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Help please!!

Discussion in 'Horse Riding and Training' started by Melx, Mar 29, 2011.


  1. Melx

    Melx PetForums Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I am having an bit of a crisis with my jumping. I have been riding 16 years and have a 16.3hh tb mare who is brilliant. At the moment we are starting work properly as for the last year I have been getting her up to weight and getting bits done so couldnt be in consitant work.
    She is coming on leaps and bounds and so am I, with one exception.....
    You see about 5 years ago I had a jumping accident with a small pony and busted my ribs, I could not get back on due to being winded and in a lot of pain and that was the last time I jumped. Jumping was my favourite thing to do and nothing phased me, but now I am absolutely terrified!!
    My mare is an absolute Star (Star by name, Star by nature) and last weekend I was riding in the school with some trotting poles and thought I would put up a small jump as no one was around and I wouldnt be so self conscious of people watching. I trotted round and aimed for the jump but at the last minute I stupidly pulled her around it. Tried again and did the same. The third time we went over it and Star was really good and just popped over it but I couldnt do it again!
    I am getting so frustrated with myself and really dont know what to do to help me, So please anyone with any ideas of how to get my confidence back please let me know.
    I wont give up!! :D
     
  2. blackdiamond

    blackdiamond PetForums Senior

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    It's definitely a confidence issue & you will get there eventually.

    Star sounds like she is going to look after you so leave all your trust in her & she won't let you down.

    Have you tried Rescue Remedy ??? I know a lot of people use this when jumping around xc courses & they do say it helps & takes the edge off things.

    Whether it works or its all in the mind because you have taken Rescue Remedy but it has helped a lot of my friends.

    Maybe worth a try ??

    XxX
     
  3. DoggyLuva1234

    DoggyLuva1234 PetForums Newbie

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    well my mate who is great with horses says try laying a pole on the floor and go over it first by trotting then canter and then try like you would jump. then the next day try building it up and getting higher and then you should be able to do it again. hope her advice helps you.

    all the best,
     
  4. Melx

    Melx PetForums Member

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    Thanks will try those tips from both of u :)
    It is so frustrating because its like I dont know how to do it. I can take off but have a lot of trouble with the landing and because I am worrying so much I forget to think about what I am doing and sitting up etc. and then lose my balance!
    I kind of feel like I am losing a battle against myself!! So frustrating!!! lol :tongue_smilie:
     
  5. Starlight Express

    Starlight Express PetForums Member

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    Hi Melx, I have a similar problem, huge accident at a show where I was jumping a course the horse refused the jump at speed I flew over his head landed badly and then the horse decided to jump after me and landed on me. Terrifing. I broke a few ribs and my coller bone. I didn't get back on a horse for 3 years after that. Confidence is my main let down, i could do so much better, i know i can and I get so frustrated with myself. What I find helps is listening to music. I play my fav music through my mp3 player with only one earphone in so I can hear whats going on around me. Or sing a silly song, my instructor told me to sing if i was nervous as it controls your breathing and calms you down. I have a problem with tensing up and holding my breath. It does help.

    I find that if i'm nervous Star will hold back sensing there is something wrong and won't work to his potential. I have had to put my trust in him to keep me safe just as he has to me. We work as a team. Also be prepared to have good and bad days if something doesn't go right straight away, tomorrow is a new day fresh start. Good luck:001_smile:
     
  6. Melx

    Melx PetForums Member

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    Starlight express, As awful as it sounds I am so glad it isnt just me! Dont feel like such a freak now! lol
    It is the worst thing in the world being so terrified of something you know you can do and have done in the past without a care in the world! I had a girl at my yard jump Star last night and watching her, I can see why I am sturggling also. Yes Star is very well behaved but after her having a jumping accident before I got her she is very nervous too! She puts in a stride before the jump and then cat leaps it, Obvisouly meaning that I am not being able to learn when she is nervous herself and my nerves really wont be helping her!
    I have been offered to ride one of the other girls horses as she is a good jumper and wont stop at the jump if I duck out but I am so scared to accept this offer. I know in the back of my mind I really should do that because that way I will be able to learn myself and get my confidence back but I am terrified!
    We have come to the conclusion of me concentrating on Stars fitness for now with the flat work and occasionally popping her over a jump or two so she doesnt stop completely and then once she is fit we can work on the jumping as she will have more stamina and more energy to push herself with the jumping.

    Can I please have some opinions onw hat people think I should do next?
    Thanks!! :) xx
     
  7. Starlight Express

    Starlight Express PetForums Member

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    Hi again, I found practicing loose jumping has improved my stars confidence with jumps. Also from the ground I can see how he takes off and lands, so I get the picture on how it will be in the saddle. If he does it well, lots of praise works a treat! It's also a good way in which to build up his stamina. And it is quite fun.:001_smile: I also do this to introduce new scary things like fillers, water, tarpolins, funny plants, coloured poles etc. Things I may encounter if I were to ever get the confidence to show jump again. You are certainly not alone in the fear department, it's only a natural reaction. Even top riders are scared to a degree.

    Another idea would be to keep a diary, note down the positive things which happen with each session with Star. In the long tern it will show your improvement and it's something to be proud off.

    I couldn't even sit on my horse without going into a full blown panic attack after my accident. It has NOT been easy but I have reached a few goals. The only person you need to fight with is yourself. It will come back eventually, just don't give up!

    I used to say to my instuctor "I'm going to fall" she then shouted "go on then show me how to fall". She even made me throw myself off the horse to get the feeling for falling! NUTS! However it worked i have never said that again.

    Good luck and i hope you let me know how your doing. :)
     
  8. sharon_gurney

    sharon_gurney PetForums VIP

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    Have you tried an neck strap, it gives you more confidence and security without you interfering with the horses action.

    Ride in a straight line to your fence then a couple of strides out hold onto the neck strap, it keeps you relatively in the correct position, stops you getting left behind so you go with the horse, also importantly makes you feel more secure.


    hope this is of some help
     
  9. Melx

    Melx PetForums Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I have decided that my best plan of action is to work on the flat work, get that perfect and get Star a lot more built up and confident with the occasional bit of jumping and then work on the jumping properly.
    I used to loose school her over jumps and it helped a lot but the new yard I am at doesn't allow loose schooling unfortunately :(
    She has been back into work for 2 weeks now after having a 6 week break and even though it has only been two weeks she is building up fast and has got a lot more energy and seems to be enjoying her work a lot!!
    I went out for a hack for the first time in 2 months yesterday with all new tack and a new bit etc and we went for a gallop and must admit I really did have to hold on as someone was a tad fresh! lol So I think the way we are going seems to be working! Once she has more top line and more muscle she should be able to jump a lot easier anyway and have the stamina to do a full lesson of jumping.
    I will keep everyone updated on our progress and also if anyone has anymore ideas please let me know!! :D
     
  10. XsugarstarX

    XsugarstarX PetForums Newbie

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    Start by doing trotting poles every day (for about 3 days or more) and when you feel confident canter (or trot) round the school in your jumping position. Then put a pole (on the ground) between two pole holders things. Canter (or trot) up to it and go over it in your jumping position (or without if you want). After a few more days put the pole on the lowest posible jump and trot up to it saying to yourself that you DONT have to jump if you dont want to but the chances are when your trotting up to it, you might want to just pop over it? Jump over it a few times (every day or so often) then when you feel confident make it higher.
     
  11. moonrat

    moonrat PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Melx, I had a big fear problem after getting back on my Arab after surgery and after studying myself I realised what was happening with me. I was making movies about disasters in my head, I could feel myself losing my balance and landing on my operated hip, I could practically taste the tarmac as I landed on the road, but none of it was really happening! What I did to improve my confidence was to sort out a couple of memories of when I was riding fast, thoroughly enjoying myself and feeling great and whenever I caught myself making the negative movies again I made myself think of these two other occasions that I'd chosen and I felt completely different. It was such a relief to find I was actually making myself more anxious, because it meant I could do something about it.
    I'm new here and I only read your post once but I think you said you used to jump quite happily, so maybe there are some memories of it being very good that you could deliberately concentrate on when the anxiety is around? It's called NLP and it works, good luck.
     
  12. Melx

    Melx PetForums Member

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    This does sound a lot like how I am when I am jumping. I find it very hard to make myself aproach a jump for some strange reason and I do get very anxious!
    I am at the moment in my riding lessons concentrating on canter poles and trotting poles, We are going to start raising the end pole in a few more lessons so I will be going over it without realising if that makes sense?

    Hope you method os working well for you and you are getting over your fear :D
     
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