Regaining Confidence in Jumping - Basic Questions
As I've gotten older, I've gotten more and more nervous about jumping, to the point where just thinking about it give me stomach cramps. My current barn is an H/J barn with an excellent trainer, but about 6 months ago I told her I wanted to stop jumping. She was perfectly fine with that. I have jumped up to 2'6 in the past (about 10 years ago now), but never showed much and don't plan to ever show again. Still, there is a desire to jump - it is fun when I succeed - and I'd be happy to stay at the 2'3 to 2'6 level if I wasn't so terrified. I'm currently doing first level dressage with my horse, but she really loves to jump and is very honest and safe about it.
The most scary thing to me is cantering fences. For some reason, as I visualize the footfalls of the canter, I can't imagine how the horse can jump correctly from the three-beat gait, and it freezes me up. Also, I am no good at picking spots, and my horse will take a long spot in preference to a short one.
Another thing that gets in my way is that I always "feel" the landing as a hard bump, even when my instructor tells me I'm not bumping the horse's back. I have an image that if I was doing it correctly, I wouldn't feel anything special on the landing, it would just flow. I still feel like (and probably am) a raw beginner after jumping for years.
Does anyone have suggestions on how to overcome these unreasonable fears? I do actually want to jump, and I trust my horse as much as I could trust anyone.
Yes get a flip video camcorder
Get the flip video camcorder - they are awesome. Easy to use and easy to download onto your computer. Love mine.
Yes, when you are over 60 it is so much harder. I love cantering poles and jumping the smaller fences now and have no plans to show - just have fun. Enjoy it and canter poles in a little course or just canter past the jumps in a course so you can look for the lines out of a corner, feel the rhythem as it is like a course of jumps but with no jumping. Lots of fun as you can regulate strides, etc.