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Is this possible? Very timid rider owning a horse long term? Riding critique

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  • I've lost my nerve with horse riding

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    08-27-2011, 06:10 PM
  #21
Yearling
If I were you I would'nt buy a horse until youve taken care of the issues with fear. Horses read off our body language and if your scared its not going to make for a very fun ride.
     
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    08-27-2011, 06:33 PM
  #22
Trained
What a great thread, it is so nice to read about all the people here who have a horse addiction, but are also scared, nice because it means I am not alone.

I'm scared, scared of the what ifs and maybe's I've been through the standing on the mounting block trying to get enough courage to get on, in fact I regularly cycle back to that default setting

Having my own horses at home makes it easy for me, because if I get overwhelmed by fear of riding I can still ground work them, or just hang out and love on them, then I work may way up to riding again. Don't laugh but that sometimes means starting to wear my breeches around the house for a couple of days becuase that make me feel like a rider.

As to will you ruin every horse, OF COURSE NOT, there are as others said some nice gentle souls out there who will be only to glad to look after you and will not take advantage of your nerves or any inexperience.

Just to let you know though, I bought a child safe, well broke, Haflinger, her role was to get me though my nerves and to start to enjoy riding again. Turned out to be a feisty spooky little mare, who just scared me more

Like you when I looked at horse ads I always looked for temp ratings of 1 or 2, so I still to this day don't know why I answered an ad in the local paper, for an Appy that was for experienced rider only, but I did, and I bought him , and Mr G has taken me from just riding around the farm, to competing in dressage and even doing some jumping.

It is the luck of finding the right horse for you, the one that 'feels' right, I started smiling as soon as I sat on Mr G, he was just the right one.
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    08-29-2011, 08:27 PM
  #23
Weanling
You don't look scared. You ride well and I wish I had a suggestion to help you but I just don't hopefully you can get over the fear and just have the joy. I would suggest that the next time you go to look at a horse ride it several times see if you can take it out on a trail not just in the ring and find a good trainer or someone with experiance to go with you like was suggested in the thread "Finding the right horse for you."
     
    09-08-2011, 09:37 AM
  #24
Foal
After a couple of nasty falls I also got very scared but loved horses so much I could not totally give up riding. Did ground work for months before I got the courage to ride again. Still have not cantered yet but will get there. There are great horses out there. At the previous stables there was this horse named Whisky. He was the most amazing horse, when he had an inexperienced rider on him he was so gentle, calm, but if you put an experienced rider on he would change into this spirited horse that loved to gallop.

At our current stables we also have this 20 year old, used for therapy treatment, he also is totally bombproof. So believe me they are out there just look hard and you will find the perfect horse for you. Bit of advice always take someone with to ride a horse if you feel that you don't want to get on a strange horse. There are people out there that will tell you anything to get a sale. A friend of mine bought a horse, advertised as bombproof, good for trails etc, 2 years down the line she still can't ride him because he is too much horse for her, she has also not been able too sell him because of his problem behaviour. She has now gotten somebody to ride him hoping that he will change into something she can handle. Rather wait to buy till you find the perfect horse.
     
    09-08-2011, 10:28 AM
  #25
mls
Trained
As so many have advised - a real down to earth person to encourage you in the day to day aspect of working with horses is the absolute best thing you can do.

I've had a couple of ugly falls and not so fun injuries and set backs. Scared? Sure. But more - I have respect for what can happen but I choose not to let it run my life. I have bills to pay, a husband to care for etc. Logically I know I can be hurt or worse going about my daily routine. Falling down the stairs, slipping in the tub, going to the post office . . .

We need to live our lives the way we choose. If you can find someone to help you harness the fear and change it into a healthy respect, it will go a long way into shifting to the enjoyable side of riding a horse.

Best wishes!
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    09-08-2011, 10:38 AM
  #26
Banned
*waves hand in air.

Me, I am a very scared and timid rider.


The right horse makes all the difference. Add a good trainer and you will be having fun before you know it.

Find a trainer that you trust and have them help you find a horse that you can learn to trust.
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    09-08-2011, 11:46 AM
  #27
Super Moderator
I used to be an "all the time" fearful rider.
I'm still pretty fearful but now it's related to a few specific experiences (spooking, cantering any horse but my own, tripping, slipping on mud, etc).

For me, I found "that horse", the one that I can trust implicitly to take care of me. She's pretty crazy but she's only crazy enough to scare me. She basically seems to refuse to let me fall off. She does crazy stuff with the intention of scaring me into getting off on my own but if I stay on, she settles right down and starts doing her job.
This mare of mine has been the best training experience for me. She's desensitized me enough to crazy behavior that I can get on another horse, have it start rearing/spinning/whatever, stay on, fix the situation, and not be scared in the least. 2 or more years ago (I got my mare 3 years ago) I probably would have literally peed myself experiencing that behavior.

I'm still pretty scared of cantering (had a few very scary experiences while cantering) but I'm finally comfortable enough to canter my mare on a regular basis, spooking, mud because slipping is really scary. I'm also pretty frightened of riding horses I don't know but that's more of a low-key fear, one that I can easily overcome with a little self talk.

But anyway, you are not alone and it's really good that you are coming to terms with your fear. You know what they say: true bravery isn't not being scared, it's being scared and doing it anyway.
So, all those people that mock us for being scared or are "never scared"? They have no chance to practice bravery! Suckers! Haha


And also, on the topic of an older horse having no resale value, my cray-cray mare, who is 26 but acts like a 2 year old (I don't suggest you get one of those), just had an offer of $1000 because she's so great for unsure people! Obviously I said no because I need her and because she's not nearly as good when I'm not around, but someone wanted to pay $1000 for a horse that has maybe 8 using years left. So, moral of this story- if you buy a horse that is aging well, keep him/her well and fit, and exercise caution in how hard you work said horse (older horses can get tired much faster, it's just something you have to plan into your rides), you could be looking at a companion for the next 15 years of your life or something that will have a resale value even at an older age. That's not the norm, but it happens!

Another thing when you're checking out horses, try to see if you can ride/handle the prospective horse without the owner present, maybe after you've ridden him/her once or twice already.
In the case of my mare, she's the deadest, most broke thing ever, when I'm, there. However, as soon as I leave, she gets hard to manage. It's because I am her dominant mare so she looks to me to see how she should behave. So, you want to make sure that any horse you are trying is really that good because they are that good and not because they are taking nonverbal cues from their owner.


Good luck! :)
Calmwaters likes this.
     
    09-08-2011, 12:37 PM
  #28
Started
If you were closer I'd tell you to come check out my guy! I may have to sell him soon :(

Everyone on here has shared some great stories and advice. You just need to find the right horse for you, it will make all the difference.

Good luck with finding the perfect horse and trainer! :)
     
    09-08-2011, 07:38 PM
  #29
Weanling
I'm a scared rider too, and one of those that is much more confident on the ground. Hand me the lead of a spooky, badly mannered stud and tell me to lead him past a mare in heat, and I won't even bat an eye. Ask me to go into the stall of an aggressive horse and I won't hesitate. Give me 10 minutes with the horse and he'll respect me 10X more than he did when I first walked in. Bring over a slightly skittish horse and instruct me to mount up and I'll look at you like you're crazy. Send me off at a canter on a horse and I might have a panic attack. I had a bad fall from a cantering Quarter Horse and I've never worked past the fear. I'm not a rider, I enjoy it... but I enjoy being on the ground more. Some people are like that and I applaud your desire to work past your fear. I'm also very proud that you recognize your fear and have come to terms with it, and are looking for the very best horse for your personality.
     
    09-08-2011, 07:48 PM
  #30
Foal
I'm new here, so I don't yet have a profile pic and I probably look very anonymous. :) But I just wanted to say that you are not a bad rider at all and yes, you can certainly find the right horse for you. What I would NOT do is buy a horse from an unknown seller. Your best bet is to find a good lesson barn, in whatever discipline interests you most (I would suggest dressage, because you'll get excellent training for your seat, balance, and confidence) and then let the instructor guide you in purchasing a horse when the time is right. You might even be able to buy one of your favorite school horses right from the barn. Or the barn owners might know another student who's looking to upgrade and wants to sell Old Reliable.

As for the fear--well, you've seen how many riders here have admitted to feeling the same way. And this is an issue I constantly deal with myself. I have never been a super-confident rider, but I did all right until I had one fall and injury too many and then I lost my nerve. I quit riding for several years, and since starting back again, I've had good days and bad days. I am careful with myself. I try to ride confidence-building horses, and avoid high-spirited, difficult horses. I know my limits. :)

Finally, please, please, please wear a helmet. A number of falls I've had have involved hitting my head, and the helmet saved my brains, and perhaps my life. Back before the new, shock-absorbing helmets were available, I wore a traditional English hard hat, which was not enough to save me from a concussion and an ambulance ride. Now I never mount a horse without wearing an approved helmet. Even very good, very confident riders have falls from time to time, sometimes in unexpected circumstances. You never want to be unprepared.
     

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