Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
I have the same fears!
I remember back in my Pony Club days, I was jumping 3'6" with no issues - then a few years ago, I had an accident where I came off my horse head first into a 3'0" oxer, ending up with a rusty metal jump cup embedded in my right arm.
I still have the scar to remind me of that day. Since then, I've had a mental block about stadium.
Funny thing is, you can point me at a Training Level CC fence and I'll jump it with no fear - but you point me at a stadium fence, that is bigger than 2'7", and I freeze.
It takes time, honestly.
My Coach has me do Possitive Affirmations. I bought a deck of Recepie Cards and on each indavidual card, I had to write anything positive about stadium jumping.
She also had me come up with a catch phrase - which is "Stop in the name of sexy, stadium jumping is fun" and whenever I start to get any negative thoughts about it, or negative feelings - I have to shout out that catch phrase, and say 1 positive thing about stadium jumping.
So my recepie cards say, for an example:
1st - STOP IN THE NAME OF SEXY, STADIUM JUMPING IS FUN! Because....
2nd - the fences are inviting
3rd - I am a competant and confident rider who can get the job done
4th - the fences fall down if my horse hits them
etc, etc, etc. I have the whole deck filled out.
Read those every day. You have to beable to change the negative thinking or the fears, into positive thinking and positivity.
Also, jump as regularily as you can. If I don't jump at least once a week, I will revert back to my old habits and my fears. I have to continue with the process on a regular basis, to remain confident and comfortable.
My Coach has me ride School Horses that will babysit me, where I can focus on me and where I am and what I am doing, so I can stay consistant with my jumping.
I only jump my boy once a week. It is very important to me to save his legs, so that's why my Coach puts me on numerous other horses during the week to ride and work with.
I highly recommend you look up "Jane Savoir" - she is a Sports Psychologist who specializes in the Equestrian World. She is a high up Dressage competator, and she has written many great articles on this very subject, that I have found helped me greatly.
I have to dig up my Practicle Horseman Magazine where one of her articles ended up in, fabulous advice she gave. I highlighted some keypoint paragraphs that has really helped me.
So anyways, you're not alone! I've been a long time rider, eventer, competator and I have this fear. I get angry at myself because I look back at old photographs of me going over bigger fences, and I wonder where that rider went.