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Mega_Ash

What Do You Do When You Have No Confidence?!

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I'm at a loss here.

I still refuse to resign myself to simply being a "flat" rider, but alas, I have major confidence issues when it comes to jumping. Even a cross rail.

Woe is me. :unsure:

I've tried the whole closing your eyes thing, the just forcing myself to be okay with it. I don't have a spooky, vindictive horse. I've just had the wrong kind of coaches...and experiences. Now that I have a coach that is great, I'd like to see myself progress which I can't, I have a huge mental block.

Do any of you have any tips of exercises to build confidence over jumps?! I'm sad, I love to jump...my body says yes but my mind says heck no!

Thankkksss :grin:

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Drink lots of coffee. Seriously. Lol. Probably isn't actually good advice but I also have confidence issues, not from bad experiences but because I hate the moment of take off haha. But I had a lot of coffee one morning the other week, had a massive adrenaline rush, and went and jumped my mare and suddenly I'm fine up to 2'3 again. I think you probably should just keep things low and uncomplicated on a sweet, honest horse for a while. Eventually you'll have a fun day that wipes every bit of nerves out of your head. Do you have friends you can ride with and do follow the leader over low fences?

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start riding on a LOOSE rein. patterns, trail riding, learn that your horse can manage itself.

horses aren't "vindictive"--that's people like me haha. once you teach her to be responsible for herself and YOU over a cross rail you might be pleasantly surprised with what happens after.

knock it off with the micro-management and relax your BUTTOCKS. this is NOT rocket science.

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Jump often! If you jump one or two jumps every ride and focus on quality, not quantity, it will soon enough not be a big deal to you! Everything comes in time. And don't expect yourself to be fearless! I am an absolute WEENIE when the jumps get put up over 3'...but sometimes you just have to tough it out and do it. Mind over matter...you are in control.

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I've had confidence issues for the past 6-8 months or so. This was due to my horse being a jerk and bucking every time i'd even ask for a canter and being a turd when I went over fences. The constant battle with him and getting bucked off put me in a damper. This soon progressed to him not even wanting to trot without being snooty. (and no, pain was not a factor, he just had my number). I got a friend who trained horses and rode western to come set him straight for about a month and then we worked on me. He was all better but then he was feeding off my nerves and we still weren't 100%. However we started slow, and progressed slow. I made it a goal to go out of my comfort zone each ride, even if it meant giving him a little bit more rein or putting my leg on a little tighter. Slowly we went from no movement > movement > canter > x rails > verticals > 2'0 > lines > courses and so forth until we are now schooling 2'9 comfortably :)

Something i've learned from having the horse that I do, is that trust is key. He NEEDS me to trust him, or he will just be a dink and give me reasons not to trust him. However, horses are animals, they aren't always supposed to behave all the time, they're wild animals that we have domesticated. It's really really sucky to start from square one after you had gotten so far, and it's even more sucky to start from square one, numerous times. (My situation) however, if you do one thing a day that is out of your comfort zone, you'll progress.

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Drink lots of coffee. Seriously. Lol. Probably isn't actually good advice but I also have confidence issues, not from bad experiences but because I hate the moment of take off haha. But I had a lot of coffee one morning the other week, had a massive adrenaline rush, and went and jumped my mare and suddenly I'm fine up to 2'3 again. I think you probably should just keep things low and uncomplicated on a sweet, honest horse for a while. Eventually you'll have a fun day that wipes every bit of nerves out of your head. Do you have friends you can ride with and do follow the leader over low fences?

haha brilliant, no I don't have any riding buddies. Sometimes my coach rides with me but she is gun a-blazin' all the time. Me - not so much, a crossrail is a big deal for me!

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start riding on a LOOSE rein. patterns, trail riding, learn that your horse can manage itself.

horses aren't "vindictive"--that's people like me haha. once you teach her to be responsible for herself and YOU over a cross rail you might be pleasantly surprised with what happens after.

knock it off with the micro-management and relax your BUTTOCKS. this is NOT rocket science.

that is EXACTLY the problem. I micro manage my horse. I am so aware of it and still can't beat it.

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I battled confidence problems (and probably some PTSD as well) after a problem horse reared and flipped over ontop of me breaking my back 3 years ago. So trust me, I understand. I had absolutely no confidence for a solid year after that. I'd get on my good horse (different horse) and immediately anticipate/flashback the rear and flip. There were many times that I was literally in tears because I just could not get over it. I even contemplated giving up horses. I was frustrated because I just could not be the rider mentally that I once was. I was just in fact thinking about this the other morning. I'm very proud to say that I'm back to my old self these days! I even caught myself saying I would hop on and try a horse that I didnt know for a friend, which was mentally out of the question after my accident. I dont jump as high and I do get a liiiiitle iffy over anything bigger than 2'6, but thats mainly because my poor back just cant take it these days, lol. So what did I do to get my confidence back? Well, I have an OTTB that I completely click with. He's green, but he's my guy and I know him like the back of my hand. He might throw a little tantrum sometimes, but he's totally predictable and never anything more than a hop...never ever has he reared. I can do anything with him, games, speed, hunters, trail rides. Like I said, he's my guy and I feel that he's helped me gain my confidence back. Even sitting through his tantrum hop would boost my confidence. Ride, ride with others. Go trail riding. The more you ride on a nice horse that you click with, the faster you will recover. And above all else....time. Give yourself time.

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