Jumping problems

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Jumping problems

This is a discussion on Jumping problems within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category
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    04-04-2010, 02:29 PM
Jumping problems

For the last couple of months I've been re-introduced into jumping. I've jumped before when I was younger, and used to really enjoy it, but I took a break off riding a couple of years back and seem to have lost that enjoyment. During the lessons I've been riding the same horse, who is quite a new horse to the place I ride at. She goes really well for me, but jumping has become quite difficult for me. The last time I ridden her I fell off because she bucked into canter quite suddenly, and now I don't feel like I can trust her going any faster than trot (and I certinally wouldn't trust her to jump). She's also quite 'jumpy' when I go over jumps with her. So far I've refused to go over anything bigger than 2 feet because I've lost so much confidence from jumping her when she's been quite jumpy. I've fallen on her neck and just managed to stay on a few times, and the landing seems to be the scariest and most difficult part, and now I feel that I can't even bear approching even a small jump because I simply can't find the confidence. I have jumped two other horses where I ride, and I find it quite a smooth and pleasant experiance when I jumped them. The 'instructor' who takes my lessons is about the same age as me (and is just kind of filling in for the qualified ones) so she can't help me much. I've been thinking of asking to change horses, but I don't want to do it, then relize that it was just how I was feeling, rather than how the horse was jumping, because I was fine on her until she became jumpy and on edge. And I don't want to not jump at all because:
1. The other girl in my lesson seems to really enjoy jumping, and has been getting better and better. I don't want to not jump any more, and risk it being cut out of the lesson.
2. I'm quite an advanced rider (i've been riding for most of my life) and there's not really any other genral stuff to learn, apart from jumping. I'm already quite bored with my lessons, and not jumping would be even more boring.

I want to get over my fear and regain my confidence. Can anyone suggest anything. I apoligise for the mass of text
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    04-04-2010, 04:36 PM
I would say that to help with the spookiness I would get on about 15 to 20 minutes early and walk around the ring and let your horse see everything. Make sure you go in both directions walk in the corners and next to the jumps to let her see EVERYTHING. And if you still aren’t feeling comfortable then lunge about 15 to 20 minutes before the lesson. Make sure you aren’t hogging the ring though. To work on the bad behavior the can be many reasons for this 1. They are just being silly, so one thing you can do to stop this is keep them busy, make transitions, circles, change directions, work on bending. Stuff like that. Horses can only concentrate on one thing at a time so if you are keeping their mind at work then they won’t have time to think about bucking anf misbehaving. Another reason for bucking can be that the saddle just doesn’t fit. You will have to ask someone there if they can check the size for you and help you find one that does fit. And as far as getting over the jump, the only thing you can do is just do it. My trainer always told me to get a theme song in my head (a generally upbeat one) and then ride forwardly and aggressively to the jump. But be careful and make sure you wait for the jump tp come to you, don’t jump the jump for the horse. You just have to believe you can do it. J
    04-04-2010, 07:05 PM
I would ask to change horses at least temporarily. Get your confidence back and learn some more skills & muscle memory and then when you are feeling ready you can ask to ride that mare again =]
    04-05-2010, 12:03 PM
Yeah that would work too! =] either way would work, with my trainner we don't get a choice in who we ride she tells us to suck it up. Haha. But if you do have to continute riding this horse those would be some ideas. =]
    04-05-2010, 12:34 PM
Don't push yourself, is my best advice. Everyone learns at different speeds and will plateau at different times as well. Just because the other person is getting better each lesson and you feel a bit behind doesn't mean you need to rush yourself to catch up.

My first jumping lesson I went from a tiny cross-rail to 3'3"... scariest thing in my life and if the horse I was riding was not a solid citzen, I would have been ruined (confidence wise) and probably still be riding dressage, luckily my mom had a good head on her shoulders, and so did my previous trainer, and we found a new jump trainer, and I've been with her ever since.

You'll always have your highs and lows, just take your time.
    04-06-2010, 12:23 PM
Thanks for your advice everyone. I'm riding again on Thursday, as long as she's behaving herself, I might have a few jumps and test out your solutions.

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