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Lisa is an eventer who had confidence issues after a fall whilst showjumping.

My name is Lisa Lyons and I am 27 years old. I have been riding horses since I was 7, when I started off with a fortnightly lesson until at the age of 10 I had my first pony on loan. I had two ponies which I competed regularly with at local shows before buying my first horse when I was 17 years old.

He was four years old and I hunted weekly with him, whipping in to our local pack. I also did local shows and XC events. In 2001 I took the plunge and decided to register and jump BSJA

I was competing most weekends in British Novice and Discovery and was getting placed in the lower end of the scale.

The horse I own is a fantastic safe all rounder who never bucks, rears etc, and I had never come off him in the whole time I’d owned him. One day I went to an indoor show and entered in the British Novice and a qualifier which was 1.05m in height. Although this would be the biggest track I would have jumped to date, I felt happy to tackle it. After walking the course I can’t remember thinking that anything was causing me concern and felt reasonably happy entering the ring.

We jumped the first two fences and were approaching a large parallel jump. To this day I’m not sure what happened but all I can remember is me flying over his head, landing down in between the poles, and looking up and seeing my horse jumping over me and the fence and stretching to his limit to miss me and the poles which were scattered everywhere. I was winded, shaken and had a haematoma on my leg which was swelling and sore. I called it a day there and went home.

Three weeks later I went jumping again and although I got round I never really regained my confidence or enthusiasm for BSJA again. The spring of this year I decided to join British Eventing and take up this sport. I competed for a season and although the jumping side went well, the dressage kept us out the placings. I finished this season in October and then decided that I would have a complete break and didn’t bother registering BSJA. For the winter I just hacked out.

The following year I started competing again, but the show jumping nerves were still there. It was starting to be a real problem. As I was so nervous I was holding my horse in on the approach and rather than him stopping he was cat leaping which was making it all worse. I was having regular lessons which really helped and I would jump well, but as soon as I was in competition I would start riding badly again. I didn’t have a problem with up rights it was just spread fences. After a series of lessons I decided to go to a local competition and buy a ticket to jump BSJA again.

On arrival I couldn’t believe the height of the fences and in particular one which was a red fence with a viaduct wall underneath and loads of poles with a back rail making it a large spread. I could focus on anything apart from this fence. I was watching someone before I was due in, who took a fall at this fence. I immediately pulled myself out of the class, loaded up and went home.

I was feeling really down when someone recommended TFT to me a few days after this had happened. I did a session with Jo on the telephone. We started off by talking about my accident and I was asked to rate it on a scale of 1-10. I started off by saying that it was 8. We then went through the procedure several times until Jo finally asked me how I felt. My feelings on the accident had decreased to 3 but when Jo asked me this time I couldn’t remember anything negative about it. I immediately felt a huge release like “steam” was pouring out of my body. I put the phone down from Jo and burst into tears as the release of pressure was enormous. I was on such a high then, and about 20 minutes later was ravenously hungry.

I went to ride that night and didn’t tell anyone what I had done at first. I put the show jumps up and had a friend on the ground. I kept telling her to put them up as I felt so confident and finished on a course of 1.10m. It was brilliant to feel my horse confident underneath me. My friend was amazed as the week before I was struggling to jump a course of x poles. I was so happy and bounced home. That night I then slept for over fourteen hours!!!

A few weeks later I decided to brave a BSJA show by competing on a ticket. I was feeling nervous but tapped myself and felt a lot calmer. I jumped the first class and had four faults but felt really pleased that we had got around. I decided to call it a day there as the next class I had never tackled before so thought I would walk the course and attempt it next time. However I walked the course and felt comfortable enough to tackle it. I entered and jumped a clear round!! Couldn’t believe it – I was over the moon. Jumped clear in the jump off as well.

Decided after this show to register to compete BSJA again. The first show I tackled was back at the place I had my accident, but I felt really calm arriving. I had a 2nd and 3rd placing jumping four clear rounds!! What more could I ask for!!!!

To finish my story I have bought a new horse which was completely unplanned as a friend decided to sell her. I tried her out as I hadn’t ridden her before and we finished off jumping 1.30m! I think this sums up exactly how TFT has helped me. If you’d of said I would of got on a new horse and jumped 1.30 (which I have never jumped before) I would of thought you were mad!!

Lisa L



© Jo Cooper 2002-2017. All rights reserved

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