Nerves while jumping
 
 

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Nerves while jumping

This is a discussion on Nerves while jumping within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category
  • How to not be nervous of jumping on a horse
  • Why does my horse stop instead of jump from the long spot

 
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    04-10-2010, 10:05 PM
  #1
Weanling
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?
     
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    04-11-2010, 12:34 AM
  #2
Green Broke
Dont you worry I know how you feel. I am still like that, I have been for a while now! My mare just loves to pull crap: trying to turn out, leaving out a stride, overjumping... that kind of thing. What I do is just breathe deeply, and relax. Then I give myself a silent pep talk on how I've jumped these jumps a thousand times, and that they are nothing, if you know what I mean?

Then as I approached the fence, I keep contact on her mouth, but not too hard, so that if she's going to try one of her stunts I can keep her moving. I also imagine that Im one of those top riders and that seems to help...

I hope you find my rambling helpful :)
     
    04-11-2010, 02:12 AM
  #3
Yearling
Personally I try to concentrate all my focus on the jump. I refuse to accept past experiences, good or bad. I ride each just as if it's my first, with the experiences of my previous. I understand why this doesn't work for everyone though
     
    04-11-2010, 04:48 AM
  #4
Weanling
Well, this doesn't make my stable management sound good, but I had a similar issue. I was practicing a 4' fence with my mare and on the landing my stirrup leather broke and the balance of me and my horse was thrown off so much she went down on her fronts and I came off. Despite knowing it was an accident (well, my fault for not checking my gear enough, obviously) it shook me up. It took time and practice on the flat and over smaller fences to gain my confidence back.

Unless your aim is the Olympics, don't hurry yourself! You ride for fun. Your coach will be your best guide, but if you're practicing and the lines are getting rushed and you're getting nervous, stop. Re-group and work on the flat lengthening and shortening his stride then go back through some gymnastic work or back to course work. Horses hit a long spot or short spot sometimes, it happens.

Good luck!
     
    04-11-2010, 09:46 PM
  #5
Weanling
Thanks for the ideas, guys. I guess part of the reason I'm bothered is that I am becoming generally nervous, even though my position is better than ever over fences and my trainer never puts me on an unsafe horse. I have had issues with nerves in the past and seemed to be doing better but it has come back and I'm frustrated. At least it hasn't crossed over to the flat, jumping only.
     
    04-12-2010, 12:04 PM
  #6
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandsarita    
Thanks for the ideas, guys. I guess part of the reason I'm bothered is that I am becoming generally nervous, even though my position is better than ever over fences and my trainer never puts me on an unsafe horse. I have had issues with nerves in the past and seemed to be doing better but it has come back and I'm frustrated. At least it hasn't crossed over to the flat, jumping only.
You should probably look at your life as a whole - I used to be just like what you described. My horse got hurt and I ended up taking a break for a few months. In that time, I ditched my disrespectful, nasty boyfriend, got school back in line, found a job I really enjoyed, and became a much more relaxed person. When I got back on my horse, the difference was night and day. I was relaxed and not nervous, and my seat was much more relaxed as well.
I'm not sure if it applies to you or not, but I've discovered that some of my problems from riding are not problems from riding at all, but issues in the other parts of my life that are just stuck with me when I get on my horse.

Go get a massage and see how you feel after that!
     
    04-12-2010, 12:52 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmacdougall    
I'm not sure if it applies to you or not, but I've discovered that some of my problems from riding are not problems from riding at all, but issues in the other parts of my life that are just stuck with me when I get on my horse.

Go get a massage and see how you feel after that!
I second that! This was the case for me last year too!! I would get SOOOO nervous and worked up, and several times it caused me to fall and get eliminated from shows even After I took care of other issues that were causing me stress, my mare acting up seemed funny to me rather than scary and it relaxed me! Now I still do get nervous from time to time, but it doesn't grip me the way it used to!

And if the massage doesn't work, wine always does! j/k! (sort of hehe)
     
    04-12-2010, 02:14 PM
  #8
Foal
Wel I had a similar experiance and what I did was just go over really tiny jumps over and over again on a really trusting horse it really helps and like writer23 said ridings for fun, remember that
     
    04-12-2010, 09:06 PM
  #9
Weanling
There are definitely days where stress gets ahold of me. I think that's part of what happened Saturday. I went into my lesson nervous, partly because I had to work that morning and rush to the trainer's and knowing that I would be on a different horse for the lesson. I'm also realizing that I am weak in my core, and on a strong horse, like the one I was riding Satuday, that fault is accentuated. Today I went out and had a fantastic ride on my greenie on the flat, which felt great. I am riding in a relatively big clinic next week, and unfortunately don't have the ability to get to my trainer's before then and jump. I need to just spend as much time in the saddle as I can on my baby doing lots of ground poles, and hopefully that will work.
     
    04-12-2010, 09:09 PM
  #10
Weanling
I had been thrown a couple of months ago, and it took some time for me to get over it (and yes, I did climb back on). I spent a couple of lessons on that same horse (big warmblood - I am a tb and qh gal), working on the flat, doing small jumps, until I wasn't as nervous. Then my trainer put me on a couple of been there done that horses that would carry anyone around to get my confidence back. It seemed to have worked, I spent the weekend with her riding for hours at a time, and when I rode that same wb at the end of the weekend, it was like night and day. Now it feels like I am starting over again.
     

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