Nerves while jumping - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 34 Old 04-15-2010, 02:54 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 333
• Horses: 1
I took a really bad fall last November from jumping. I seriously hurt my hip and ended up with crutches not being able to walk for a couple weeks. That SHATTERED my confidence over jumps.

It took me... a few weeks ago to become more comfortable again just doing 2 ft crossrails. It was just a matter of taking my time with my mare and pushing myself out of my comfort zone as much as I could. Every ride that we did well over fences, I would feel a little bit more confident. I realized that I had to make it almost uncomfortable for myself, or I'd never get over the fear. But once I did, I was so proud of myself, that in the end I was glad I faced them.

When I'm riding a course I sing a song in my head - sometimes outloud. I match the tune with the footfalls and counting between fences. It really helps and is kinda fun. I also BREATHE! And try not to over think anything. The more you think, the more you over analyze and worry and horses can feel that!

Anyways, those are my tips.
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post #32 of 34 Old 04-17-2010, 05:50 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 3,199
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I am in the same boat that you are in right now, so when you find a solution let me know!
I went from riding a steady eddie QH gelding to riding a pistol of a TB, it was great for the first month (our trial period of course), and right after that month was over he became a bucking, rearing, fire-breathing monster, and I completely lost my confidence on him. Three horses later (and a nasty fall where I dislocated my hip) I am finally starting to get my confidence back in the saddle even though the horse that I am riding right now is not exactly dead broke.
My best suggestion is to try and take a break for a bit, maybe just work on some flat work until you are starting to feel really good in the saddle and can figure out this new horse. If you are having trouble controlling his stride on the flat adding jumps is just going to make it more complicated. When you are feeling good about him on the flat then I would go back to the jumps and hopefully you will feel better about them.

RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
2009 Sugarbush draft
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post #33 of 34 Old 04-18-2010, 11:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
Posts: 8,220
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You know what - if I can do it, you can too!

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post #34 of 34 Old 04-20-2010, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Central TX
Posts: 375
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I got out my Jane Savoie book and got on her website, and there are definately a lot of good tips in there. I think my favorite one at the moment is addressing why we ride and what we are grateful for. I think my favorite one was to be gratful for the bond you have formed with your horse (taking my greenie from only having 5 rides when I bought her to being almost ready for the show pen on the flat by myself all the while getting to know her personality - for better and for worse), to spend time outdoors (today riding in a beatiful, 70 degree temp with no wind and lots of sunshine), and to be grateful for the awesome way your horse smells and for the feel of his worm skin as you stroke his neck (especially after a hard day at work). And let me just add my own - for the feeling that you get when your horse knows the sound of both of your vehicles and meets you at the door/gate, following you as much as possible until you get her out of her stall (even hollering after you if she thinks you forgot her).

I have a clinic this weekend with Liz Denny, whom I have heard great things about. I will be riding a school horse of my trainers, (one of three), and I am mentally thinking about how I will ride each of these horses, and trying to imagine myself completing a nice smooth course on each one of them, getting the striding, keeping myself in a nice position, making nice easy corners. I think I will have a friend there with a camera, and if so, I will try to post videos/photos if I can.

Also (and I know this is long), I worked on "ground pole courses" on my youngster, and let's just say one of my faults my trainer has been pointing out to me was reinforced. When I meet an akward (sp?) distance, I have a tendance to curl up into a ball. I freakin' did this over a 6" cavaletti !!! Needless to say, I had numerous choice words to say to myself, told myself that I am on a greenie that needs me to ride her so JUST RIDE!! I did, and we had much better striding throughout - I mainly concentrated on keeping my position (no balls) and using my legs and it worked. Now I just have to apply this to fences.
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