Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
I have a fear of Stadium Jumping which came about a while ago due to an accident I had over a 3+ oxer during a practice ride before an HT my horse and I were signed up in.
I was working on an oxer, riding it in a large 50 meter circle. Started at a 2'6" and it got bigger everytime I came to it. It was supposed to stop at 3'0" - but it didn't.
My Coach had risen it above the level I needed to be comfortable with, without me realizing it until I was approaching it. I kept staring at the fence saying to myself "Gosh, that looks bigger than 3'0"" "You know, that isn't 3'0", that's much bigger" "Why does that fence look bigger than what it did last?"
And I stopped riding, so due to that - my horse stopped and I flew over him smashing into the fence face first. While I got up, I realized there was alot of blood and I at first thought it was my nose, but it was my right arm - where a rusty metal jump cup was embedded into it.
I just cliniced with an amazing Eventer. She compeates 3star, and just short listed for the U.S. Olympic Team and was personally invited by David O'Connor himself to ride and train at his farm.
I was working on the Novice and Training Level Trak fences with her and on the first approach to the N Trak fence, I was getting a little intimidated, and she gave me a great piece of advice - which was to growl.
She explained that if fear overcomes me, and I allow those nerves and fear to take control - they've won. But by me growling and turning that fear into anger, I not only change my perspective, my posture and riding changes. So going from "oooh I don't know........oooooo" to "I AM!" it makes a HUGE difference.
A great article that Jane Savoie wrote in this months Practicle Horseman Magazine is about 5 easy ways to build confidence, and I had to pick it up because of my "fear" of stadium fences.
She makes some great points, that I highlighted.
- If you never do anything that makes you uncomfortable, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to succeed. In short, you fail to grow. Worse, you inadvertently feed your fear, allowing it to turn into an unmanageable monster that could paralyze you from attempting anything new.
- Rather than think of fear as a signal to retreat, consider it to a cue to go forward. Action, perhaps more than anything else, halps to overcome anxiety and build confidence.
- Whether you succeed or fail short, isn't as important as knowing you tried.
Change the way you think - my Coach has been helping me with this since she has a degree is phychology and is one of the "Heads" at a psch ward, she's been helping me over come my fear of stadium jumping.
Firstly, do not allow any negative thoughts enter your mind, if they do - shout a catch phrase like for me, that is "Stop in the name of sexy, stadium jumping is fun" and start saying something positive.
I do possitive affermations on a daily basis on recepie cards. Where I write 1 thing positive about stadium jumping on each and every indavidual card.
They've helped alot. Such as
" when approaching a stadium fence, I am confident, strong and powerful"
" I can deal with any callange that comes my way"
" I trust my horse"
Etc, etc, etc.