Anxiety&Nervousness When Riding
Last summer, I broke my back falling off a horse while jumping. It was a freak accident thing. I broke my back in August and was lucky enough to start riding again in November. Ever since I've started riding again, I become extremely anxious and nervous before I get on the horse (it builds up on the drive to the barn, when I'm grooming and tacking up, up until the walk to the mounting block). I've always been a little anxious before I rode in the past, but since my accident it's become worse and it affects my riding. I tense my back and legs, and I know it's to guard my back. Recently I have been so panicky and antsy that I almost don't want to get on the horse, but once I'm on and have been riding for about 10-15 minutes I finally relax somewhat.
I know it will take time to recover and regain my confidence again, but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas to help with this issue? Are there exercises I can practice while riding? I was also thinking that if I were to buy a safety vest I would feel a little more secure on the horse, knowing I'd have extra support if I were to fall?
If anyone has any other ideas I'd really appreciate it! Thanks