Confidence
   

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Confidence

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    11-20-2011, 08:36 PM
  #1
Foal
Confidence

Ok so I am new to the forums! HELLO MY HORSE LOVERS!! I am so happy to have found this forum.


A little about me: I have been riding for about a year now. I ride English and I am learning to do dressage. They say everyone falls eventually and I did!! On 9/3 I was on a trail ride with two friends. We were riding on road- yes...hard road...yes I had my helmet on. He jumped into a canter which mind you was my first ever canter! I got off balance and was unable to get it back. I have a slight issue with holding my breath and trying to concentrate when I ride. So in trying to get my in sink with my horse I held a little long and passed out ( likely panic attack) before I even fell off!!! I fell on my right side. I should have been taken by ambulance or helicopter but I was stubborn. I had immediate memory loss and denied having thyroid surgery just 3 weeks prior. I tried to get up and walk and I couldn't. Later I came to find out I had two pelvic fractures. I also fractured my left ring finger which has now healed crooked- I will eventually need surgery on it. I also had a grade 3 concussion with a large hematoma. I was admitted to the hospital for the memory loss and headache. I stayed a week and was off from riding till 3 weeks ago.
Anyway- Now since the accident I have lost confidence in myself as a rider. I am also scared... but I am back up on the same horse I fell off of. Today my lesson was hard- I was just off in general and my poor rocky was picking up on it.

Any words of wisdom from my fellow horse riders would be appreciated. I am working on learning dressage. I have attempted trotting but feel very off balanced…
     
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    11-20-2011, 10:29 PM
  #2
Foal
Welcome to the forum, and sorry about your fall! I have only been riding a couple months so I can't really give any advise, but I wanted to say congrats on getting back on!
     
    11-21-2011, 12:55 AM
  #3
Yearling
Much like your injuries, this is going to take time to heal. I commend you for getting back into the saddle again, but I can't tell you when it's going to get better/comfortable for you, as that depends on you. I can tell you a little about my own personal experience in hopes it can give you some indication that you're definitely not alone here.

In 2009 I was riding my mare who is green, but rather brave, with my other mare and friend. We were socialising Honey under saddle for the third time, and it was going really well until we separated in my paddock for own on pursuits- Honey wanted to trot, and was happy to do so until she realised her friend wasn't beside her anymore. She panicked, rushed to my other mare, who booted at her. Honey then went into panic mode and bolted. I managed to fall off and shatter both bones in my right leg - I'm now part bionic. It took me 8mths to be able to walk after the accident and I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel. I felt like I'd never ride again, just the thought of it made me break out into a sweat and send my heart racing.

It was actually my horses that got me to calm down. I didn't get back up until early 2010... but I spent as much time (even when I couldn't walk) hobbling around my horses as I could. I found just spending time petting them, and then having the ability to look after them again really made me get back into the swing of things. I started to crave more, and started doing everything I could. I started to dream of riding and when my friend got back up on both my gelding & mare that was enough to make me determined to decide. I told myself if I freaked when back up in the saddle, then I was going to sell my babies and move on. Thankfully for me, my mare was just as determined for our partnership to continue and was a saint who gave me some very nice led rides. After that I just built up to riding by myself comfortably. Sadly Honey had some unresolved issues that we thought we had addressed, but were hidden and a "professional" caused more damage than helped her. It took until this year to bring her back into work, and she's still not completely right. However, I can handle everything again back in the saddle without breaking into a sweat or riding in small spaces in fear of bolting.

I should mention I was already a relatively nervy rider. I'm so happy to have a mare who really takes great care of me, and we've learnt a lot from our mistake in 09. It takes having a good partner in a horse, and some great support around you to get passed things that are currently stumping you. I'm guessing your instructor is providing you with the support you're needing? Have you spoken up about the nerves you're experiencing? This won't fix over night, in fact you'll have to push yourself harder than you ever have. If you want to ride again, and do so at a level where fear isn't preventing you, then you'll need a lot of determination, support, and trust in your riding partner.

I wish you all the best. It sounds like with time you'll be back to feeling like you can ride comfortably!!
     
    11-21-2011, 12:45 PM
  #4
Weanling
Falling off is truly scary, especially when you get seriously injured as you did! Thankfully, my worst fall only landed me with a bruised hip and soreness. Even that small fall hurt my confidence jumping, as I'm still not 100% comfortable with it.

Unfortunately, there is no telling when you'll be comfortable in the saddle again. My suggestion is to take baby steps. Know your limits, make sure your trainer knows your limits, and stick with them. Getting back in the saddle after that fall is a huge accomplishment in itself, so be proud of yourself for that (I'm proud of you)!

You mostly need to focus on breathing. Your fall would have been substantially less serious probably if you wouldn't have held your breath and stayed conscious. Make it a point in your lessons to focus on breathing in and out and relaxing at the walk, trot, and canter (when you're ready). :)

You also probably need to work on emergency dismounts for future reference, you should have already known how to do this, you may have but it is easy in the moment to forget about it. Try to remember and practice it!

Also, next time your horse spooks at something, do a one rein. This is shortening one rein and bring it up to your chest, which makes your horse do hind ends. It prevents him from running away with you, gets you in control of his feet, gives him a chance to calm down. Do the one rein until he stops moving.

Congratulations on getting back on! I hope you keep persevering and gain your confidence back!
     
    11-21-2011, 02:32 PM
  #5
Weanling
So glad to hear you decided to get back in the saddle and are ok! Just remember that there is a reason why you decided to keep riding after such intense injuries. There is a passion in us that drives us to get back in the saddle. Best of luck!
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    11-21-2011, 02:33 PM
  #6
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahkgamble    
Also, next time your horse spooks at something, do a one rein. This is shortening one rein and bring it up to your chest, which makes your horse do hind ends. It prevents him from running away with you, gets you in control of his feet, gives him a chance to calm down. Do the one rein until he stops moving.
Sorry to intrude but how does one do a one rein stop on a horse that is head shy/hates too much pressure on her head? I'd like to learn this technique on my mare, except she despises any great deal of contact on her face and would possibly panic more if I took it up suddenly. The last time I had to suddenly grab my reins cos she spooked when I was loosely plodding her, I actually made it 10 times worse for her. I can't imagine this is something I could safely try on her but would at least like to know if it's something I could as I broke my leg when she bolted - the post above yours tells it. Thanks and sorry OP I'm just interested in finding out more :)
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    11-21-2011, 02:41 PM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmyitschelle    
Sorry to intrude but how does one do a one rein stop on a horse that is head shy/hates too much pressure on her head? I'd like to learn this technique on my mare, except she despises any great deal of contact on her face and would possibly panic more if I took it up suddenly. The last time I had to suddenly grab my reins cos she spooked when I was loosely plodding her, I actually made it 10 times worse for her. I can't imagine this is something I could safely try on her but would at least like to know if it's something I could as I broke my leg when she bolted - the post above yours tells it. Thanks and sorry OP I'm just interested in finding out more :)
Posted via Mobile Device
I've never seen doing it with a horse who is head shy a problem. Although I don't really recall any horses at my barn being immensely head shy. The most head shy horse I know of out there is an OTTB who was a rescue and now is a lesson horse and doing one reins with him works wonders. Doing a one rein is like the first thing my trainer teaches the beginner riders. You could try doing one reins with your mare in safe situations where she is not spooking to get her used to it. Just put it into your training/riding routine and let her know it's coming instead of suddenly grabbing reins. The most important thing about a one rein is not the contact on the horse's mouth, but the way the horse's body bends when you're doing it. It restricts their movement and forces them into hind ends, which prevents them from running off, kicking, or rearing.
     
    11-21-2011, 06:18 PM
  #8
Foal
Thanks for the great advice everyone! I acutally never knew how to do an emergency dismount but I am now learning it!! I have never heard of the one rein but I can see how it would help.

In order to keep breathing my instructors actually have me singing ( and I am not good) while I am riding- like Happy Birthday or Im a little tea pot. ..LOL.. its quiet funny! But it helps me keep breathing and also helps me calm down my breathing when I get excited.
     
    11-21-2011, 06:24 PM
  #9
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky1986    
Thanks for the great advice everyone! I acutally never knew how to do an emergency dismount but I am now learning it!! I have never heard of the one rein but I can see how it would help.

In order to keep breathing my instructors actually have me singing ( and I am not good) while I am riding- like Happy Birthday or Im a little tea pot. ..LOL.. its quiet funny! But it helps me keep breathing and also helps me calm down my breathing when I get excited.
Haha, I've never heard of singing before, but I can see how it works! That's pretty creative.
     
    11-21-2011, 07:52 PM
  #10
Foal
Hello! :) I'm not new to riding, but am new to the forum... the singing is SO creative! Kudos to your trainer!

That being said, falling IS scary and even a great, confident rider can be nervous to get back on again. I think you really did do a great thing by getting back on, so kudos to you on that one! I've also found that if I think too much about things my riding really suffers, so I always remind myself to 'relax and have a good time' and I find that I have a much better time and don't question myself or what I'm doing. Hope that helps! :)
     

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