New and a bit scared - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-08-2012, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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New and a bit scared

Hello everyone! I'm new and wanted to introduce myself. I'm 23, live in the Midwest, and am starting English beginner lessons next week. I used to ride when I was younger, but not in years.

I just read the thread about injuries you have received while riding. Yikes! I know riding can be dangerous, but that really scared me. Is that something you get over and just learn to accept that it might happen?
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post #2 of 27 Old 08-08-2012, 01:42 PM
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Welcome! I hope you enjoy riding as much as many of us do! Injuries are something I don't even think about, but I know the risk is there. As long as you feel comfortable and really work hard you should be fine!
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post #3 of 27 Old 08-08-2012, 01:55 PM
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First off, hi and welcome to the forum!!

It's something that you just learn to accept.. I will say that once you have one good spill ad realize that it isn't the end of the world you can brush it off and get back on easier than it was to have to be scared the whole time you're riding. I've had a few rough spills but I have had the worst horse related injury on the ground. I got kicked in the back by a mare when I was walking out of her stall after cleaning it.. Witch.

Getting over the fear will just come with time, especially when you are getting more comfortable and confident with your riding. Eating dirt a few times will happen, hate to say it, but more than likely you'll be fine and can get right back on. I dislocated and broke my elbow falling while running barrels and I was back riding a week later with a full arm cast on. It's just part of riding and being around horses in general. I don't know one person who hasn't had some kind of accident with horses.. My dad says it's not if you get hurt with horses, it's when and how bad. I don't mean to scare you, I'm just giving my two cents and saying it's likely to happen, but once you have that first fall things will be a lot easier.

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post #4 of 27 Old 08-08-2012, 02:27 PM
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Welcome FutureRN. Don't fret too much about accidents -- they happen every day in our lives whether on a horse or on a street. As your riding knowledge base increases you'll learn how to handle potential situations and you'll become more confident in your ability to cope with what is thrown (no pun intended) at you. Progress at a learning speed that is comfortable for you and don't let yourself get pushed ahead by others before you`re ready to take on the next level. Take care and good riding.
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post #5 of 27 Old 08-08-2012, 02:36 PM
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It's called acceptable risk, and if you really want to ride you'll figure it out.

I agree with Drum; it's not IF you'll get hurt, but when and how badly. You can do a lot of things to mitigate how badly though, so don't lose hope.

Horseback riding is one of the most dangerous sports out there. Heck, just being around horses can be dangerous, especially if you're not experienced enough to be able to read them and keep yourself from getting into sketchy situations.

They're very large prey animals with minds of their own, and even the quietest steady-eddie can have a bad day. As long as you realize that, you should be (mostly) fine.
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post #6 of 27 Old 08-08-2012, 04:04 PM
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Riding is a very dangerous sport, a lot more dangerous than the public realizes but don't let that scare you. Hopefully you will be taking lessons at a responsible barn that will not rush you into jumping, or anything where there is an elevated risk of serious injury. I know of barns that start people jumping as soon as they learn how to canter which is pure insanity!

As someone else mentioned horses have a mind of their own and anything can happen without warning. I've brought this example up a few times on this forum, but the other year a very experienced rider was killed at my barn when she was waiting to enter the show ring. She had a helmet on and the horse wasn't moving. Something caused the horse to spook and she landed on her head in a weird way and that was it. Things can happen that fast!

You need to accept that sooner or later you will fall off and you may get hurt. If you are not OK with that then I would rethink riding. Always wear a helmet and if you're feeling extra cautious get a protective vest. When you do find yourself flying off the horse try to tuck in and roll... and whatever you do, never, ever stick your arms out to catch you. You will need to fight the natural instinct to put your arms out because that is a sure fire way to break some bones.
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post #7 of 27 Old 08-08-2012, 06:07 PM
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Hel protect yourself from injuries buy purchasing a helmet which is ASTM/SEI certified. Also knee-hi boots and even an eventing vest can help protect you. One big thing is if you get tense you are more likely to have issues - horse feels tenseness and gets "worried" about bogey man - speeds up, new rider looses balance.

Start by only riding to the level at which YOU are comfortable - Walk/halt then add trot when you feel good. Wait for canter until your trot is balanced and you can stop or turn horse without loosing your balance.

You'll do fine - it's like riding a bike - your muscle memory won't forget - just be a bit stiff at first.

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post #8 of 27 Old 08-08-2012, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by FutureRN View Post
Hello everyone! I'm new and wanted to introduce myself. I'm 23, live in the Midwest, and am starting English beginner lessons next week. I used to ride when I was younger, but not in years.

I just read the thread about injuries you have received while riding. Yikes! I know riding can be dangerous, but that really scared me. Is that something you get over and just learn to accept that it might happen?
Do NOT think about injuries - thinking about it will make you less confident and more stiff when on horse. As a beginner you'll be on a very quite horse, so don't worry - the lessons will go just fine! (I agree with helmet suggestion though, although I'm pretty sure it'll be a must in english barn anyway)

And welcome to the Forum!

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

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post #9 of 27 Old 08-08-2012, 06:10 PM
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Yup you pretty much accept the risk. Just like you accept the risk of a wreck when you get in a car or ride a train or a bike or anything else. Safety gear won't eliminate the risk but it can help prevent or lessen it - by safety gear I mean helmets and vests.
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post #10 of 27 Old 08-08-2012, 06:19 PM
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Like everyone else has said, injuries are part of it. I've had my fair share of nasty accidents, but a lot of them happened because I took a bite too big to chew, or out of noviceness. I get hurt more during ground work than I do falls on rock hard ground, coincidentally. : p *cue in shod mustang and not watching where I'm going....* Still have indents from his shoe.

But, like in life, you're going to take falls, and hits, and all else. But does that make you afraid of life? I'd certainly hope not. Just keep on truckin' and enjoy your experiences.
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