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chexmixchoco 02-03-2013 02:59 PM

So I've lost ALOT of my jumping confidence. I used to jump 2'6 no problem, but now 1'6 seems really scary! It started at summer camp when I broke my arm over a 2'3 vertical. When I came back from the camp to the barn where I ride my old instructor had stopped teaching, and I started with a new one. I had a few privates and then started riding in a group again. The thing is not only the fear of having a bad fall again scares me, but also we work a lot on the flat, and we usually jump so small (like 1'6), that me and my friends haven't jumped bigger in so long it scares us. When we do jump like 2 foot courses I get REALLY freaked out!
Does anyone have tips that could help me (like how to trust the horse more, make the jump feel/look small in my head, or help me realize that it isn't that big?)

PS- (Random, but) any tips on getting over elevated trot poles well?

Oxer 02-05-2013 12:15 AM

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The truth is that you can get snapped in half over an 18 inch cross rail, just as easily as you can over a 3 foot oxer. For me, anything above 3'9'' makes my stomach turn. But sometimes my trainer puts it up and just says: "go get it!"
I try to breathe and just allow my horse to do his job.
Remember, there's nothing wrong with taking it slow: Start at 1'6". 1'9" is only 3 more inches... that's nothin'! So get comfortable with 1'9" and then 3 more inches and you're at 2 foot. When you're comfortably loping over 2 foot, then go up again. Before you know it, you'll be feeling much more confident.
I would say that if you're not bravely doing 2 foot courses, then you should explain to your trainer that you're not comfortable, nor ready, for 2 foot courses. Our horses are so in tune with how we feel, that riding around terrified is only asking for another accident. So get comfortable at your own pace!

CJ82Sky 02-05-2013 09:50 AM

i know where you are coming from, and have had multiple students that i've helped get over situations and fear like this. first and foremost there's a very delicate balance between pushing yourself out of your comfort zone (to get better) and being pushed to the point of fear (which can actually make your confidence worse).

my suggestions are to start small. set course, but with ground poles, with just a tinty tiny x-rail in there somewhere. work on that and work on different ground pole courses until you are comfortable. as you get comfortable, make more of those ground poles x's. as you progress, eventually you will have all x-rails and then eventually all 2' jumps. but do them a few at a time. once you have all x-rails and can do that course comfortably, only put one jump to two foot so that you have time to get used to it. and then continue from there.

in the interim, between course lessons, do some gymnastics. start with ground poles and just one x. then eventually make it 2 x's and the rest ground poles. do these exercises with and without stirrups, so that you are comfortable in a multitude of situations. and again remember that if you progress slowly and steadily you'll be much happier and overcome that fear than if you just rush things. the key is to build confidence at the same time that you are building muscles and skills to support you in your riding.

hope that helps and good luck!

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