am pretty much free until Gidge Part B on 3/8 & 4/8.

Let me know when you are free and I can come on up :)
Awesome, I'm pretty much free every Sunday apart from this one, so any time really :)

Good luck at Harvey, hopefully its not too wet for you! I got bogged the last one I did there.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-10-2013, 12:43 AM
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Awesome, I'm pretty much free every Sunday apart from this one, so any time really :)

Good luck at Harvey, hopefully its not too wet for you! I got bogged the last one I did there.

Thanks!

The forcast is for cloud, so fingers crossed it stays that way! I have heard horror stories about Harvey mud and the hill.

How does 14/7 sound? It will give the little man a break between xc runs :)
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-10-2013, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NaeNae87 View Post
Thanks!

The forcast is for cloud, so fingers crossed it stays that way! I have heard horror stories about Harvey mud and the hill.

How does 14/7 sound? It will give the little man a break between xc runs :)

Perfect!

I've always enjoyed competing at Harvey, even though it seems to be my bogey event. Not the actual competition, its just that something always seems to go wrong! So far I've gotten bogged, had to rush the OH to hospital with appendicitis, got spat walking back from the dressage...
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