Confidence Issues After Bad Fall. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-26-2012, 09:49 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Originally Posted by EquineGirl1965 View Post
Being dragged is one of my worst fears about falling from a horse. I ride in a half-breed saddle which has ox-bows so my feet naturally just slide right out of them when I come off.
On a side note....
Saddlebronc riders use oxbows because you can really shove your feet all the way home and they stay. I wont ride in them, or the deep roper stirrups that you can shove your upper thigh through, because I want to be able to kick out if need be.
And be careful with what your oxbows are made of, because they are thinner the material makes a difference if you have a horse fall down on his side, bends and squashes your stirrup to where you can't get your foot out.

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post #12 of 15 Old 12-28-2012, 01:16 AM
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Fear is a good thing. It is our body's way of keeping us out of danger. You are afraid because what happened could easily have killed you.

Now you need to respond to what your body is telling you. What do you need to do to make things safe? Very few accidents are truly unavoidable. Either your stirrups are not safe, your boots are not safe, or your riding style is not safe.

It wouldn't hurt to evaluate all three things. Make sure your stirrups are safety stirrups, your boots are not too wide for the stirrup, they have a surface that is not too slick or too grippy, and conversely cannot fit all the way through the stirrup. Make sure you are riding properly and don't pivot your leg back and point your toes down when bad things happen. Make sure you don't ride with your foot shoved way into the stirrup.

If you take care of these things, then your mind has a strong logical basis to get rid of the emotion of fear. There is a physical/chemical component to fear, and you may still have the feeling after you know you are safe from being dragged. Endorphins can be released by the memory of a past event or even a smell or sound that may serve as triggers.

In order to get rid of the physical/chemical part of fear you must force yourself to have several experiences that don't involve life-threatening events and then your body will reset itself back to feeling safe doing those activities again. If this involves ignoring shaky legs and racing heart, then that is what you have to do. All the while you must be using your logical thinking to reinforce that what you are doing is now safe and you will not be dragged.

Of course if your horse is too much for you to handle at this point in your riding then none of this will help you because you will have many other experiences that will add to and reinforce your fears.
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post #13 of 15 Old 12-28-2012, 01:59 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Firstly, I would get someone experienced to ride my horse first. Watching them riding your horse with success will help your confidence. You could also get someone to lunge/lead your horse while you ride her to help build your confidence. Lastly, you might like to ride a slow 'plodder' horse for a couple of days to help your confidence a bit more. Hope this helps!
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post #14 of 15 Old 12-28-2012, 02:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
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I'm new here, so I hope my two cents is ok :)

I was thrown off of a horse I had JUST purchased for my children. (I found out later that he had been sedated both times that I went to see him, but I'll save that for another day...) He threw me THREE times before I finally got up and took myself to the ER with 2 broken ribs. He was a jerk and I am SO greatful that I didn't put my kids on him. The NEXT DAY I bought Ruby. She is my horse-soul-mate. I know that I should not have bought another horse right away, but I was so afraid that I would not want to get back on a horse that I felt compelled to. Thankfully, I have never regretted it. HOWEVER. About 4 months after I was physically able to ride again, I was riding my sweet Ruby along the property where we boarded. We rode along some pasture which (unbeknownst to me) now held mini horses. One of the minis charged the fence and Ruby TOOK OFF. She jumped a ditch, ran through a paddock, and into the ROAD. Talk about a danagerous situation. I held on for dear life and the song "Jesus take the wheel" was playing in my head. She finally came to a halt across the street. She was terrified, but that didn't stop me from freaking out on her. She knew she was wrong, but by that time, my confidence was severely shaken. Every time I thought about getting on her, I felt faint. There was NO way I was selling her; she was already wedged her way firmly into my heart. Besides, her reaction was that of fear and obviously she had not built enough trust in ME to know I would take care of her. A very good friend of mine sells horses. She had a very large, calm, gentle giant that she said would get my confidence back. I rode him in the round pen, then in the arena. We bonded very well. I thought about buying him. Then my husband got on him. After about 5 mintues, he freaked over a barking dog and threw my husband. I realized at that point that my confidence was going to have to come from ME and that confidence would have to exude enough energy that the horse could feel it too. Since then, I've been riding Ruby and we've become so much closer. Our last ride was a 3 mile trail ride. Just me and her. I felt her nervousness at some unfamiliar things, but seeing her ear twitch back waiting for me to say "it's ok girl..." was enough to keep me focused on staying calm and relaxed so that she would be calm and relaxed. I don't know if that makes any helpful sense at all, but there's my story. :)
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post #15 of 15 Old 12-28-2012, 05:33 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Getting back in the saddle after a bad fall is hard. I broke my neck in June in a fall and I still am working on getting back in the saddle. There has never been any doubt in my mind that I will, I just want to know that I'm 100% and my mare is too. Take your time :) You'll get there :)
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