Confidence builder? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-08-2012, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland
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Confidence builder?

At the barn that I ride at, I'm friends with a mom and her daughter. We usually ride together on the weekends. I'm more advanced than them so I can help them out with their problems and I like teaching. The daughter is a very nervous person. She owns a 16yo arab mare who is highly reactive to any cues. The mom "K" rides a 9yo mare who is a handfull. She is in training with a proffessional 3x a week. They both get regular lessons from a trainer, but I like to help them out.
The daughter "S" can get very nervous. One day there were hunters somewhere and she refused to take her horse out of the barn because she thought that her mare would be shot. Her fear can get out of control sometimes. Since her horse is so reactive, when "S" gets nervous, the horse gets nervous. I've been trying to help her, but most of the time she gets freaked out for no reason and gets off. Next week she is going to see a sports psycologist to help, since she really wants to keep riding.
Today I asked her to ride my 15yo gelding who is as close to bomb proof as a horse can be. I think she had fun, but when he would get lazy and stop, she wouldn't make him keep going. I told her to kick because you have to use a lot of leg. She did little butterfly kicks and it took forever to make him move. She wouldn't hit him with the whip either.
She is reluctant to do anything because she says that her horse is super sensitive. Trying to prove to her that her horse could be relaxed, I got on her mare. The mare was perfect.
I guess my question is, what can I say or do to help "S" become more confident?
I would love if she rode my gelding for me because I don't have time to work him as much as he should be worked. She is so timid, I'm afraid that if he pricks his ears up at a noise, it would scare her. Today at the end of the ride she said that she had a lot of fun, but she only walked and did a little trot.

Last edited by Ashsunnyeventer; 09-08-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-08-2012, 04:30 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kansas
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Talk to "K" about having "S" ride your horse in lessons with her trainer. It sounds like she needs experience on a quiet horse that is not so sensitive.
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-08-2012, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland
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Thank you :) I mntioned it to her, but she didn't say anything about it. I want to help "S", but not push her too hard
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-11-2012, 01:09 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Not every horse and rider work well together. A timid rider and a spirited Arabian are not a suitable match. They will feed each others nervousness. I have a horse I could not ride for four years after having a baby, for the same reason. Once I got my nerve back, I enjoy her greatly, but it takes some nerve to ride her.
Hopefully the sports psycologist will tell the mother this same thing.
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