Gaining confidence to jump? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-07-2015, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Gaining confidence to jump?

Hello HorseForum! I used to jump in my younger days as a rider but my nerves seem to be getting the better of me even though i really want to jump. I have a semi new horse that is capable up to 1m and hes safe as anything. Any tips for gaining the confidence to jump? I have jumped him before but only after my friend jumped on first. Here he is.
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-08-2015, 03:49 AM
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Maybe start with a pole on the ground, and then move it up a little bit, and then a little bit more ...
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-08-2015, 06:19 AM
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A good instructor and lots of practice and you'll get there :)

ETA He's lovely by the way!
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-08-2015, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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thanks everyone good suggestions! and thanks, hes an absolute sweetheart
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-08-2015, 08:46 AM
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Proper training on the flat will help you gain confidence, too. "Jumping is dressage with obstacles."
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-09-2015, 12:04 AM
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Poles, poles, poles!

One of the biggest problems with jumping related fear is that the rider can't see the distance. With that being said practice going over millions of ground poles, for a couple reasons:
1. You won't do damage to the joints, as would jumping over a million fences.
2. Your ride to a pole is ultimately the same ride to a fence, it shouldn't change with an increase in height.

As you ride to your "fence" or "pole" count your three stride. One. Two. Three. On the third stride your horse should be going into take off. If you are having a hard time counting strides (when the lead front hits the ground), just practice counting in rhythm. One. Two. One. Two. Around the entire arena if necessary.

Make sure you also practice two point a lot, even if you are at a halt. I took a clinic with Daniel Stewart, the current head coach of he US Olympic team, and he emphasized doing sport specific exercises off the horse. (This clinic was focused on sports psychology/confidence. Connecting to what I said above, the first day was dedicated to distance work). The most memorable exercise was equestrian jumping jacks, jumping up and landing in two point. This will help you develop muscle memory. Personally, I feel a lot more confident over a fence when I know I have the ability to get into, and maintain a proper two point.

I love what Dapples123 said! When you show 80-90% of your course is actually on the flat! You really shouldn't jump more than once or twice a week!

A good trainer is an absolute must! Make sure that you feel like they are giving you tools to be successful even when you ride by yourself.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-14-2015, 03:57 PM
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i am a nervous jumper... baby xrails are your friend. (you know, the type your horse could trot over if he was feeling unmotivated enough). do a circle with the baby x-rail in the circle.... so you're going over it, circle around, go over it again, circle around, again.... you have to get yourself used to it.

Fear for me while riding horses comes from not doing things regularly. Feeling safe comes from doing them often. So if we want to be comfortable we have to face our fears/nerves, just hopefully in a safe way that's going to set ourselves up for success. (Always keep your chin up and look ahead... up even! boobs out, heels down.. grab mane... )

If for some reason even baby rails make you nervous... get up into two point early and stay up there. just get used to your horse and how he feels going over the tiny jump while you stay out of his way. I started cantering rails this way. It's a good "crutch" if you need one.

it always helps for me to picture myself as the horse, and how TINY these jumps are for them. These are not a big deal. I always make what my horse is doing a way bigger deal in my head than it is in theirs... "how will they get their footing over that hole???" meanwhile when i walk, i have no trouble navigating small holes or big rocks or etc. etc. Not sure if my examples are solid here, but hopefully the concept makes sense.

Confidence is key - so build it up.

Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-16-2015, 10:04 AM
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As a rider who has had many falls, and has had to regain confidence. I have found that the best way (for me) was to just gradually build up from lots of trot poles to eventually jumps. It sounds like the horse is a very capable jumper and you just need to regain your confidence, also there are many books that you can get with jumping exercises in them. An example is 101 jumping exercises (it's called something like that) anyway it includes lots of different jumping exercises for all levels and it fixes many common jumping horse problems and many don't need the jumps to be very high so it's great for building confidence.
Hope I helped
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-16-2015, 10:17 AM
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Lots and Lots Pole work. At a trot and a canter.
Also lots of Two point work. I am talking trotting around the whole arena in two point. Also going into two-point over a pole as if it were a jump.

Hold On To What You Love. When It Tries To Buck You Off Hold On Even Tighter!
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