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Tips for building confidence XC ?

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  • #21
    Hi Treasured,
    So guess what?Tomorrow is my 70th birthday, and as a reverse present, call me, and I`ll walk you through it.
    My phone number is 802-765-4049. I`m not scarey, and I don`t bite or say humiliating things.
    Up to you, I`d be happy to try to help.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks for the tips so far...

      Lots of helpful ideas thus far so thank you! I agree that to school a little higher in stadium would be helpful. One reason I feel more confident doing stadium is because I school it more often. I don't like to school XC unless I have someone with me which means it doesn't happen as often.

      As silly as this sounds I think what is holding me back is truly irrational mental fear. Whenever I am approaching a wider, more substantial jump all I can think about the first time is "what if". What if "something" happens. Mainly I am worried about falling off due to a stop or slip and getting tossed into the jump and breaking a bone or something. I say this is an irrational fear because this has never happened to me in the past and I have a great horse that will jump anything and is super trustworthy. He is super game to the jumps, loves XC and I never have a feeling that he isn't going to do it.
      I don't feel insecure in the tack or anything and we are both very comfortable w,t,c even galloping over all sorts of terrain alone or in groups. We've foxhunted several times and I do tons of trail riding in trappy terrain.

      It is just the fear associated with the fact the jumps don't come down and I am not sure how to overcome that. I wish I could take a lesson once a week but it's not in the budget right now. At best I can probably swing once a month and even that might be tough.


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by denny View Post
        Hi Treasured,
        So guess what?Tomorrow is my 70th birthday, and as a reverse present, call me, and I`ll walk you through it.
        My phone number is 802-765-4049. I`m not scarey, and I don`t bite or say humiliating things.
        Up to you, I`d be happy to try to help.
        Wow Denny I am beyond thrilled that you would offer to talk to me about this!!!
        I most definitely will be calling you tommorrow and Happy 70th Birthday!


        • #24
          Just kept watching the video of the Burghley course walk
          http://www.burghley-horse.co.uk/ ( keep watching til you get to Cottesmore wall ) then whatever you are facing will look like nothing!

          Volunteer and fence judge. Sit there all day and see a fence jumped over and over. Course walk with other riders, as suggested. Sign up for clinics. Ride 'out' more, riding terrain builds confidence! Play some rock and roll music, sing out loud, be an actress and convince your horse that it is a rock star. Go do another sport for fun that will build your confidence - go downhill skiing, waterskiing, rollerblading, learn to drive a motorcycle, (I'm on a roll now ) whatever it will take. It's like the old Dale Carnegie classes - step outside of your comfort zone and everything will get easier.
          The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton


          • #25
            Find out what it is you're afraid of...

            One of my early trainers had me break down my fear... for me it wasn't falling or getting hurt but the humiliation from falling. When that was clear, it helped lessen the fear.
            Live, Laugh, Love


            • #26
              Denny, very generous offer!

              Treasured--I do think that having kids makes us much more cautious. Before kids it was fear of failure, after kids, it was who will take care of my kids. Now that they are in college? Not sure, I will have to wait till I can afford a horse that is sound enough to jump and do XC on.


              • #27
                is there an old schoolmaster anywhere that you are comfortable with? when i got nervous, i spent a few weeks riding horses that had been there, done that, could do it in their sleep. knowing that made it easier to go for it because i could trust the horse to kind of 'know what was up" , and let me worry about me. maybe also, like lots of people have said, work bigger in the ring first. or even just ride around outside, gallop up some hills and get comfortable facing a course without having to worry about jumps.


                • #28
                  Treasured, I know exactly what you are going thru. Like yourself, nothing has really ever happened to me - - no broken bones, no humiliation, nothing....the ONLY thing that has happened to me is "I got older". I am now going on 56.

                  My last horse I had for over 10 years was a hotblooded mare. She was a handful to say the least...but that mare could jump and I trusted her with my life. But riding for fun on her - no way....she was a get in the ring - jump those fences - and out the door. No trail riding, no fun riding - nothing....people used to say to me - I just don't know how you had the nerve to ride her.....but I did and I knew her limitations. Like I said, we were quite successful in the jumper ring....and I trusted her with my life.

                  During a divorce, I sold her - back in 2001 to a much younger girl. I didn't ride for years and, like most of us, the passion was gnawing at me to "get back on". So, I bought a beautiful OTTB from Canada and brought him home and stabled him for a while until I could see what I was dealing with. Not ONCE did he try to do anything - NOT ONCE! BUT...when I brought him home to my place, everything changed for me "mentally". I didn't trust him or maybe I didn't trust myself....I don't know, but I got on him once....and then he sat for years until I sold him. I was afraid....but of what?

                  At the time I was working full time and should I have fallen off and hurt myself...well no income. That concerned me, but was it the truth I wondered? For years this has haunted me....until one day...

                  I found this beautiful 17.2H TB in my neighbor's pasture. Gorgeous to say the least...the pasture he was in was full of thistles and barbed wire...this guy just appeared one day....and I took him from that pasture and brought him to my place (we live in a small town so it wasn't hard to find the owners and the story behind him). Long story short....he is mine now - free to me.

                  While I was still apprehensive and hadn't ridden in years...something about this guy made me trust him - to a point. So, we would ride in my round pen and all around town. I COULD ENJOY RIDING! BUT......

                  I developed a fear of cantering to a jump....oh I could trot, but no canter....why on earth when I did the jumpers? Where did this come from???? But it was there.

                  I have taken my horse down to my trainer for some help and to use the amenities. I did this last year also and we went to a few schooling HT and guess what???? We won....but we did the baby stuff! So what? I thoroughly enjoyed myself while we trotted to each fence and then I took him home.

                  I have now taken him back down to my trainer, as I mentioned above, and he's been down there for almost two weeks. I drive 125 miles round trip for her training tips and the use of her amenities. Just the other day, I FORCED myself to canter to the jumps....some smooth, some not....

                  I am a good rider and have been riding for over 45 years...but yes, like you, I am somewhat of a rerider and have developed phobias.....I'm still not sure why and what they are about...but I am working thru them. I have FOUND that the best way to work thru them is to take the training tips I have from my trainer and work on them BY MYSELF! Just yesterday, I went out to the cross country and trotted some and then cantered to them....at MY pace...working by MYSELF with the knowledge that I have been given by my trainer. No, I don't trust this horse like I did my mare - YET....but I will in time and I will learn to conquer my fears again in time....at my OWN pace and on my own terms. THIS is what has helped me....take the knowledge from the lessons and apply them when you school alone....at your own pace and on your own terms.

                  I wish you much luck, you will work thru this if you want...and guess what? I am heading to several HT within the next 2 months....just the little stuff again for now...but who knows about next year.


                  • #29
                    iS foxhunting an option? tell me about your horse; what is he like XC, bold and forward/

                    , spooky, a stopper?
                    breeder of Mercury!

                    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                    • #30
                      Happy 70th Denny! You give me hope :-)
                      breeder of Mercury!

                      remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                      • #31
                        Hi OP, here are misc thoughts, I hope they help! Many have already been mentioned.

                        It sounds like you want to jump higher. Everybody gets there a different way. My way is to jump a lot of things that I am comfortable with and have fun. The more I do this, the more likely it is that a "question" that I haven't wanted to tackle becomes more appealing. I go XC schooling as much as I can, I may ride past a jump 50 times before I think - hay I want to do that!! (I think this is called mileage). Then doing is actually appealing and fun.

                        Also there is no rule that says you have to do anything. For example, I have met people who do not canter. The wife of one of the guys at work bought a gentle giant of a horse and has never done anything but walk. So if you spend the rest of your life jumping one foot or two feet or whatever, the only person you have to satisfy is yourself.

                        This is a great thread - one reason is, I learned that I have the same birthday as the great Denny Emerson!

                        Good Luck in your quest!
                        When I pull on my boots, I know who I am


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Treasured View Post
                          Wow Denny I am beyond thrilled that you would offer to talk to me about this!!!
                          I most definitely will be calling you tommorrow and Happy 70th Birthday!
                          You are a very lucky duck! Please share how it goes.
                          And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."