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Exercises I can do in the arena to build up my confidence with jumping again?
I am doing a 'self-schooling' lesson tomorrow at my riding school on an old wise mare who I've been riding a lot lately. I've had a lot of falls these past 6 months and my confidence has went up, down, up, down, up down constantly. I just want to start from scratch and build up my confidence from the bottom back up to where I feel comfortable. Recently I've just been jumping heights that I don't feel confident and comfortable enough to do (70 cm courses) and I just did not enjoy it one bit (note that this was a different horse with a springy and stretchy jump which was difficult for me).
This lesson is only half an hour long, but I hope to do one every Sunday until I feel confident again to join back into my monthly jumping lesson (I don't really fancy going back though at all, I've felt rushed from the beginning). I was going to start with a very very small x-rail on the ground and go over it a few times, raise the same one up a bit and go over it another few times (obviously on both reins), and then build a mini-course to go over STILL at x-rails.
I would like to make the lesson more interesting. What can I DO to build my confidence up? Like jumping with my eyes closed or no hands (obviously over a very small jump). I'm good with steering. I plan on going over the jumps in trot then building it up to canter since I've been doing that for a while now and feel confident enough to do it on this mare.
Sorry for going on and on, I just want to get as much detail as possible. What's the best things I could do to get my confidence up? And tips? Give me all the details since I won't be with an instructor for this lesson (I get a lesson with an instructor every Saturday still this is just an addition lesson to do my own thing but my Mum will be in the arena to help me and tell me if I'm doing anything wrong).
Thanks guys! I really love this Forum, everyone is so friendly and pretty professional. I'm so happy. :)
Please reply :cry:
My lesson is tomorrow and I leave tomorrow morning (right now in my time it's half past 8 at night)
I suggest a LOT of 2-point and no-stirrup work at all gaits. Get your instructor to help you fix your position in it.
It sounds like you need a more secure, happy seat! I agree about going stirrupless at all gaits, even bareback at all gaits (ooh, can you take a bareback lesson?). Practice calm, smooth transitions with you sitting tall in your seat, quiet aids. Another idea is to put a grab handle on the front of your saddle (also known as monkey handle, etc). When you feel insecure, you can grab the handle and use it to push yourself deeper into your seat.
Also, I wanted to say (most importantly)... tell your trainer/the person giving you lessons about your fear. They can help!
I'd LOVE to ride bareback, but this mare is old and has a bone-y shape... I've attempted one step of trot and it was one of the most painful things I've encountered. :) I'll do some quick non-stirrup work as I warm up.
i would set up a course of poles and practice trotting and cantering over them in a balanced way. make sure you can control her, when you ask her to whoa she should do it immediately, same with when you ask her to go. work on adjusting her stride between the poles. for example, it your line is a 5 stride, practice getting 5 AND 6 strides between the poles.
Hey. I had that same problem. I would always put limits to myself, saying that the jump was too high or the horse was too different. And then one day, my trainer snapped me out of it. She told me it wasnt the horse, or the jump. It was me. I started with getting to know my horse; something that may be hard if you don't own your own horse. And then, slowly, we would move to poles. Walk, trot, canter. Get your timing, practice the release. In some ways it's much harder than a jump. Then start with a jump so low you scoff at it, even if it's inches off of the ground. Go over it at the walk, trot, canter, just get comfortable and really focus on your posture, working on that release with your arms, heels down, head up. Look at the ground and you'll end up on it. Slowly work your way up from there. AND I MEAN SLOWLY. If there is ever a time when you think that it's too much, immediately take a deep breath and lower it. Do that jump until it's easy. Put the next one up, just jump it without worrying about your posture, and I guaruntee it WILL be easier. Keep it up, and soon you'll be jumping 7 footers! Hope I helped! <3
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