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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

     
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        04-13-2010, 09:45 AM
      #21
    Green Broke
    Hey! I think it is healthy be a little nervous in situations like jumping as it sharpens your awareness, gets the blood pumping.

    However, being really nervous or anxious is not good as we all know, if nothing else, it will be communicated to your horse. Also it can make you second guess yourself when your judgement was probably perfectly sound in the first place. I agree with what others said in regards to working your way up from smaller jumps but here is another piece of advice that works for nerves in all aspects of life:

    'Fake it till you make it"

    This just means tell yourself that you are capable and will succeed, even if you don't wholly believe it yourself. (By no means am I suggesting you fake any kind of jumping ability:) Its a technique I learnt in martial arts to use in a self defence situation - act like you are in control of the situation, know excactly what you are doing and behave according to that (rather than being uncertain).

    Hope this makes sense, good luck!
         
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        04-13-2010, 09:22 PM
      #22
    Weanling
    That's great news about gaining confidence! I'm sure after a few jumps the anxiety will calm down. Just take your time.

    And yes, I heard my coaches over the years yell 'Just breathe!' to me too! Lol
         
        04-13-2010, 10:16 PM
      #23
    Trained
    I simply don't get in over my head. I'm too old to be prone to peer pressure to 'jump what my friends are jumping', so I don't let anyone else tell me what I'm ready for. That's between me and my horse. Trainers always say to school higher than you show. Seems to be good advice. I hear a lot of people say how nervous they get when they jump. All it makes me think is 'then why do they jump'? I'm not sure I get the motivation.
         
        04-13-2010, 10:31 PM
      #24
    Trained
    *GASP*

    No negative thoughts allowed in this thread! :P :P



    Negative thought warning!! WOOOOOooOOOoOOOooooOOOooOOOOOOO!

    "Stop in the name of sexy, stadium jumping is fun!"
         
        04-14-2010, 10:10 PM
      #25
    Weanling
    MIEventer - I got to thinking and realized I had a book about sports psychology for equestrians, that I had bought years ago and just haven't used. Went to look at it, and it is buy Jane Savoie. Guess what I'll be reading now? I'll also swing buy the bookstore for the Practical Horseman and see what it has to offer. Thanks for the ideas and to trigger my memory. And I'll look into the little cards. They might be a good thing to post on my mirror or tack box.
         
        04-14-2010, 10:18 PM
      #26
    Weanling
    Sarahvr - I do know what you mean about fake it until you make it. Heck, there are times in my daily job I have to fake it in front of people then disappear for a few minutes to really figure it out.

    MyBoyPuck - here's the thing. I love jumping, especially when it is going right. There are days when I go out there and everything just flows and a trace of doubt never crosses my brain. I actually love the more technical courses, especially the Eq courses with the roll-backs, angle fences, etc. It just makes me ride better in so many different ways, mainly mentally where I have to take control instead of letting the horse do the work.

    There are just days for me that when I go to the barn to jump I am nervous before I even get on the horse, then there are days where there are no nerves at all. Fences don't seem to matter - I can be scared to death over cross-rails one day, and the next be taking 3'+ oxers without a care in the world. No obvious changes to make me feel different, but I do.

    Part of it may relate to work - right now I am frustrated and tired, which isn't a good combination. My best rides lately have been when I was on vacation or had a long weekend and all I had to think about was the horses, work had just left my mind. So this may be factoring into it as well.
         
        04-14-2010, 10:41 PM
      #27
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sandsarita    

    There are just days for me that when I go to the barn to jump I am nervous before I even get on the horse, then there are days where there are no nerves at all. Fences don't seem to matter - I can be scared to death over cross-rails one day, and the next be taking 3'+ oxers without a care in the world. No obvious changes to make me feel different, but I do.

    Part of it may relate to work - right now I am frustrated and tired, which isn't a good combination. My best rides lately have been when I was on vacation or had a long weekend and all I had to think about was the horses, work had just left my mind. So this may be factoring into it as well.
    AAAAhhh. Sounds like all of it is non-horse related. It's mind blowing how much real life trickles into our riding, isn't it? Maybe just for now, if you've had a bad day, keep things simple for that ride. If nothing else, you seem to know in advance what your trigger is.

    Jane Savoie's article in this month's Practical Horseman is very insightful. It's definitely worth a read.
         
        04-14-2010, 11:10 PM
      #28
    Weanling
    I wish I could keep things simple when I go out for a jumping lesson if I am nervous. Unfortunately, I have to go 2hrs away for a trainer I am comfortable with, both in knowledge and personality and training techniques. I am able to go at most once a week. She always starts me off small and sees where I am at, but I am always a little stressed wanting to make the most out of my time.

    The other thing I realized is that I am weak in my core muscles, and the horses that I get the most nervous about, and sometimes have the most difficulty with, are the ones that pull and you really need to depend on those muscles. Makes me sick that they are weak, coming from a former ballet dancer turned triathlete (when I had to quit horses for a short time) who had a six pack. Let's just say those muscles have forgotten they exist, so guess who is doing core exercises now at night ? (cue raising hand).
         
        04-14-2010, 11:17 PM
      #29
    Trained
    Haha!! I had to start doing pilates to get my stomach muscles to rejoin the party. Very painful but worth it. Okay, so with a 2 hour trip I'd jump whatever was put in front of me too. My next suggestion is to read MIEventer's post on the eventing thread about finding a new way to practice her 3 point seat. Next time you jump, you'll be too busy laughing to get nervous. It goes south fast, but it's a funny thread.
         
        04-14-2010, 11:22 PM
      #30
    Weanling
    I hear you about core muscles! I'm back on pilates too. And darn it if my calves didn't cramp up lately too. It's only been a month of riding after a seven year hiatus but I still thought I'd bounce back into my seat better than I have.
         

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