How do I rebuild her confidence? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-07-2013, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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How do I rebuild her confidence?

Hello ! So , I recently bought a jumper pony from my BO, I have known the pony for 4 years and she has always been an amazing jumper, but about a week and a half ago I had a pretty bad fall off of her while jumping and now she is super hesitant to jump anything, she literally won't jump anything over 2'6 cross rails. This happens every time someone falls off of her while jumping, how can I build her confidence back up so she will stop refusing bigger fences?
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-07-2013, 02:02 PM
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If I were you, I'd lay off the jumps for a while if possible. Do simple dressage exercises and develop a bit of a routine - so that there won't be anything new in the lesson that would scare her. That way, her confidence builds up because she knows what you want from her.

Then again, if she isn't a problem at all with usual exercises, then maybe - jump only one jump with her, preferably small one, and don't introduce any other jumps to her for a while. Yes, it will frighten her but it's the same with people - each time you go through something scary it becomes less and less so with time.

Also, I'd suggest jumping fences that you're comfortable with :) because the rider transmits her fear to her horse. It might not actually be your horses fault at all - you might be getting nervous about the fence/falling off yourself - and becoming tense. That to the horse means 'uh, oh, my rider is tense, there must be something scary coming!' and that could be why. then again, I haven't seen you riding so I might be wrong.

Just take it slow and try to be relaxed :) good luck
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-07-2013, 03:45 PM
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When you went off did you wrench her mouth, neck, spine?

You might have broken the bars of her mouth, damaged bones in face, or whatever else could have happened.

Lay off the jumping and get a chiro out too.

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post #4 of 5 Old 09-07-2013, 05:17 PM
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George Morris talks about having your flatwork right - jumping is last! I might go back to some basic stuff. Get her where you can take her over some rails on the ground where she'll guide straight without picking up your reins (at all!) and guiding just with your legs. To get her over the jumps she needs to be -dead straight- and forward. Otherwise you'll only jump when you get lucky and will generally stand a higher chance of becoming a lawn dart again in the future. Re: rebuilding her confidence, rebuild your own! That's the only way you'll be able to give it to her. If you have some residual anxiety from your wreck that's 100% normal and certainly understandable! A lot of us have been there - I know I have! One thing that's worked well for me is to go find some easier horses to ride for awhile and work my way back up to more difficult rides at a natural pace. Finally, if you're at a sticking point just look to people with more knowledge and experience than yourself, and then look to the people that -they- look to and learn from them! I can promise you that if you work on getting better yourself it pays off. Pretty soon you'll have a better horse than most that are out there and -really- be able to enjoy her without all that anxiety making the whole experience into an ordeal.

Last edited by Ian McDonald; 09-07-2013 at 05:19 PM.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-07-2013, 10:23 PM
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A rider falling off a horse sometimes frightens it. Have you tried setting up jumps on a trail? As a teen half our trail network was low jumps, nothing over 3'6 and even the untrained for jumping horses were soon jumping them.
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