XC thought for the day - genuine fear?

kerilli

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Prompted by a discussion last night with a mate...
Do you get frightened, or do you know of any riders who are genuinely scared before going xc?
I'm not talking about worrying about getting it wrong and letting the horse down (I think we all do that, I know I do), or about people putting it on a bit, but genuine "I dare not look at that fence" fear.
If so, why do you or they do it?
I know why I do it, I know the thrill etc etc, but if I was terrified, I'd stick to dressage! I know of lots of former eventers who have done just that. What I can't really get my head around is people still putting themselves and their horses through it if they are really frightened.
Thoughts?
 

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I dont have a fear like that xc, I have a fear like that with sjing, it literally makes me freeze with fear.
Might sounds silly to ppl, but I do, maybe because Ive never really ridden a horse capable of sjing, well bar my mare Bally, she was a good sjer - but thats one horse out of a lot of others.
I do think it depends on what horse youre on. Some horses i wouldnt wanna ride over 2ft log, but others mine included in this just enjoy it so much I can literally enjoy the ride.
 

wench

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I wouldnt be attempting 3ft XC unless its on my horse - and I know what hes going to do!
 

shady_lady

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Normally i'm just slightly nervous before xc.. I don't think I have genuine fear... I just worry about 'what if' and so on...
smile.gif
 

jules89

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I understand what you mean, and I have only had that thought once-

last year, Tweseldown unaff PN (ok only small) on Z but I had had a month off after being squashed by Daisy in the SJ at Wilton (yes, 17.2 horse on top of me, great!)

The course was meant ot be a PN but a lot of the N fences were in it, Z was giving me a great ride but I was just so scared and wondering why I was doing this to myself coming up to a combination at the end of the course
 

wizoz

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Oh my gosh, I would hope that if anyone was terrified about going XC that they simply didn't!!!
shocked.gif


No way, nervous maybe, but definately not terrified, I get a MASSIVE buzz from the xc, that's why I do it.
grin.gif
 

martlin

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I didn't have real fear, then I got mangled a bit... and switched to pure SJ. I think because I was scared it would be more dangerous than average for me to carry on jumping XC.
I hate dressage with a passion though and show jumps roll down.
 

Thunderbirds R Gone

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Not terrified. Apprehensive and really really nervous but once I'm over the first couple of fences the adrenaline kicks in and I have a whale of a time, and then when I've come through the finish I want to do it again again again
grin.gif
!!!

That's the hardest part of going xc schooling ... the adrenaline never kicks in.
 

kerilli

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[ QUOTE ]
Oh my gosh, I would hope that if anyone was terrified about going XC that they simply didn't!!!
shocked.gif


No way, nervous maybe, but definitely not terrified, I get a MASSIVE buzz from the xc, that's why I do it.
grin.gif


[/ QUOTE ]

yes, exactly! but having heard about someone who was genuinely terrified, and still putting herself through it... seems crazy to me.
I'm frightened of sharks, so I didn't set foot in the sea in South Africa. I didn't feel a need to confront my fear etc etc. maybe some people do?
 

Chloe_GHE

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Not fear but nerves when it comes to SJ and as soon as that's over and we are heading to the XC warmup I feel practically sereen like 'ah now here comes the good bit'
smile.gif


I think my nerves SJ come from like BBs said never having had a horse that could SJ well, but we are working on it...

this year at Tdown I was walking the Intro course and a girl came round v slowly saying to her horse 'it's ok we aren't going to die we aren't going to die' it made me giggle because I think it was more of a coping mechanism for her than a genuine emotion, I think if you are that scared you would be a mute rabbit in the headlights!
 

kerilli

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:O
seriously? someone saying that? that is absolutely unbelievable. doesn't sound like a coping mechanism to me, sounds like voicing your biggest fear in the hope that it won't happen!!
Widget_99, you raise a good point about adrenalin. A BE trainer said to me "all eventers are adrenalin junkies" but I know I'm not (and from talking to her, nor is Baydale, we discussed this once.) I will happily jump Advanced fences in cold blood (if I can get at them, and know my horse is up to it), it doesn't feel any different to jumping them in a competition.
 

Safina

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Puts up hand.

My confidence has gradually eroded since I sold my boy and took an interim horse on loan. Ironically my boy was a complete flake whereas the loan horse is a proven sort with a good record. The thing is I knew my boy inside out whereas I think I've moved a bit fast with the loan horse - I've not done half as much training, schooling, lessons etc than I did with him. I stupidly entered Keysoe RC last week and my course was the BE100 from the previous week - I walked the course 3 times gradually getting more and more paniced, stressed and eventually withdrew after I was sick with nerves. I walked it again with some friends later (who'd come over to calm me down!) and it was then I'd realised I'd not even jumped as big or as technical in training with my loan horse let alone at a comp!

I guess I did not go through with it so I'm not really answering your question but I've got MK3DE this weekend and already the nerves are going but hey, this time I know I'll be fine and cannot wait to cross the finish line!
 

kerilli

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Safina, you did the right thing at the time, kept your horse's confidence and gave yourself more time to build yours up. If you've had a chance to jump some fences this week that should really help.
Remember that the horses doing 4* are 'just horses' like yours, they aren't some supreme being, some are actually pretty ordinary really, so if horses can cope with huge fences like that, yours can definitely cope with the nice fences at MK!

edited to add: umm, jules, i'm not sure. hope not!
 

connie1288

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I was terrified about bringing Tink out this season, she was clear xc every time out in 08 but missed the end of the season with her withers. I had been xc schooling but this is never a good idea, we were struggling to jump PN. I talked myself into a complete tiz before hand. Once i have got out the start box i am fine.
If I was always like i was before Isleham i couldnt do it, it wouldnt be fair on me, those around me or the horses.
 

Chloe_GHE

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[ QUOTE ]
:O
seriously? someone saying that? that is absolutely unbelievable. doesn't sound like a coping mechanism to me, sounds like voicing your biggest fear in the hope that it won't happen!!

I will happily jump Advanced fences in cold blood (if I can get at them, and know my horse is up to it), it doesn't feel any different to jumping them in a competition.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes seriously! she got into her stride a little later on and I think she stopped commentating a bit then
smile.gif


jumping an advanced fence in cold blood?... no you're deffo not an adrenalin junkie you're a sado masechist!!! sp I think that's very brave, I have to have a little bit more blood up the bigger they get!
smile.gif
 

Safina

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Thanks Keralli

I've done plenty of work at home this week and I've got a training session with my instructor tomorrow. The good thing about MK is I know the course and whilst I am fully expecting a few wibbles when I walk the course I know 100% that both me and the pony can jump them.

Thats a good point about 4* horses - I guess it harks back a bit to the nature/nuture point - are some horses naturally more talented, able to cope with the pressure of being a comp horse and willing to work with a rider or does it all come down to breaking and training?
 

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I used to get it on Boss before the xc but was always focused and ok once out of the strart box. At one of his last competitions (Longleat 2*) I was just terrified- I only didnt back out because it was so darned expensive! We went clear but I anchored him back so much we were way way over the OT. He was horrendously string and it was a constant battle keeping control. I gave up with him after that partly because he wasnt enjoying the dressage/sj and partly because it wasnt fun anymore and he was worse at the lower levels.

I dont get it on Moon at all but I do have anxieties now about trakehners
 

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I grew up eventing through pony club and competed at BE novice as a young 'un without suffering at all from nerves and whilst being aware of my safety certainly not frightened.

As an adult due to various things happening (too long a story to write here!!) I suffered a major loss of nerve to the extent where I was scared to ride the horse I had at one point. Horses are a massive part of my life and always have been so I was not going to let fear stop me riding and rob my enjoyment of it.

I am slowly improving and by pushing myself out of my comfort zone bit by bit I have got part way back to the person I was - though I am not fully there! I would not do anything that I am not capable of but have had to make myself do things I am scared of in order to overcome my loss of nerve.

I would say though that once out of the start box XC I do get that adrenalin rush and concentrate on the job at hand and I think if you can't do that going XC is probably not a good idea.
 

kerilli

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[ QUOTE ]

Thats a good point about 4* horses - I guess it harks back a bit to the nature/nuture point - are some horses naturally more talented, able to cope with the pressure of being a comp horse and willing to work with a rider or does it all come down to breaking and training?

[/ QUOTE ]

some horses are naturally very talented, some aren't. some are naturally very amenable and have a good work ethic, some don't. just like people i guess. so, for every David Beckham, with the talent and the work ethic, there are loads who have neither, or a bit of both!
So, i'm still looking for my "David Beckham of the horse world"...!

a lot does come down to the training though, i think the best most willing horse could be soured, and equally, pretty average horses can be produced to brilliance.
what my friend used to call "The Triumph of Training over Talent." !
 

siant2

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Sometimes I think you need to do these things to get over your fear..... well i hope so anyhow.

Following a bad fall earlier this year the thought of SJ terrifies me - to the point of reducing myself to tears and shaking this morning when my instructor introduced trotting poles with a cross pole at the end of it.

Im still scared of SJ, but I hope that everytime I 'force' myself to do it I will become less and less scared as I have more and more positive experiences. In fact I already feel quite positive about what I achieved by doing some very small jumps this morning!

I think its important to realise if you are constantly fearful - and its not getting better - then maybe its better not to put yourself through all the stress - afterall riding is supposed to be enjoyable!
 

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I do suffer from nerves, but I dont think its actual fright. Once I am out of the start box I am fine. Only once have a ever been genuinely worried/frightened of a fence once I got started & sure enough the sensible horse cantered past the offending fence.......

I need a few 'nerves' in order to get the adrenalin buzz. I dont get either for low level competitions & tend to find it all a bit of anti-climax. I need to be pushing myself a little to get the buzz. The actual level of competititon depends on the level of the horse I am riding. I can get a bit of a buzz out of jumping 2'6" on a green youngster. However, that buzz doesnt kick in until at 1m15 on my older horse...

I have a terrrible habit of telling everyone how nervous I am before I go XC, this weekend I plan to shut up, concentrate & get on with it....
 

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Not cross country - SJ yes after an awful fall with my own horse - and because I started lstening to everybody else not my self and ended up riding a feeling which gave me no confidence rather than the one I like! Funnily enough - never happened cross country tho. Did go slightly green once when I wa 14 and thought I had entered 34" AND IT TURNED OUT 3'4"!!!. best thing I ever did tho cos we flew round and no stopping us after that!
 

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I'm another one who doesn't get 'the fear' on the XC but can do in the SJ. In the past I have found it almost debilitating, to the point where I just froze riding into fences and my (genuine) horse clambered over them.

Fortunately my fear of failure is worse than my fear of SJs, so I'm getting much better and now have a mantra I say to myself all the way round, which keeps me riding in a good rhythm, and ignoring everything else. I still *WILL NOT* do an SJ course walk though. I don't want to see the fences that close up!
crazy.gif
grin.gif
 

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That's why I quit.
For a while there I would be terrified but once out and going the enjoyment would kick and I'd come back on cloud 9 so I kept doing it.
Then one day I finished clear and all I thought on crossing the finish line was thank god thats over and thank god I'm still alive.
That's when I quit.
THe bad thing is I'mnow starting to get like this taking horse out and about on the flat, going to have to get over this one.
 

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I got to the point with my mare (bay in sig) that i was genuinely frightened. It took 3 seasons of trying to event her, various falls and lots of tears before i realised my normal nerves had actually become a very real fear of getting hurt.

I was worried it would effect me long term, although it doesnt seem to have. My nervousness of making mistakes that might lead to the same problems i had with the mare are still there on Blue. However, they are getting better all the time and i have never been frightened of getting hurt whilst riding him. I didn't realise quite how bad it had got with my mare until i started realising i was having so much fun on Blue.....i enjoy jumping him and my nerves are all about letting him down. That's normal i think....it is supposed to be fun!!!!
 

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one of my closest friends is the same, she wont SJ my horse, but happily fire round a huge XC SOLID course on him!! not sure of the thinking behind that but I am sure its because its a more forward going positive rhythm.
 

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When I broke my leg last year I really was terrified of jumping again and I did cry when my instructor put out a cross pole but I did enjoy it once I was over the initial fear. I had the same problem xc although not as bad, silly really given that I broke my leg xc not sj.
When I jumped double clear at tweseldown be I burst into tears upon finishing as I was so relieved I was still in one piece (I may have been the person saying we aren't going to die! If the person was on chestnut in purple and gold colours...) It wasn't that I didn't desperately want to jump round I was just very frightened when I discovered it really does hurt when things go wrong! After that first comp though I remembered why I loved eventing and got the buzz back that I initially felt but I can't lie and claim that I didn't seriously contemplate no longer jumping after what happened. If I hadn't enjoyed it I would have stopped jumping then as there is no point in doing something you are that scared of.
 

BroadfordQueen

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I have once suffered from genuine fear xc. It was at my first ever open pc event last year, on a horse that had never done that level before, and I genuinely didn't know if she would cope. However, as soon as I was over the first few jumps I thought to myself, "I'm doing this...I am actually doing this!" and suddenly started enjoying myself
smile.gif


I hardly get nervous on Queenie at all.
I do think everyone should be "slightly" nervous before they go xc, if you're not then you're too relaxed about it
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But IMO the nerves should go once you are in the warm up ring and getting your adrenaline up- the best bit is the countdown in the startbox, really gets my adrenaline going!

Which 4* rider was it that used to be physically sick before xc? Matt Ryan?
 
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