Low Confidence Over Jumps... Help?!
Okay, so lately I've been getting anxious about jumps.
Let's start with a bit about my 'jumping career-'
I've been riding for 7 years, and jumping regularly for about 4 yrs, my very first jump being maybe 5 years ago, but in that year we didn't jump a whole lot.
The very highest I've ever jumped is 2'9, but I've only done that 2 or 3 times. I jump 2'6 on the school horse I ride maybe once every 3 weeks, and 2'-2'3 at least once a week.
For some reason I am chicken to jump Cowboy (My new 4-yr-old) over 18' at home. I am just terrified of the following -
- I'll hurt Cowboy
- I'll jump poorly
- Cowboy will get too strung out and hot from me jumping him too fast.
I'm really not scared of falling off - My flat has been stressed forever, and I can (and have) loose both sturrups over a jump and stay on. That doesn't scare me. What does scare me is that I'll look like crap. Seriously, I want it to look and feel perfect ... and I'm scared to get anything otherwise. I know for a fact I can jump 18' on CB, so I stay there ... I know for a fact I can jump 2'3 on the school horses ... so what's going on?
ALSO, I am scared to jump something if it has walls, flowers, or anything that makes it look higher than it really is. If it looks high, I get scared, and jump like crap. For example, at a show we went to recently, we did a Working Hunter and Hunter Hack class on the school horse. (This was a versatility show, so there were only these jump classes.) We got there early to practice all the jumps - 2'3, by the way - that we were doing for WH and HH. WH jumps had flowers, coops, walls, etc. I got terrified - they looked like 3'!! Therefore, I jumped like shat, yanked Willie in the mouth once, and overall did horrid. We scratched WH. Then I go in to do HH - same height, but no fillers under the jumps. WE WON THE CLASS!!!! So how in the world can I just get scared and do horrid?
Please help :'( I want to improve my jumping, but how when I'm terrified?
Thanks for reading the novel - a cookie for you!
I want excersizes to get over my fears, just tidbits of info, your stories... anything...
this is CRAZY, but when i have low confidence which i had about jumping for a while was that i actually would tap my thigh with my riding crop when ever i got nervous or doubted that i could jump something that i could. i guess it just gave me that little GO when i needed it.
Psychological :)....I have the same problem with gates..hate the things, though, that could be because most of my horses didn't jump them well either...whether it was them or me projecting my fear I don't know. To be fair they didn't jump them all that well with anyone else either. My last horse would jump anything so he helped me there but even he would run out on occasion.
Try this. Put only the fillers up at home..make those the jump..no poles. Most fillers are lower than 12 inches; your horse would more than likely just trot over them. Once you can canter these and see your spots you are less likely to fear these when there is a pole on top or if the filler itself, like those really big and bright horse eating flowers :) is the top height.
Thank you ^.^ Keep the excersizes coming!! I will try both of those xD
as for position and confidence in your position, i would do a lot of two point. even on days i do dressage or flat, i shorten my stirrups to jumping length and my walk and trot warm up is all in two point, sometimes canter as well. i try to do at least 10 minutes of two point in each ride.
also to keep in mind with any horse, especially a youngster, try to move as little as possible when youre jumping. think of running with a heavy backpack on, is it easier when its loose and flopping around or tight and still ?? its a lot easier when its still !
Aha! I have found something that helps!! Chase me Charlie!! I just force myself to raise the jumps after jumping it 3 times. I find myself wanting to take the bigger jumps!! Only got up to 2'3, but I was riding Diamond, 14 hands, out of shape, and starting at 18', jumping 3 times each, we were both tired!! So we called it quits. Posting a vid later on here. Any crit would be welcome, but not really putting it here for that :p Maybe if you see me ride you could see a flaw I'm having.
Is it wierd I'm more confident jumping my speed demon Diamond that cool Cowboy? Diamond I show in Jumpers, Cowboy in Hunters. Maybe because in Jumpers I'm not worried about my form?
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