Build Confidence Over Fences! Take the Fear out of Jumping with this Simple Step-by-Step Plan
Learning to ride with confidence over fences is like learning to swim with confidence: You may never make the Olympics, but you can learn to perform competently, safely, and consistently. After all, riding is supposed to be fun, not a continuing episode of "Fear Factor." Building confidence is best done systematically, beginning with fundamentals and working logically toward more advanced skills.
Even if you've been jumping for years you'll find that revisiting the basics improves your skills. That's why we'll start with a review of your position and flat work. Fixing problems there is guaranteed to help your jumping. You'll then graduate to exercises over poles on the ground (even if you've never jumped before, you can do them with ease), before graduating to work over fences.
By the time you've completed the work of the last lesson, you'll be ready to put in a confident--and competitive--round over a hunter course. Our progress from first to last will be so gradual and so logical that you'll never have the feeling it's "beyond you." Provided you follow every step along the way taking no shortcuts--you should never have to feel unsafe or out of control. In fact, since you're going to judge your own progress, there's no reason to do anything you're uncomfortable with.
If you feel over-faced by a new exercise, simply drop back to familiar work until your confidence is restored. We're not working against a deadline; what's important is that you master every step thoroughly before moving on to the next one. Follow this program faithfully, at your own pace, and you'll never have a bad fence again.
We Also Recommend
50 Best Arena Exercises and Patterns: Essential Schooling for English and Western Riders by Ann Katrin Querbach
Unrelenting: The Real Story: Horses, Bright Lights, and My Pursuit of Excellence by George Morris with Karen Robertson Terry