Nerves while jumping
Hey guys, I wanted to see how you guys handle your nerves while jumping and see if I could get any suggestions. For a little background info on myself. The only time I have actually been hurt hurt was on a dead broke horse that stumbled while cantering in the pasture and summersaulted, using me as a landing pad. Needless to say, ever since then this is one of my worst fears.
During my lesson today, I was on a horse that is new to the barn. Very broke, doesn't try to pull crap, will jump ANYTHING you point him at, to a fault, and will kinda try and take over the ride. Also has a gigantic stride that is hard to get back, plus he is a little squirmy down the lines. Had a good ride on the flat, started out nicely over the fences keeping him straight. When we started putting lines together, I was having a little difficulty with his stride and everything coming too quickly and thus me reacting too quickly and starting to get nervous. When I get nervous I have a tendency to curl up, instead of sitting up and riding. Finally got a nice turn into the line, hit a nice spot entering, but going down the line his stride was too huge and he decided to leave out a stride on a 5 strided line, when he REALLY needed to do a deep 5. He ended up trying to climb over the fence, took down the top rail and went down to his knees before stumbling along the ground with his nose down and coming back up. Closest I have been to summersaulting since I got hurt a few years back. We turned around, collected ourselves, and did the line again, with a lot of improvement even though I was basically in shock.
It didn't really hit me how close I came to a disaster until I was on my way home. At that point, I was basically scared to climb on my greenie and school her on the flat. I did it, and had a good ride and became relaxed on her, thankfully. However, I know I will be nervous the next time I ride this horse. Heck, I have been becoming nervous jumping lately which is new for me. How do you guys handle this, to slow your mind and body and not let it interfere with what you are doing?