Confidence is shot!
Okay, so I've been doing basic EQ and dressage with my horse for a couple of months now, since about mid April, we haven't been jumping a lot at all, mainly because we both needed to get stronger and work on my basics. Fast forward to now we are starting to incorporate x rails back into it, so we can work up to gymnastics. And even though its a tiny x rail, and my horse can trot over them and we've jumped 1'6 before (I know, I'm a total noob) I turn to jello. I mean shaking, all the muscles in my arms go limp, my core completely disengages and I end up looking like a wet noodle and falling on my horses neck. Its hugely embarrassing.
I had a pretty bad fall the last time we were jumping, we went over a 2' x rail and my horse bucked upon landing sending me flying off sideways and he took off. At a show no less. So now every time I jump I think about that and fall to pieces. Even though I know I'm much much better rider and have a much more secure seat I can't seem to get past my fear. Anyone have any pointers on how to get my courage back?
I'm going to sound a little harsh here, but...my advice. Suck it up and get back on that horse! (I mean that in the best possible way...of course)
last Saturday I had a severe fall at a show when we were running at full speed. (I run speed events, barrel racing/pole bending) He tripped, and fell, and rolled, and I got tossed off the side. He came very close to landing on me, and he nearly snapped his neck. Seriously, he almost snapped his neck...
Now i did not get back on him. he fell and rolled so bad, his shoulder and hip were out and neck is pretty severely swollen. He was scratched from the other events.
I however had another horse i was riding (in training) and got on her and finished my show without anymore mishaps.
By the end of the show, I was getting sore...but i got back on before my fear of falling again completely took over. There are so many "what-ifs" that ran and are still running through my mind.
But....that isn't going to keep me off my horses. ;-)
you enjoy riding, get out there, breathe! And get back in the saddle. Sing to yourself and stay relaxed You'll be perfectly fine........After all, it didn't hurt that bad, did it? ;-)
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The solution for confidence issues where jumping is concerned always seems to be lowering the jumps and do them until you are bored senseless with them and can't wait to raise them again. If a x-rail makes your nervous, go back to ground poles. There are plenty of exercises you can do with ground poles such as lengthening/shortening stride, incorporating circles over them, bending lines, related distances, etc, to keep your mind engaged and you and your horse working without overfacing yourself or boring your horse. Don't let anyone, including your instructor, push you past your comfort zone until you know you are ready for it. When you are ready, you will just know.
I have been back in the saddle for a year now. I grew up riding dressage, and never jumping higher than 2'6, based on my instructors preference. I finally, after 6 or so years out of the saddle, had the means to afford riding again and found a hunter/jumper trainer who had wonderful credentials. This summer she had worked me up to competing in 2'9 hunter classes. One show, we were in the warm up ring when all of a sudden at fence #4 my horse refused, and I fell off. He refused every jump thereafter several times. Having minimal jumping experience, and riding horses who like to jump, I felt incredibly overwhelmed and that I was over my head. After all, I had never had a horse refuse at a jump. We ended up finding a rock in the cleft of his frog, which was obviously causing him pain when he landed. Anyway, rock was removed, but both the horse and I had developed a fear/bad association with jumping, and the refusals continued for weeks following at home. My trainer pushed us both (having me correct the issue) and has gotten us to where we both know what our job is while jumping, and if he thinks about refusing I know how to handle the problem appropriately. However, If my trainer didn't push me I would probably still feel afraid, and would have not had that experience to progress as a rider.
I personally believe that at some point or another, every rider will have some sort of fear, which is natural due to the nature of our sport. However, you can only progress as a rider with every new situation that takes place.
I can see both sides, but I have to agree with Alyssa. I'd still be jumping 2' if I had spoken up every time I was scared. By having trainers push me, I've worked past that. My current trainer feels that my mare could be a 1.1-1.2m horse, which scares the bejeebers out of me right now, but I've gotta suck it up and learn to trust in myself and her.
Posted via Mobile Device
I'd still be thinking that 1 foot tall, 1 foot wide oxers were huge if it were not for my trainer. Though, I do have my moments when I might get a bit scared, but when that happens I just put myself in autopilot. I basically tell myself, 'Just get a nice canter and go to the jump, because then I'll already be there.' And then it just happens. It also may not be bad to try and figure out the best ways to get yourself to calm down, like deep breaths, thinking of a motivating song, etc.
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