still recooperating mentally from jumping fall - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy still recooperating mentally from jumping fall

A month ago I had a jumping lesson and it was great! I was never so confident and I jumped a full course with flying changes (mind you X did all the work, I just squeezed my outside leg and he listened like a champ and changed). Regretfully, he refused 2 jumps and I went flying off (my fault, as I didn't put enough leg and direct him strait towards the jump. We were crooked).

I got back on of course and jumped a bit more, but it still badly affected me. Every lesson after that I'd get more and more scared, and less and less able to jump, until I'd flat out refuse to jump when my trainer told me. And I'm not doing anything high, just cavalettis.

I'm just so annoyed with myself because I want to jump! I love it, but when the time comes I get scared and don't want to anymore, and it's only when I canter towards a jump. The reason I'm scared at the canter is because to get X to jump, I need to put a lot of leg on him so he can build some impulsion (or else he might refuse), but it frightens me a little. The jump feels like it's coming so fast that I'm scared I won't be ready and be thrown off (though it's never happened, I've always somehow released perfectly). I know on the ground it doesn't look like he's going all that quickly, but things always feel 200% more intense in the saddle for some reason, especially since that fall. And the way X jumps feels as if we were jumping higher too.

I know I will get over it with time, but I'm just annoyed that school is next week and I've wasted my whole summer due to my fear. I love X and there is no other horse I trust more when it comes to jumping at my barn. Others are too "hot" due to not enough riding/training, or others are already being ridden but I still prefer X. I feel comfortable on him when I canter, but not when we approach a jump.

I hope this silly fear will end soon.

Rant over, thanks for reading...

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post #2 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 01:49 PM
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I had a couple of falls back in January, which made me more and more nervous each time I tried to approach the jump. My instructors took me back to trotting jumps, making me focus on steering and pace control. Last week was the first time my instructor asked me to canter jumps again. And it felt so good! All that work I'd put into keeping an even pace at the trot and good steering really helped.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-14-2012, 01:14 PM
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I would agree, go back to trot fences until you build your confidence back up. A big way to over come fear is to just do it, I was really nervious about getting on a horse after I had a really really bad fall off of him. I didn't want to ride him but I knew it was just in my head and it was a fluke fall. So I got on and rode, I was nervious but once you realize that the worst is over it only goes up.

Falling will happen, a lot. So its best to try to brush it off and continue as if it was nothing happened. Easier said than done but I have been there. Don't let fear control what you love to do! It will pass. Maybe ask your coach to put you on a lunge line over a jump? That way she will be controlling the horse and you just have to focus on going over it without worrying about a stop or the speed.

Good Luck!
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-14-2012, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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I would agree, go back to trot fences until you build your confidence back up.

I have been doing that sometimes, trotting to a jump. That was always the compromise. If my trainer pleaded me to try a jump (just once to see that there was nothing to it), I'd only do it at the trot. Although X doesn't go over very well that way. :P

My trainer is a fearless rider and doesn't understand the difference between cantering to a jump and trotting. She considers trotting over more difficult and I've always failed to explain to her that I'm not scared of the jump, but of the approach.
I'll be working on that next class though, and hopefully close to breaking my fear.

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-23-2012, 03:50 PM
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My Mother, a wise woman, always said that if you couldn't take the knocks and the bruises, stop riding.

If you get on a horse then you can expect to fall off. Majority of falls result in nothing more than bruising of your pride. Sometimes it is worse than that and you can break something. Get use to the idea.

You are allowing a fear to take over your riding. Only you can get over that fear.

Believe me, if I was instructing you then your fear of my wrath would be greater than jumping a six foot oxer.

Many years ago I had a terrible fall whilst riding cross country. Both horse and I were injured. When it came time to start eventing him again, I was apprehensive of what could happen.
TThe original fall happened at a drop fence. On this course was a drop fence that went from light into dark. You needed to just pop some telegraph poles, land on the top of a steep bank, slide down the bank, turn hard left over a spread fence.
I was number thirteen, I heard over the loud speakers there had been several falls that the drop fence and a few eliminations.
The horse was jumping well. As I approached the drop so I stopped riding. He began to dither, not sure of what was wanted then I saw my old riding instructor standing watching. Immediately I sat up, brought him back to a strong trot, popped the drop with no problem slid down the bank, turned with leg on and rode the spread fence.
My fear of the drop was far less than her wrath if I hadn't ridden it as she would have told me!
Funny thing was I ran back to see her as it had been a few years since I had, and it wasn't her! Similar but not her!
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-23-2012, 04:14 PM
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I can understand your fear of the approach. I feel just exactly that way; feeling like approaching a jump at the trot is less fearful than at a canter. Mind you, I hardly ever jump, so it's all fear inducing to me.

However, even one who isn't fearless can get over fear. Sometimes it's just time. having a few more falls that like Foxhunter said are just bruise-makers wil help you feel that , in general, falling is survivable. This will NOT last forever, even if it feels that way now.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-23-2012, 05:14 PM
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I guess I'm like your trainer- falling hasn't ever really scared me. I think that's becasue I'm used to the idea that most falls don't hurt you, and it's part of riding. Also, I'm a shy person and I don't usually tell people "no". When my trainers tell me something- I do it and I trust them and my riding ability. Even though it might make me nervous, I do it because it would be embarassing for me to tell them I was too scared to :) I agree with Foxhunter. I would also try to think about trying to impress someone when your riding. Whether it's showing off to someone you don't like, or an old trainer0- you are going to want to try to ride you're best... It's silly, but it helps me.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-23-2012, 05:26 PM
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It's really all about confidence as I'm sure you know. Leg on, seat strong, eyes up. Look through the fence as if you have already jumped over them. Just canter some tiny fences and slowly make them higher to build your confidence.
A few years ago when I had my first pony, he would jump everything so huge that I would get tossed right over his short little neck. My riding instructor helped me identify the problem and find a solution. Problem: My jumping position wasn't strong enough! Solution: I practiced some tiny fences and got a lot of position coaching from my instructor. It CAN be that easy! Just identify your problem and the solution will appear. Good luck:)
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-23-2012, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys.
Whether it's showing off to someone you don't like, or an old trainer0- you are going to want to try to ride you're best... It's silly, but it helps me.

That also helps me, but I never thought of using it to get over my fear...I certainly will now.

I have another lesson on Saturday, but last week's went well. I'd trot to the fence and then try and get X to canter over the second a few strides away (that was okay). It didn't always work (sometimes he stayed at a fast trot) but I can see I'm improving. My fear is slowly diminishing, but I thank you all for your advice and wise words. It helps.

I know I'm allowing my fear to take over me, but I promised myself to get over it. Falling happens, and I know it's not so bad... but there's always that evil thought that something bad might actually happen. I don't ride crazy horses, so it won't, but things take time with me.

Goodness, I wish I was 13 again. I was so fearless, even when I was completely off balance I was just so eager to ride I didn't care, not even thinking I might fall. I wish I was like that again.

Maybe that's what I need to do. I need to try and have the mentality of a silly, young teen who just rides fearlessly to have fun, and that likes to show off. Maybe that will work.

A ride a day keeps the worries away!
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