Over coming nerves
I've been jumping for a while. I usually jump 2'3"-2'6", but as soon as the jumps go up to 2'9"-3'0" I get super nervous, I get butterflies in my stomach and everything. I need to be able to over come these nerves, because when I get nervous, I don't ride, I just sit there and get stuck in this too forward, hunched ugly half seat thing, and my horse just runs out of the jump.
The horse I ride is still green, and she is also gaining more confidence and when I get nervous, I feel like I take 2 steps back from all our hard work. I know she could physically jump 7 foot high fences, but if I get nervous, I won't be able to do anything. Getting nervous is not good for my horse..it took so much work for me to actually her to the level I am now, but I feel like I won't be able to get any further if I keep getting so nervous.
Is there anything I can do to keep my mind off of the jumps being higher.
A girl at the barn I ride at is the same....so she doesnt have her coach tell her how high the fences actually are. Coach will tell her they are still the smaller height and it seems to work, most of the time.
My trainer doesn't tell me neither, but I know just by looking at them. I've jumped this height before, on other horses. I just think I'm over thinking it too much. I've been through a lot with this horse, I think I don't trust her enough as I should when it comes to jumping
Maybe set up a gymnastics, with the first jumps where you are comfortable and the last jump a little bigger! Plus if your horse is green gymnastics are AMAZING for her!!
I have the same fears!
I remember back in my Pony Club days, I was jumping 3'6" with no issues - then a few years ago, I had an accident where I came off my horse head first into a 3'0" oxer, ending up with a rusty metal jump cup embedded in my right arm.
I still have the scar to remind me of that day. Since then, I've had a mental block about stadium.
Funny thing is, you can point me at a Training Level CC fence and I'll jump it with no fear - but you point me at a stadium fence, that is bigger than 2'7", and I freeze.
It takes time, honestly.
My Coach has me do Possitive Affirmations. I bought a deck of Recepie Cards and on each indavidual card, I had to write anything positive about stadium jumping.
She also had me come up with a catch phrase - which is "Stop in the name of sexy, stadium jumping is fun" and whenever I start to get any negative thoughts about it, or negative feelings - I have to shout out that catch phrase, and say 1 positive thing about stadium jumping.
So my recepie cards say, for an example:
1st - STOP IN THE NAME OF SEXY, STADIUM JUMPING IS FUN! Because....
2nd - the fences are inviting
3rd - I am a competant and confident rider who can get the job done
4th - the fences fall down if my horse hits them
etc, etc, etc. I have the whole deck filled out.
Read those every day. You have to beable to change the negative thinking or the fears, into positive thinking and positivity.
Also, jump as regularily as you can. If I don't jump at least once a week, I will revert back to my old habits and my fears. I have to continue with the process on a regular basis, to remain confident and comfortable.
My Coach has me ride School Horses that will babysit me, where I can focus on me and where I am and what I am doing, so I can stay consistant with my jumping.
I only jump my boy once a week. It is very important to me to save his legs, so that's why my Coach puts me on numerous other horses during the week to ride and work with.
I highly recommend you look up "Jane Savoir" - she is a Sports Psychologist who specializes in the Equestrian World. She is a high up Dressage competator, and she has written many great articles on this very subject, that I have found helped me greatly.
I have to dig up my Practicle Horseman Magazine where one of her articles ended up in, fabulous advice she gave. I highlighted some keypoint paragraphs that has really helped me.
So anyways, you're not alone! I've been a long time rider, eventer, competator and I have this fear. I get angry at myself because I look back at old photographs of me going over bigger fences, and I wonder where that rider went.
Thanks so much, I really like your suggestions. I've been doing gymnastics with her I jump about 2 times a week, over small cross rails, then my coach will do higher jumps (in the gymnastics line) with me once a week. Unfortunately there isn't any school horse I could ride, I ride horses for my coach so he can sell them, and all of them are green, the horse I ride is actually one of the better ones.
I did jump her about 2'9" yesterday and I got nervous and she ran out twice, then I just stopped thinking so much about the jump being high and I got over it perfectly fine.
But I think I want to do that idea with the cards so then I can have something to think about, while I'm jumping instead of getting too wrapped up in the height.
Another suggestion I've heard of and used myself with great success is - SING! It sounds ridiculous, but pick a song with some fairly hard notes that you know the lyrics to and start belting it out - it forces you to breathe and forces you to stop thinking about anything but the next lyric. If you manage to start thinking about the fence, chances are you've stopped singing. It can be under your breath if you hate singing, but it's best to be loud because it's more difficult to stop.
I used to get really scared of jumpng anything over 1ft but I when I started having group lessons my fears subsided because 1) i didn't want to look stupid in front of everyone else 2) everyone would cheer you on.
If you just keep calm and do everything your instructor says and just JUMP it, afterwords you think, ''why was i making such a fuss?"
it also helps if you start doing 3ft and over on a more experienced pony so you know what you're doing and you're less scared on your green pony.
I did all these tricks and now i'm jumping 3'6!!!!
Is it because you are on a green horse? I know i'd be more confident on a more experienced quieter horse myself.
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