Stress and horseback riding: how to stop being afraid of jumping on horseback?
Written by: Loris Vitry (coach and Yoga teacher)
Validated by: Cathy Maillot (Osteopath)
Caution: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor. Even if the articles on this site are based on scientific studies, they do not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Horse riding is a sport that is not without risk.
Indeed at any time, and for any reason the horse can be agitated and no longer obey.
Even more when you have to jump.
Thus, some riders are afraid to jump on horseback.
Fortunately, with a little will it is possible to overcome this fear.
Find out in the following lines how to deal with the fear of jumping on horseback.
The fear of jumping on horseback
Feeling fearful is normal for everyone.
Indeed, this feeling arises when a person imagines himself in a situation which he cannot control.
The same is true for the fear of jumping on horseback.
Indeed, the rider may have previously watched films where jumping horse scenes ended badly.
This fear can also be rooted in a traumatic event, or stress that the rider would have undergone.
It can also arise at any time when faced with the uncertainty of the purpose of jumping.
However, this fear is not without effect because it triggers inappropriate reactions.
These can be dangerous since they will amplify the initial problem.
Indeed, the stress and the fear felt by the rider are perceived by the horse, which can also be carried away by a feeling of fear.
Thus, it is important to diagnose the motive of fear in order to remedy it since it has consequences.
The consequences of the fear of jumping on horseback
Beyond the risk of scaring the horse too, some riders may decide to stop riding.
There are those who do not feel able to overcome this emotion and thus limit themselves to giving up riding.
This reaction is very sad since this rider will not be able to relive the pleasure of jumping on horseback.
In another case, some riders do not recognize their fear, but maintain an internal conflict.
By overcompensating (fighting fear by forcing himself), the rider tries to control the situation by suppressing his emotions.
Which is not a good solution.
So, it is essential to overcome this fear so that the rider continues his wonderful adventure.
How to stop being afraid of jumping on horseback?
The fear of jumping on horseback can be overcome when the rider does it the right way.
Identify and accept this fear
The best way to overcome this emotion is to first accept it after recognizing it.
Indeed, it is normal for any human to feel fear at times.
This emotion helps prevent potential dangers.
So you have to free yourself by talking about it.
So, the rider may confide in their instructor or a friend because denial is not the best solution.
The second step after accepting this fear is to analyze it to understand it.
To do it objectively, you have to review the circumstances in which the fear arises.
We shouldn’t hang on to fear, but how it is happening at that moment.
Indeed, there are two types of fear (mental fear and fear of real danger).
Mental fear is specific to all being and is part of their ego.
At this precise moment, the rider who experiences this will be afraid of having an accident.
It’s about stage fright or vulnerability.
So, you will also have to accept it, put your ego aside and then breathe deeply.
By adding mental preparation, the rider will be able to overcome this fear.
Regarding the fear of a real danger, it is also necessary to analyze the circumstances and certain parameters concerning you.
In addition, you must also analyze the reactions of your instructor or the remaining riders if they found themselves in such a situation?
The analysis should be objective by focusing on the circumstances.
Learn from mistakes
After having objectively analyzed the events, you must seek to know your mistake.
Indeed, if the fear of horse jumping is the result of a traumatic event, it is very likely that there is an unidentified error.
So, after the analysis, one must draw conclusions so as not to relive the same events again.
Thus, the rider will progress and be able to react adequately the next times.
Accept small beginnings
To overcome your fear of jumping, it is essential to prepare yourself psychologically.
You need to have the ability to step back in order to objectively judge the situation by telling yourself that you can do it too.
However, it must be admitted that when there is fear, despite the motivation, it can remain.
So to dominate it, you have to accept to start with small efforts.
These small steps surely lead to progress.
So the idea of fear becomes irrelevant.
The efforts to be made in small steps are left to the convenience of the rider.
He will determine them according to whether he can perform them.
He must invent a progression plan of his own according to the steps he finds difficult to carry out.
Over time and with regular exercise, he may find those stages of jumping he feared very easy.
Celebrate your successes
You have to savor your victories whenever the opportunity arises.
In effect, it will allow the rider to think more about the satisfaction he will derive from horseback riding by taking on new challenges.
Keep your motivation
There may be times when the urge to put in the effort won’t be there.
The rider may not feel like confronting their fears because everything may seem impossible.
So it is essential for him at this time to stay focused on his passion for riding.
By remembering his best memories, the victories of the past which allow him to continue the race, he will be able to give his all.
Also, thinking about how he will feel after overcoming his fear or overcoming it gradually, he will regain motivation.
He will certainly feel pride and joy at having achieved this.
Thus, he will be able to make efforts to overcome his fear of jumping on horseback and become better.
It is very common that in riding, the rider can experience stress and fear of jumping.
However, by analyzing the situation, he can remedy it.
It is also essential to be accompanied by qualified people to correct potential errors.