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Not as confident as I used to be...

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  • Not as confident as I used to be...

    When I was a pre-teen up to 19 I was extremely confident jumping fences. Nothing was too high. "Hey let's set the jump up another notch."

    The last year or two, I have not been riding very often because I'm really focused on work. I'm trying to make more time to ride. Now when I jump, a 2'6" fence looks much taller to me than it used to. I don't know what happened. I'm 25 right now and find myself nervous jumping higher fences and I don't know why. Knock on wood, I've never had a bad fall.

    I KNOW my horse can jump 3'3". I've done it before, but it's been a while. I know that me being nervous will make her more likely to refuse. I also know she routinely jumps out of her paddock; her paddock fence is probably over 4' tall.

    I've been working on 2'6" and I want to work up to 3 feet again. Does anyone have any advice for turning off my brain. The closer I get to the fence, the more concerned I get about a refusal, which I feel like is becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    edited to add: My horse is not a natural stopper. IF she does refuse it's 100% my fault.

  • #2
    Stay in your comfort zone until you don't feel anxious and then work up. You said it yourself you haven't been riding as much.

    I always find that the more I ride and the more in tune I am with my horse then things just naturally progess as they should. Don't stress just work within your limits
    The rider casts his heart over the fence,
    the horse jumps in pursuit of it.

    –Hans-Heinrich Isenbart

    Comment


    • #3
      It is called age Adult age where you are not fearless anymore.

      Life is happening and I feel our subconscience kicks in more so now while riding with having obligations outside of the horse. No one wants to get hurt. When your younger your not thinking about getting hurt - more so "raise that cup a notch or two"

      Ride more. Easier said then done of course but the more you ride the easier it comes. With you having limited riding time make sure your rides are work every time. No hacking around. What is your rush for getting back to 3"+? Is it because you were there once so what's the problem now? Commit yourself to the saddle and continue to stay at 2'6" once you truly committed yourself you than will know when it is time to raise the cup a few notches.

      Your horse will be there for you when your ready to up the fences!

      I agree the fences do look bigger as we get older

      Comment


      • #4
        Teenagers naturally do not have the fear levels of adults. How many other things did we do as teens that we wouldn't think of now?
        ---
        They're small hearts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Lesson more often.

          It's amazing how a good trainer can shut down those voices in your head.

          I know I am much more confident and brave when my trainer tells me to do something than I would be if I attempted it on my own. I figure if he thinks I can do it, then I can.

          The more times you get it right, the less apprehensive you are about doing it. Much easier to get it right with good eyes on the ground and solid advice being given at the right time.

          Like me, you can probably do 3'+ without any problem but your adult-like thinking processes are making you get in your own way.

          Consistent lessoning with a good trainer has increased my ability to believe in my decision making processes and abilities.

          The most important aspect was finding the trainer that actually works for me. Mine lets me make my own decisions and does not "coach" me around the jumps by giving me a play by play of the ride needed.

          He lets me choose my approaches and distances, and will give suggestions way before the jumps to help me set myself up for success. Then he leaves me to my own devices to sort it out. We will then discuss what worked and what didn't, and what a better approach would be and why. If I'm en route to a major disaster, he will speak up but he lets me make safe mistakes so I can actually LEARN something.

          Also, ride a variety of horses if you can. This will increase your confidence and give you a better tool belt to draw from.

          ETA -I am about your age and it has only been in the last year that I have felt I have made any real progress in my riding, after feeling "stuck" for several years.
          Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Spud&Saf View Post
            Lesson more often.

            It's amazing how a good trainer can shut down those voices in your head.

            Consistent lessoning with a good trainer has increased my ability to believe in my decision making processes and abilities.

            Also, ride a variety of horses if you can. This will increase your confidence and give you a better tool belt to draw from.
            this is the best advice to follow. both more lessons and riding different horses made me very brave and confident!!~especially riding other horses. it made me realize i can handle just about anything.
            i will need to follow this advice when i start jumping again as i am 4 weeks recooping from a broken leg slipping on ice. i know i can get my confidence back by following the above advice.

            Comment


            • #7
              I am exactly where you are! (except 26 - haha!)
              Used to jump 3ft+ regularly, and now that looks huge!
              I'd say stick to 2'6" until you're bored. Bored bored bored. Then jump one 2'9" at the end of your ride.. if it goes well, then quit. And so on...
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              • #8
                Interestingly enough when I was 25-26 that was when I was at my most fearless regarding jump heights. However, now that I'm 50 (gasp!) I'm starting to jump higher and more often than I did way back then. After a long detour into trail riding which I still do regularly, I returned to jumping and at that time an 18" vertical gave me an anxiety attack. But, the more I did, the more confidence I gained even though I've fallen off several times and got a little banged up. It wasn't enough to make me stop. I doubt I'll ever quit but I also doubt I'll jump more than 3'3" either.

                so what I'm getting at is keep it up, ride more often if you can, and work your way back up to where you want to be. The confidence will come, you'll see.
                Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Ozone View Post
                  It is called age Adult age where you are not fearless anymore.

                  ...What is your rush for getting back to 3"+? Is it because you were there once so what's the problem now? ...

                  I agree the fences do look bigger as we get older
                  My desire to jump 3' is because I'm extremely competitive, even with myself. I want to um... outdo myself? I find it irritating not to be able to do something I used to, even if it doesn't make logical sense.

                  Now that's it starting to stay bright outside longer I plan on riding more. Though, I say that and I'm still going to work tonight for a few more hours. Luckily I have too much work to do.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by IrishWillow View Post
                    I am exactly where you are! (except 26 - haha!)
                    Used to jump 3ft+ regularly, and now that looks huge!
                    I'd say stick to 2'6" until you're bored. Bored bored bored. Then jump one 2'9" at the end of your ride.. if it goes well, then quit. And so on...
                    I'll be 26 in June. Though I might just stay 25. I'm not bored at 2'6", I'm just frustrated. Your advice is exactly what I did last ride. I had to pysch myself into it, "Come on, That's only 3 more inches. This is silly, it's not a big deal. You could jump it from a standstill." I managed to make it over the 2'9" no big deal. I don't know why I had made such a big deal about it.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Spud&Saf View Post
                      Lesson more often.

                      It's amazing how a good trainer can shut down those voices in your head.
                      I wish I could ride more horses. It's not an option. Most of the horses at my barn are privately owned. The lesson horses are really ponies.

                      I should take lessons. I could. I just don't. It's not even a money thing because I trade services with the instructor. (Web Design for Board/Lessons whatever...) It's more a time thing. I ride on the weekends, and lessons are during the week. The trainer is constantly telling me to come ride in the morning ... just can't get up in the morning. Morning Person I am not. I need a drag-me-out-of-bed wakeup service.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mtn trails View Post
                        ...I returned to jumping and at that time an 18" vertical gave me an anxiety attack. But, the more I did, the more confidence I gained even though I've fallen off several times and got a little banged up.
                        so what I'm getting at is keep it up, ride more often if you can, and work your way back up to where you want to be. The confidence will come, you'll see.
                        I agree w/ Mtn trails whole-heartedly. This is my 3rd time coming back to the sport. Each time at the beginning, 18" looks like a Grand prix wall. But, as your eye becomes accustomed to the height, the optical and "brain" illusion begins to fade and that height is your comfort zone. Then you go up approx. 3" and work your way thru it til that is your comfort zone. If you don't have the need or desire to " keep raising them up" for the sport of it, I prefer to think of that as a function of maturity as a rider, not really age.
                        " It's about the horse, and that's it."
                        George Morris

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeh as a teenager I did stuff without thinking about the consequences. I would jump horses that I had no business jumping.

                          Than..real life kicked in.

                          Adult-hood, paying a mortgage,car payment, credit cards, school..etc...

                          My trainer slips higher jumps in on me when I am not looking. She won't tell me they are higher, I will go over them without thinking. Usually it is at the end of a lesson.

                          I have gotten dumped more times since jumping again than I ever did just doing flat work. At least I know how to fall now. Tuck, and roll.
                          OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane - the big dog!
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by showhorsegallery View Post
                            I wish I could ride more horses. It's not an option. Most of the horses at my barn are privately owned. The lesson horses are really ponies.

                            I should take lessons. I could. I just don't. It's not even a money thing because I trade services with the instructor. (Web Design for Board/Lessons whatever...) It's more a time thing. I ride on the weekends, and lessons are during the week. The trainer is constantly telling me to come ride in the morning ... just can't get up in the morning. Morning Person I am not. I need a drag-me-out-of-bed wakeup service.
                            My best guess is that you are most likely not as strong or fit as you were at 19.

                            A little less strength and a little less fitness and you are not as secure in your saddle. Couple that with some bad habits developed due to the lack of coaching and of course you aren't going to feel as gutsy. If your base of support has changed (even subtly) you won't be comfortable jumping much of anything.

                            But don't be so hard on yourself - just accept yourself as you are today and stop torturing yourself about how it used to be. You can't be all that and a bag of chips unless you put in the time and from the sounds of it you are like most other adults in that life is limiting your training time. I'd say almost everyone goes through this realization at some point.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Trixie View Post
                              Teenagers naturally do not have the fear levels of adults. How many other things did we do as teens that we wouldn't think of now?
                              Rofl, I am the COMPLETE OPPOSITE. I spent ages 12-20 TERRIFIED of jumping. I'm 31 now and will take far more chances. I'm the one suggesting to my brother that instead of the Coast Trail ride we take the tour focused on cross-country jumping and foxhunting.

                              And showhorsegallery, I hear you on not being a morning person. It's not so much the morning...it's the getting out of bed.
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                              • #16
                                Someone touched on the the idea of improving fitness when you are not able to ride. We know that getting to the barn, grooming, tacking, riding, and cooling out takes a while, but if you can commit a fraction of that time each day to your personal fitness, it might make a difference. That is the approach I am taking.
                                The best sports bras for riders are Anita 5527 and Panache! Size UP in Anita, down in Panache (UK sizing)

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by AliCat View Post
                                  Someone touched on the the idea of improving fitness when you are not able to ride. We know that getting to the barn, grooming, tacking, riding, and cooling out takes a while, but if you can commit a fraction of that time each day to your personal fitness, it might make a difference. That is the approach I am taking.
                                  I agree and I do make fitness a priority. I wish I could ride in the late evening. I would definitely ride more. I often am at the gym a 9pm or 10pm. I actually have lost 20 pounds since last year with 15 more to go.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I feel your pain. Not on the jumping height so much, but just on riding in general. I had a horse that scared me for the past 2 yrs and I'm really trying to get over it - a horse moving at speed over a course of fences makes me shrivel into a ball with terror. I haven't talked to my trainer about it and been trying to work myself through it, which is probably a mistake. Back when I was a kid, nothing scared me; now I'm younger 20s and it's all gotten much more frightening. I've learned I can break quite spectacularly

                                    I agree with the others - there is no rush in moving up quickly. My trainer's been having me work on jumper rollbacks and all kinds of crazy lines while the jumps are still pretty low. It keeps things interesting, and I'm not scared so much while I'm thinking about what's going on (something tells me she's probably picked up on the OMGSHRIVEL response). She will inch up the jump cups every couple of lessons and lower them other times. She's a very confidence-giving trainer, and that is SO IMPORTANT to me right now!

                                    If your trainer isn't giving you confidence or helping you with your issues (provided you've told your trainer about them) maybe you need to discuss that with them. I also don't know if you jump outside of lessons, but perhaps if you do it would be best if you just jumped in lessons for awhile? I usually find myself less hesitant and scared about doing something if someone is there, telling me to do it and get over being a pansy (nicely).

                                    Good luck - you will get it back - just be calm and jump lower for awhile. It's not a big deal if you're not jumping 3' by next week. Heck, I'd love to be able to get around a 3'6" course, but I know I'm not there yet, and probably won't be for awhile. No shame in it!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by showhorsegallery View Post
                                      My desire to jump 3' is because I'm extremely competitive, even with myself. I want to um... outdo myself? I find it irritating not to be able to do something I used to, even if it doesn't make logical sense.

                                      Now that's it starting to stay bright outside longer I plan on riding more. Though, I say that and I'm still going to work tonight for a few more hours. Luckily I have too much work to do.
                                      Totally get what your saying. It's self challenging! Nothing wrong with that. Ride. Ride. Ride. Isn't it so nice that it's light out at 7:30PM now? Loving it too! Makes you want to get out there and ride more. Do that. No more extra hours at the 'normal' job

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                                      • #20
                                        Work out off the horse!
                                        When I stopped doing 2 hours of intense martial arts 3x a week.. my riding ability and confidence plummeted. And you know what? RIGHTFULLY SO.
                                        Its likely less of a 'loss of confidence' issue so much as a 'lack of confidence for a reason' issue.

                                        If you aren't as fit and balanced or coordinated as you were then your confidence issues may be well founded. (suggested by a nearly 30 girl with a desk job who is there, too!)

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