Confidence when jumping - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 12-12-2008, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Confidence when jumping

So basically I really enjoy showjumping, and in my riding lessons we jump once a fortnight and recently the jumps have been getting bigger because we are all improving. They between 2'6" and 2'9", the 2'6 I have no problem with but the higher they get the more nervous I get.

I ride a really safe and confidence giving pony called Arney or another called Hercules most of the time, and they are fantastic jumpers to learn on. Its just I lack confidence in the jumping having had a bad experience a few years ago when I was pushed to jump too high to soon about 3" when I was younger it scared me so much I wouldn't sit on a horse or 6 months. Now my confidence is improving but the thought of jumping just makes me nervous.

My instructor knows I am capable to do it becuase apparently I have a really secure jumping position, so that it isn't the problem I just get really nervous.

Any idea's to help me?

Sorry that was really long!
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-12-2008, 11:18 AM
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I've always been told to ride up to every jump like it's 18''. Don't look at it, (you're not s'posed to anyway) and you said you rode an honest horse, so trust him- and yourself. You're only as good as you think you are, so if you ride up to a jump with 100% confidence the better it's going to be. Like you said in your post, there's no use in rushing up the heights, and you should only move up when you're absolutely comfortable to. Like I said, confidence is key so if you're feeling nervous don't force yourself to do anything, because you're horse will probably sense that and you may get a refusal or a crazy jump.

Side note, also make sure that you're legit nervous and not just having butterflies in your stomach because you're really excited to be jumping. That happens to me sometimes- especially in cross country- and I get all jittery and can barely hold myself up because I'm like "OHMYGAWSHJUMPYAYY!!". ;D
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-12-2008, 04:45 PM
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just tell your self you can do it! Because you know you can! There is no other feeling like demonationg the scariest jump out there. If your horse has cconfidence, the it will spread to you, and vice versa. I ride a green QH who ABSOLUTELY refuses to jump the Wishing Well, the biggest and tallest jump we have, he only jumps it when I am on him, and its because I am practically fearless. If I could give some of my fearlessness to you I would...But I know you can do it!

You can't compare jumping a horse to flying...because jumping is WAY more fun!
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-12-2008, 05:19 PM
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look up over the jump and confidently ride over it, try to imagine you and your horse on the other side.
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-13-2008, 12:50 PM
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I have had the same problem for years, ever since I started jumping, so I've kinda figured out what works for me. Aim your horse for the jump and then just clear your mind. Don't think about anything.. don't think about how many strides left to the jump, don't think about your position, don't think about when he's going to take off or what it's going to feel like. Just sit there. You might find yourself automatically going into jumping position over the jump, you might find yourself getting popped out of the saddle, but either way it doesn't matter... YOU DID IT!!!! Now that you know you can do it, take the jump again, this time focusing on a nice smooth approach and giving a nice clean release over the jump. Each time you face a new jump (new height, scary filler, etc) take it the same way, first just seeing if you can jump it.

Good luck!

Every ride, good or bad, teaches you something new.
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-17-2008, 04:10 PM
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Do your best to trust your horse.
Aleays remember its ok to fall it doesnt matter, it doesnt matter if you knock a rail, it doesnt matter if you topple the whole thing. No matter what its okay
Youve probably got a 95% chance of clearing the jump without even coming close to knocking a pole
Deep breaths. Keep your eyes reeaally soft. And relax

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post #7 of 13 Old 12-17-2008, 07:48 PM
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It's the hardest thing to do, and I know it sounds so much easier than it is, but you have to make yourself confident. Sit up and looks straight. Don't squeeze any more than you normally would, and ride it like you've done it a millions times before. If you get scared, your horse is going to feel it and get unsure, too.

Twende Haraka
"Twende?"
"Yes. Like 'Wendy'...With a T."
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-17-2008, 11:20 PM
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just don't think about it. Just think of riding down the line with a few speed bumps.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-22-2008, 05:25 PM
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just take a deep breath, imagine how fun it will be, and look back on what you have acheived
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-22-2008, 05:58 PM
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I have the came issue. I LOVE to jump... but when I jumped I rode a 14.1 hand Arab... and I was always afraid she wouldn't make it over. So I always hesitated which made her think she couldn't do it, and she would refuse the jumps. But anytime I had the confidence for it (usually by keeping my head up and forgetting completely I was jumping) we managed to do courses at 3.6 no problem...

Its all in your head I guess.

"Can't teach something to love, but you can show them how."
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