Originally Posted by tinyliny
Show rider, if you can just "cowboy up" , more power to you. Some folks don't do well with the "buck up and just do it" attitude. They do better with a little bit at a time. You know which fits you the best.
One thing I feel certain about is that if you feel ashamed of being afraid, it only gives the fear more power. First it's important to state clearly to yourself and to anyone else you feel close with that you FEEL fear. Ok, now talk about WHAT you are afraid of. Bring it out in the open . Say it without judgement or self condemnation. The rider who gets on when afraid is the bravest of all.
I'm one of those riders who get nervous and startled very easily. Horse doesn't need to do that much, just get nervous or for example run away and I'm in fear, thinking those 'what ifs' too.
Horses sense it. They sense when you're scared. I'm not sure how are you there, can you have for example someone to lead the horse during first times? Start with small things that you feel comfort with, just little walking or something. If you start to get nervous, focus your thoughts on somewhere else or imagine that the horse TOTALLY calm if you can. Once when I started to become nervous myself, I imagined the horse I rode was actually the guy I was fallen for and that he wouldn't act badly toward me. It helped, I managed to calm myself down.