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.

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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!

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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…

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

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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.

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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!!!”

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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

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