Oh yea, well just so you know if you havent already, if your scared or whatever your feeling, the horse feeds off of that. Such as, if your riding and you feel nervous for some reason, your horse will feed that from you and become nervous.
You know I was in the same boat and it still comes back every once in a while, but you know I've talked to many grand prix riders who show jump and there dozens of times where THEY fear something, whether it may be a fence or a course in general.
I think that fear is what keeps you on top of your riding. Keeps you in focus. Not saying its a good thing but sometimes its better than being the other way around and being careless.
I don't think it's something you will ever be able to get rid of. Its human extent, you want to protect yourself. With time you learn to manage it. And trust me I've been there and done that.
I am still recovering from my last big booboo which happend after missing a distance to a fence. So far I have had a total of 7 separate surgeries to fix all of it up(had the seventh one just 2 weeks ago) and I still have 3 more this year I have to go thru. Havent been allowed to ride since June of 07 and probably wont be on the back of a horse until at least the fall this year.
I know you can do it. Find a horse that has done it all, a very experienced mount and start with little things, work our way back up as you feel more confident.
If you are going to be showing IHSA, you need to be able to ride other horses. (I am on a college team as well). The thing to remember about the horses they use for these shows, are that they are all easy. They don't put tough horses into a lower division. You will pretty much always get a horse that is easy to ride.
I actually think it would be best for you not to stick one horse. You are going to need to be comfortable and confident on different horses anyways, so sticking to one horse might make that harder for you. Maybe try cutting back from jumping for a while, have some nice private flat lessons with your coach, then slowly start back into jumping. Talk to your coach about it, if you are really nervous about what you are doing in practice, then maybe you just aren't ready for that stuff yet.
I am still recovering from my last big booboo which happend after missing a distance to a fence.
Holy crow!! What happened? Are you okay?
lol, well let's just say I'm alive. I was cantering down hill in a grass ring towards a line. It was a vertical to an oxer, I didnt keep her collected going down hill and the horse I was riding tried to take a stride out. Needless to say, it didnt work and we didnt make the width of the fence.
[i]You've been riding for a long time to still be so worried. Maybe, and I know everyone here will disagree because it is a horse forum , maybe, horse riding is just not your thing. I took skiing lessons and when I finally quit after about five years of trying to get over the fear, it was one of the happier days of my life. If you are determined to keep riding, then maybe what you need to do is:
A: get your own horse and focus on getting one that is bombproof and extremely settled and b: change your riding discipline. If jumping gets to you, then spend a year doing just English with a good teacher, who isn't so much focussed on getting you show worthy, as much as comfortable and competent.
Going to a bunch of shows when you are already anxious and fearful isn't going to do much more than give you another reason to be worried in my opinion. Maybe you've been reaching higher than you are ready for.
I think that sometimes people just have that fear. It is very hard to advise about how to get rid of it because it is really an internal battle.
I would say that if your passion for horses does not outweigh your fear - finding a new hobby might be a wonderful relief. If your passion does outweigh your fear, keep working at it.
I think you should be careful about approaching riding a horse in a fearful manner, as they can sense that, and tney may become more tense and nervous also as a result.
I would suggest that you work to get a smaller (14.2-15hh), bombproof horse of your own (lease or buy), that you can ride on a regular basis. It takes time to build trust. If you are riding multiple horses, of course you are not going to trust them, because you have no strong history with that horse. I think it is healthy not to trust a new horse fully because you do not know them or what they will do. As you build a bond with a horse that becomes your horse, you will gain that trust, and lose that fear. You REALLY need a safe, trustworthy horse to do that on though. I think before you worry about showing or anything, you should work on getting that kind of a bond with a horse to help you overcome your fear. It will make you a better and stronger rider in the long run for shows and such (even if that trusted horse is not the one you end up showing with).
Now that is a confidence building tip I never would have thought of - showing xrays of your latest injuries resulting from horseriding. Wow! Who would have thought that would help someone with their fear issues.