View Full Version : Riding blues
20th Oct 1999, 02:41 AM
I'm feeling mega fed-up with myself tonight.
When I learnt to jump a couple of years ago I really loved it and was doing well. I had a few falls but then had a nasty one where I was left stunned and out-of-action for the rest of the day. Trouble was when I got faced with a jump again I had lost my nerve totally.
I decided to give it a rest for 6 months and have had a few gos with an understanding instructor who has moddly-coddled me over a few small ones.
Tonight I found myself unexpectedly in a class where a small course of 6 jumps about 2'6" had been set up. The instructor was positive so I decided to go for it and be positive which I did. I eventually got around 3 times intact but I was so scared that I was holding the horse back far too much, losing my stirrups, allowing the horse to dawdle and refuse, a complete mess basically. I felt physically sick with nerves.
I was so fed up with myself I got in the car and howled, not because I had made a mess, but because I can't get over being scared. I really want to get the pleasure and enjoyment back for jumping, will I ever do so??? I can only have lessons 1-2 times a week at the most. I'm sure if I could ride everyday I could sort ot out.
Moral support needed to night please....
20th Oct 1999, 10:25 AM
Hey, hey. I had to reply. I am sorry you feel so bad. Sounds like you were trying to slowly get back into jumping and then you took too big of a step all at once. Go back to the comfort level of the small ones, in private lessons if possible. Even if its once a week. A horse you trust helps too. I posted to this board when I had a fall bad enough to knock my confidence into never-never land. I haven't jumped again yet, but I plan to. I talked to my teacher again today in fact about it.
We are going to try to restart me all over again. I will even do poles on the ground again to practice my position and my looking ahead. I was only ever up to 2' - 2'3" maybe. My teacher had great faith and I think she was pushing me somewhat. My horse refused several times that day and on the last day of the jump, ran out so badly to the right and then left that I fell. I want to enjoy jumping again. It is a challenge and it feels great when even the small ones go perfectly. If I feel unsafe, I am just going to have to say so and step back a little again - practice my position and control over the horse. I am scared I might fall again too. But I plan to give it a good try.
I don't how best to help. You said you eventually made it around even though it was painful. That's an accomplishment right there. And no one likes surprises - you said you didn't know you were going to be doing that course so that seems a little unfair when you are just trying to start back up. Can you talk more to your instructor? It seems like confidence is one of the hardest problems to deal with or know how to talk about. Admitting it outloud seems to be the first step. I can guess that my teacher wasn't going to say anything about it until I spoke up first (about starting jumping again, I mean.) She was probably trying to give me time to work out how I feel about it. There is nothing wrong with going slow, or with saying - No that is too high for me right now.
Sorry to blab on... write back.
20th Oct 1999, 01:12 PM
Eden, sorry to hear about you horrible lesson last night. Like Georgine, i think that you were pushed a bit too far last night, it is very hard to regain confidence.
Well done for getting round the course 3 times though, that is a big achievement. Ok you might not have done it John Whittacker style, but you had the guts to do it (personally on seeing the course of jumps I would be driving away from the yard as fast as possible!).
I think if you go back to having private lessons on the flat, then after a month or so, try a few trotting poles then maybe a 1ft cross pole until you get bored to tears with it and feel totally relaxed with it. Then, very slowly indeed, start to increase the height of the jump. The height that you jump is not at all important, if you can jump a 1ft cross pole calmly and well, you will be able to jump a 3ft straight if you want to so there is no point in wacking up the height of the jump until you are happy with the smaller ones.
Good luck, and i think you are very brave to have ridden the course at all last night, WELL DONE!!
20th Oct 1999, 06:03 PM
I hadn't jumped for years then I bought my present horse, I had lots of one to one lessons on the flat and gained confidence in both my riding, my instructor and my horse. I then asked my instructor for a jumping lesson - we started with trotting poles and then as Sarah said went to a one foot jump. My secret weapon was that I was having the lesson with my husband who had never jumped before!
Our instructor used me to demonstrate position etc and my confidence and pride soared! Also the instructor was a bit naughty in that each time I went over the fence and my back was to it he put it up another hole (I was eventually jumping 3ft). However I have absolute faith in my instructor and know that he will not push me further than he KNOWS I can do.
My advice is take it slowly enjoy it and if you don't have complete faith in your instructor find another one.
I recently joined agroup lesson with another instructor who pushed me too far and too fast and I ended up banging my nose quite badly. I got stressed and jumped the jump before my horse and we collided in mid-air!! Back to my trusted old instructor.
Good luck and stick with it but slowly slowly.
20th Oct 1999, 11:46 PM
Thanks for the responses. I have stopped feeling sorry for myself today.
I have no problems with my instructor at all, in fact her faith in my abilities is quite rallying as I do need to be pushed sometimes. My problems are all to do with my own lack of confidence, something I didn't think I had until the nasty fall. It probably was too much too soon last night, but I sort of hoped 'kill or cure' might work.
Funnily enough I can jump cross poles no problem, it's when I see a straight bar that the colly-wobbles come.
I would be interested to know how you progress Gerogina, being in the same sort of boat.
21st Oct 1999, 12:27 AM
I've just been reading some of the back posts on this site about body protectors. I've never even thought of getting one before, but I'm just wondering if I might feel more confident with one?
21st Oct 1999, 04:38 AM
I would like to email you directly if that is all right. It would be great to have someone to share progress with, even over email. My jumping lesson is scheduled for the Saturday morning after this one. I can write more afterwards and tell you how it goes.
I have seen the posts about a body protector and have wondered about getting one. The times I have fallen have always been an over-the-shoulder fall where I land on my back. My teacher says this is because I was leaning to forward in my position, and I need to keep my shoulders back more. Anyways, for now I probably won't get a body protector. If I get more heavily into jumping higher jumps, I will consider one. Injuries to limbs can heal but realizing that *even* I could really damage my back was what has shattered my confidence the most. I don't want to be cripple ya know.
I never used to think about falling off when I was riding and this has been what has kept me safe, I think. I was always thinking about staying on! Once a doubt creeps in, that is when refusals happen. This is what I will need to work on the most - making the horse do it no matter what. Another setback that happened to me was that I tried out a horse for lease and I got ran away with. It was a long story, but the bottom line is that I was not in control of the horse and I really felt that. So I am working on my
confidence in canter as well. After reading so many posts at NewRider, these seem to
be common obstacles people need to overcome to become better riders. So its good to know that everyone has been there one way or another. Its a way of growing.
Also from your post, I bet you were a quick learner in jumping and used to being "good at it." I was good at learning to jump, quick to improve and used to being praised for it. Then when things went wrong, it was hard to digest it. Since I don't want to give it up, I need to realize - Okay, so
maybe I am not so good at this right now. Let's figure out how to work on the problems. It busted my pride/self-esteem and confidence. Especially since my teacher loves jumping, and I think she was really enjoying bringing me along in this area.
Didn't mean to write such a long post. :)
So send me your email address if you want. Mine is email@example.com.
[This message has been edited by Georgina (edited 21 October 1999).]
[This message has been edited by Georgina (edited 21 October 1999).]
26th Oct 1999, 06:56 AM
I know exactly how you feel. This past Jan.I was riding at a walk and we lost footing on the ice. My sweet little horse fell on me and smashed my leg. It took two steel plates and a dozen screws to fix it. Two years ago I tripped on my cat and fell down the stairs. One steel plate and seven screws in the other leg. I started back riding in August. I felt pretty good. Really centered and pretty safe, as I had been riding the same horse for seven years and know that it was just an accident and he wasn't trying to hurt me. Then he stumbled in the sand and fell again. I wasn't hurt but my hands shake and I feel sick to my stomach every time he has a missed step. I'm not afraid of my riding ability, but I'm so scared that he will trip and I won't be able to jump out of the way. The funny thing is that it is worse at a walk. Both times we were walking. When going at a faster speed I don't have time to worry as much. I also felt better on day when I took a different horse. Maybe you and I just have to ride a little differently until we get over ourselves. Just keep riding! I got hurt just as bad falling off of a cat!
27th Oct 1999, 01:31 AM
Oh dear, my little trip seems a bit pathetic in comparison.
Thanks for your experience, the nice thing about this board is that you are never alone in your problems. I feel more positive now and will damn well beat this!...I think
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