'Progression' of confidence over fences. Need critique and tips! - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Corazon Lock
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-31-2012, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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'Progression' of confidence over fences. Need critique and tips!

I posted some videos a little while ago, but have found a couple more. Bare with me, there are a few! Essentially, I had a fall a little while ago that really shook my confidence. It was at my first show bumping up to 2'9 and I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was, ended up hurting both of my ankles, hitting my hair fairly hard and then falling again at the same show. After that I developed a LOT of anxiety over fences and have been working super hard at regaining confidence (particularly over oxers, they terrified me) and at the same time 'fixing' my position, because I started to get into the habit of pulling to nothing and getting really tense on the approach. I went back down to 2'3 and have since started working back up (with the help of a coach, of course!). I'd like general critique, and any tips you guys might have to improve my riding.

The first two videos are of my pre-fall, my legs are weirdly forward but you can see that I trusted him a lot more then AND he trusted me a lot more, wasn't trying to 'get away' with stuff. The third video is of my first show after my fall, doing a 2'3 to 2'6 round, I was so nervous beforehand because at that point I was still TERRIFIED of oxers, and after my first run out / refusal I was already in tears and before the second to last oxer pulled him off of it and had a full blown panic attack which you can totally see in the video so please ignore the red-faced hyperventilating shock:.

SO after all of that I think Jackson picked up some bad habits and learned how to dive out of my aids, so what I need to learn how to do again is start riding a little more aggressively to fences. I've gotten into the habit of seeing an out and giving it to him, which is just going to completely backfire in the future. SO you can totally see that in the next three videos, which were this past weekend. Aside from that though I feel like I'm gaining a little more confidence, especially over oxers, now my biggest issue is with bending lines (him learning he can get away from my aids) and combinations, they still terrify me BUT I'm getting better. The last video is of my unjudged round, he ducked out of the second fence of the one stride (ie: I gave him an out) but we got to continue through the course and we did it the second time around to finish, which was good! There were a bunch of people on the sidelines yelling at me to put on my right leg very helpful spectators.







TRYING to figure out putting the videos on here properly.

Last edited by alexischristina; 07-31-2012 at 12:56 AM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-31-2012, 11:00 AM
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Okay, I didn't watch all of the videos, but I think I have enough information here.

First, I'm sorry that you had to lose all of your confidence through some falls! You are so brave for facing your fears and working your way back up. Good job!

I think Jackson can feel you tense up. When horses feel that you are anxious, sometimes they because anxious too. I heard in the video that Jackson had only been jumping for four months - that is awesome! - and I think your previous confidence was what got him over the jumps.

Maybe you can ride a more experienced horse over fences for a few lessons just so you can worry about you and not getting Jackson over fences. This might help restore your confidence faster.

What I can see in your position (I'm not very good at video critiquing, sorry), is that you hardly give any release, especially after the fall. Getting bopped in the mouth might also be discouraging Jackson. I also saw him slow down at a few of the fences. You need to urge him forward, but you probably already know this. Letting him lose his momentum is grounds for a run-out or refusal. You also might need to raise your stirrups a hole for security. And I'm thinking you need to two-point more - you kind of stay in the same position over the jumps, but it's hard to watch when you're so distant from the camera. Make sure you are not pulling back on Jackson and urging him forward - this will confuse him. Again, you already know this probably. Work on smaller jumps until you are comfortable moving back up. Take your time.

Otherwise, you guys are doing great and well on the road to recovery!
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-31-2012, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the critique!
My mum tends to blow things out of proportion ;D in the first two videos we had only had him three - four months, and while he'd jumped before it was by no means serious as his previous owner had blown out her knee, coming to us was when he had any formal training over fences. As of right now we've had him for a little over a year... probably 14 months? And I would definitely no longer classify him as 'green' over fences BUT he does get to toeing me down lines, and can be super heavy on my hands so it still stands that I could probably benefit from an 'easier' jumper for a little while. What we're working on right now at home is getting him to sloooow down and pay attention to me on course, rather than barrelling through like he was previously taught.

I was getting a lot of not so much awkward distances... but getting behind a little bit, and being unable to compensate with my position / release.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-31-2012, 06:07 PM
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You and your horse are both troopers!! I lost all of my confidence as well, a couple of years ago. And in the same situation; the pony I was riding at the time refused, refused, refused jumps. I ended up going back to a steadier horse for a while, then returning to the pony I lost my confidence on. That helped a LOT. Proof is, I have my confidence completely back.

What I got from the video was that is looks like you let your horse get a bit flat and strung out in the canter, in between jumps. Then when he tries to run out, you no longer have the control or balance to keep him straight.

I would work on lots of trot/canter transitions, gymnastic work (one or two strides in between jumps), bounces, poles, and more more more transitions :) Rounding him out more and keeping him in check will be a huge advantage when you're trying to prevent a run-out.

Also, my coach NEVER tolerates run-outs... if a horse ever tries it, she has us stop the horse (like, slam on the brakes) within the stride and back him up, THEN re-approach the jump. I've actually found this to be a great training aid. You could maybe try it.

I, for one, would suggest that instead of going into two-point, you stay deep in your tack to the jump. If you are in two-point and your horse runs out suddenly, you're not in the most secure position to recover. Your most effective position is sitting deep in the saddle, eyes up and leg on.

I agree that your release could be more generous, and going back to smaller jumps might help

Kudos to you and your horse for trying :)
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-31-2012, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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He does have a big tendency to get flat and strung out, before I bought him he was used almost exclusively for drill team and ALWAYS encouraged to just run flat. We're working on trying to really collect him, at home but it's not something we've totally mastered when we're off property. As for gymnatics, we are working on them! But one strides and bounces are still a bit of a 'trigger' exercise for me, but I'm definitely going to continue with them. I definitely regret not taking a crop into the ring with me, my sister went to hand me one when I went in for my second round but I didn't take it, but that's definitely something I'll work with. I was very in the mindset of 'just keep going' which obviously wasn't working.
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