Broken Confidence

Just got home from my jumping lesson and I have to admit that my fall last week got to me more than I let on (even to myself). The lesson started much like it did last week with Winifred being a good little hunter going low and relaxed.

Things started to go downhill when as we went around a corner by the mounting block trainer closed her coffee cup lid which made a snap and after that Win was absolutely sure something was hiding in that corner waiting for the perfect time to jump out and eat him.

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We changed direction and suddenly the other end of the arena was a mine field. The funny thing is that is the clubhouse end and at the beginning of the lesson the barn dog was barking but by then she was silent. Normally his spook is to jump sideways and spin. We had a few of those and also two butt-tuck-under-then-jump-ups. He even did a “hopping” canter at one approach to that end to. Then he would relax down the long end then the scary mounting block monster would threaten. *Sigh*

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I thought that that things would be fine once we started jumping. While he gets super strong over fences he does get focused and scary things tend to fade away. We trotted the warm up X, well the front have of him did at least. Did it the other way and he definitely didn’t want to hit his legs again. Back and forth one more time fine then did the outside line. I like to force him to do the add in our warm up so we did a 6 SUPER easy and I relaxed but not one stride off the line he shot left. Not something he has ever done.

That run out brought up nerves I didn’t want to acknowledge that I had after the fall.  Part of me even wanted to tell my trainer that I was good for the night but I soldiered on. Our first course was going good until our last fence which was a long approach to a single. Win was building his canter stronger and stronger but I was holding my own. I saw my spot and it was the right spot but as he got stronger at the last second I gave in and ended up jumping ahead for the 2nd time ever on him (1st time ended in a face plant). This time ended up better because it was a single and not a triple but still not good. Second course was alright and I hit my spot on that fence but I am pretty sure I had a death grip on him.

This night (and last week) have got me completely rethinking my goals. Look, I know that many of you are jumping 3’, 4’, or giant cross country fences and probably think I am pathetic to question if I can do 2’6” but I didn’t grow up jumping. I did dressage and even a little western pleasure (shhhhhh don’t tell anyone!) and after my back surgery I know my mortality. Can I do this? Which yes, I am still confident that I can jump 2’6″ but can I do this on Winifred? I know that I can but am I good enough to handle a strong, spooky horse like Win?

Trainer and I discussed this after my lesson. She reminded me how confident I was at the clinic and how good we did over the solid jumps there. She reminded me that we have not jumped in a month (expect for last week) and that everyone loses confidence after a bad fall and that we did 20 jumps tonight and had 1 bad and 2 eh jumps. But of course all I am focusing on are the 3. Lastly, she pointed out that we have a schooling show in a couple of weeks and I can make some decisions then.

I thought I was fine but it is clear that I am now second guessing my distances. Anyone else ever feel this way, and if so, how did you get past it?

 

5 thoughts on “Broken Confidence

  1. Ok, first of all, I’m super impressed that you stayed on through all of that!!!! And then you went ahead and jumped??!!! You’re far from pathetic in my book!
    I struggle with a lot of the same issues (but until recently, my solution was to get off my horse, trembling, and put him back in the barn . . . talk about pathetic!). I’m very, very slowly working through them. I think it just takes time. A new trainer, who is working on convincing me that I actually do know how to ride, is really helping. At the moment, my horse is recovering from some health issues and so I’m not riding him. But I am taking lessons on one of my trainer’s horses (when its not raining) and I’m hoping my confidence is improved enough when its time to get back on my boy.
    I don’t have any magic answers but I can’t wait to hear about your continued journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! This means a lot. My trainer was right we all experience a lose of confidence at one point. What other sport do you guide a 1200 lb free thinking animal over obstacles? Even on the flat this can be a dangerous sport, but something in us drives us. I am still nervous and questioning things but knowing that other people, like you, have confidence issues sometimes too helps. (Not that I want you to have a lack of confidence. LOL)
      I hope your boy feels better soon and that you have lots of confidence building rides on your trainer’s horse. I will have to check out your blog to track your journey too! We need to support our other nerve wrecked riders! Lol

      Like

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