Found A Way to Get Over My Jumping Anxiety

Step 1: Watch 20 minutes of 1.20m Open Jumper rounds.

Step 2: Take pics of monster CCI**** X country jumps with puny human standing next to them for perspective and send them to friend whose 12yo son wants to be an eventer someday.

Step 3: Trek over the hill to watch the 2’6" Schooling Hunters: “Squeeeeeeee!!! Look at the adorable little jumps!! They’re so cute and inviting!! :heart_eyes: Can I borrow your horse for a minute?? I wanna go jump those cute little jumps!”

I’m only half-kidding. It’s mind-boggling the difference reverse perspective makes. Usually, I watch the fences starting at 12" cross rails & slowly inching their way up to 3’. 2’6" looks large . Seeing 2’6" immediately after a 1.20m Table 2.b, though? Made me actually want to attempt to jump.


This is a common strategy and absolutely does help with perspective! Many an adult ammy hunter will take a peek at the 3’6" ring to make the 3’ course look small, and when I started dabbling in jumpers, I definitely felt it helped to look at the bigger courses to make my .90 look easier!

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I have horses at multiple levels. When I am done jumping I always prefer leaving them set for the big horses. Then when I set them down to the youngsters’ heights they look tiny. My 13yo daughter has just recently caught on to what a difference it makes for her confidence/fear too. When I set a fence up to 1.20m for her from an arena full of 2’6" fences, her eyes bug out of her head. When I lower a 1.50m oxer to 1.20m she goes “pfft! That’s so tiny!” and gallops right up to it without a second thought. Psychology is a funny thing!


Yes!! Also… I’ve found going on hunterpaces seriously upped my confidence more than XC schooling or schooling jumps in the ring did.

That and a hard seltzer or two…


Ahh, the ol’ dose of liquid courage :wink:


Meanwhile, my 45yo self cowers in the fetal position at 1.20m :rofl: @beowulf & @Mander, I’ve wondered if Acing myself would help!

The whole thing is kind of odd. I was never one of those kids who snuck out into the back 40 for secret Puissance competitions with friends. I did enjoy jumping, though, all the way up through when my kids were young elementary schoolers. At some point after,
I started feeling a generalized anxiety about it. Occasionally , even about riding in general. It’s seemingly out of left field – Knock on wood, I can’t recall falling off in my entire adult life. On the occasions where something has gone wrong, like the time the hunt nearly killed us :rofl:, I’ve been able to handle it appropriately. It’s just odd. And frustrating.

I really don’t jump anymore but still have this experience. If the ring is set up with bigger fences I can’t help but feel drawn to pop over something tiny. Conversely, coming out of the dressage ring and ground poles, everything looks huge.


It’s funny how the brain works. I know exactly where the top rail is supposed to be for the height I like to jump on the jumps at home. If I walk into the ring and they’re at that height or if they’re bigger and my trainer lowers them, I’m fine. But if they’re lower than I jump and my trainer raises them, my eyes bug out of my head like “whhhyyyy is she making me jump so big today I’m gonna die!!!”


Might have had one White Claw to many at my last show and was a bit TOO relaxed :rofl: we got four strides in all the lines… that were set at five :rofl: and apparently I looked happy as a clam up there according to my friends