I first heard from Niamh in August 2004 when she emailed to ask if I could help her with her fear of jumping. We were not able to organise an appointment in 2004 and the problem was still the same when she contacted me again a year later. The following account includes Niamh's original email and follow-up in 2005, her report of her first experience of TFT and email updates.
Niamh did one session with me and has since used her tapping sequence whenever she has felt the need. I'm grateful to Niamh for sharing her experience.
I have eventually plucked up the courage to email you. My fear is basically - Jumping. I can go over small jumps ok at a trot, but the thoughts of cantering a round of fences I just cant do it. So I tense up, try to slow the horse down, he then knows Im tense and rushes the fences. So basically is a vicious circle.
I had a bad fall in May jumping a big fence, at 1metre, nothing broken, just hurt my back. Then in June I was at a show, doing a Class, (only 1 small jump involved) and Murphy (my horse) took off and tried to jump out of the arena. I managed to stop him, but ended up shaking and crying in front of the judges I got such a fright. Which was a bit embarrassing!!!
Anyway Im not sure if you will be able to help me or not, due to the logistics of me being over here. But Kate said to email anyway.
22 July 2005
As you might remember I have a fear of jumping, and I have even narrowed it down further to a fear of cantering into jumps and also then jumping! If say I start off cantering, I usually panic, and steady poor old Murphy back to a trot.
I usually go through phases of feeling fairly confident, to where I am right now which is I feel totally useless. I feel my position is crap, and then when we do jump, it isn't as smooth as it should be, because I have brought him back to trot, so then the actually jumping part feels crap, so basically its one huge vicious circle.
I hope that makes sense to you!
25 August 2005
I did TFT last night!
Well what a strange experience (nice strange I mean). I was on the phone to Jo for an hour and a half. Earlier on in the day, I typed up a big list of things bothering me, and emailed it to Jo. I broke it down into small bits. (Bullet points are great!) So say my fear of jumping, is broken down into, cantering into jumps, cantering a course of jumps, and the height of the jumps. And of course a bad fall that I had over a year ago.
So each bit is taken on its own, say my fear of cantering into jumps, which on the 1-10 fear scale was a 10, so then you tap for that, then check the fear again, it came down to about 6, then tap again, then it eventually (after another 2 goes) came down to 0. You tap certain places on your body, eg, hand, eyebrow, collarbone, eye socket etc. in a certain order that Jo tells you. When I got to 0, I kept thinking, surely I must feel something about it, but I didn’t. It’s really weird. We went through all of my points, with the same result!
At the end, I felt great, a bit hyper even. I couldn’t wait to go out and jump! (I can’t even believe I’m still saying that this morning!). I was thinking last night, I cant wait to go canter around the big field (another issue). I also was thinking I couldn’t wait to go out to the yard and put up the tiny x-pole that I have been working over. And maybe do the course! Then I think hey, hold on there a minute, that’s not like me at all. That’s mad!
So now I'm sitting here, dying to get up and do something on Murphy. I want to jump. There I said it. How mad is that, I am actually disappointed that I cant get out to the yard tonight and put everything into practice. I want to get going and get jumping, and I don’t want to wait.
26 August 2005
Well, I was talking to my friend on the phone and telling about the TFT and how I couldn't wait to go jumping. She said she'd she'd meet me out at the yard. in the afternoon. She said when she hung up the phone from me a person that works with her asked her if she was ok, as she had a strange look on her face. She said she's grand but ‘my friend Niamh just said she wants to jump, and she never says that, she usually never even says she wants to ride’!
So when I got out to the yard I saw the jump (lowest x-pole on a poly jump) that I had been going over on Tuesday, took one look at it and said that's going up anyway. I went to the course, which is around 5 jumps with a double, and put down one jump, but left the others as they were. So I went and stood in the sand arena and did some more tapping.
So I got up, warmed up, then did the jump in the small sand arena, and wasn't too happy at how he jumped it, so I went into the big sand arena and cantered over one of the jumps a few times.
Then I was like, right so I’m going to do the course, and I did, and it was wonderful. My friend, was there with her mouth open, she couldn't believe it.
She said, I was so relaxed, the jumping was soo smooth, even when he threw a big jump or got in close, I was totally with him. There was no sign of me tensing up or anything even when he didn't meet the jump spot on it was still a really smooth round. I was on a loose rein, Murphy didn't charge at any of the jumps, he was soo relaxed, because I was so relaxed. It was brilliant. I did the double at tiny x-poles a few weeks ago (just the double mind you) Murphy rushed over it and it felt horrible. Last night the second part was around .60cm and he didn’t rush, it felt fabulous! It was me all along causing him to rush. I’m never blaming my horse again for anything like that, its all my fault!
So then I did the course again, and it was great, even when he jumped big and while I was going around the course what was going through my head wasn't ‘I can’t believe I’m jumping’ it was wooo hoooo!
And then after that I did the course again. My friend couldn't believe it, she really couldn't. And what was weird was that it felt like it was a totally normal thing to do and I wished she would stop going on and on about it. I was quite surprised at me doing the course 3 times in row. Usually once (even if I did it once) would be enough for me. I would have done it 4 times, only poor Murphy was wrecked!
My only thing was I didn't canter in-between each jump, I did canter a few strides into the jumps though, and the reason I wasn't cantering in between is that Murphy kept coming back to trot (not me pulling him back to trot). Poor guy is so used to just jumping 1 jump and leaving it at that. I don't think I’ve jumped a course since May.
Even when the current course went up a month ago and it was all tiny x-poles I couldn't bring myself to do it. And what I did last night, was bigger x-poles and 2 verticals. And my back wasn't sore this morning. I think I was soo tense jumping / cantering before that I was jarring my back.
So what can I say! Thank you Jo!
6 Feb 2006
I just thought Id let you know how things are going!
My confidence had seemed to have taken a knock recently, for no reason really. Last Tuesday, I was jumping cross poles, and on Thursday, I went out to the yard, put up the jumps and stood in the sand arena, and tapped. I had decided to go to a mini / midi / maxi show jumping comp on Friday night.
So then my friend comes out, and asks me if I had got my bit (I had ordered a new bit for Murphy and had said that I wouldn't go to the comp without it). And I said no, it still wasn't in yet. She then presumed that I wouldn't go, and went down to the sand arena and put up the jumps again.
So at this stage I was sitting on Murphy, and when she put up the jumps, I started to tap again, while sitting on Murphy walking around the sand arena, and trying to read the sequence from the sand arena lights!!!
So then we jumped, and it was great, we met one jump fairly badly and I was all over the place. My friend was sure I was going to call it quits because she thought I had gotten a fright, but I started laughing and kept going!!
On Friday, I tapped before I left the yard, as I was starting to feel a bit nervous. So then after that I was fine. I was a bit hyper in fact. We got there, looked at the course, and I was like, wow the jumps are tiny!!! Well it was the mini class after all.
We jumped really well and got a double clear. I was so thrilled. Not especially at the double clear, but the way he jumped, he was calm & relaxed cos I was calm & relaxed, he came back when I asked him to steady, and we even cantered in-between a few jumps, and into jumps (which I’m still working on, and is my main problem at the moment).
But I was thrilled, and on such a high. I decided against doing the midi, as I’m not up to jumping that height yet, (as I had been just doing cross poles before hand) but now I hope to do it the next time I go, which hopefully will be in two weeks. And I have that much time to build up the height and tap for that.
Thanks so much for all your help!
13 June 2006
Hope you remember myself & Murphy!!
Thought Id give you a quick update, I went to the National Irish Riding Clubs festival at the weekend, it was two days of competitions, and I had 2 comps a day! On the Saturday I was a bit nervous but even though Murphy played up a bit in the jumping, I came out laughing which is good, cos usually Id be soo scared if that happened to me!!!
So on Sunday, I tapped for everything under the sun in relation to jumping, and went in and got a double clear, I was thrilled!! There was about 50 in the class, and I was about 6th in, so I left it at that. And thought no more about it! And went into the Riding Club Horse Class, there was a jump in this, as well as walking along a footbridge and a few other obstacles! Murph was great, and I thought we'd do well, so I went back to the stables and put him away, and untacked!
I then went up for something to eat, went over to the notice board to find I was 3rd in the Riding Club horse class! I was thrilled!
So a bit later I was walking back to the stables, when a few people from the club come running over shouting at me, that Id got somewhere in the Show Jumping, but Murph was untacked back in the stables, so I had to go into the arena on foot. As I was walking up I heard them call out 3rd and it wasn't me, so I went to the edge, thinking Id wait and see where I came, Only for my name to be called out in first place. I nearly died, I couldn't speak, the people doing the presentation were laughing at me, saying did you not know you'd won, and I was like no!! Then they had to take a photo of me, and the state of me! No horse or anything!!
So I just wanted to say thanks a million for everything!! I knew you'd like an update!
© Jo Cooper 2002-2017. All rights reserved