Confidence problem..

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Confidence problem..

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    11-10-2010, 02:43 PM
Unhappy Confidence problem..

Ok so my problem is confidence um I'm 14 and have a wonderful 9 year old 14.2 bay new forest gelding called Rascal I love him with all my heart and he's normally the perfect gentleman however he has taken off with me a few times sometimes due to excitment and once because he spooked (I do not blame him for this at all!) I started riding when I was 2 1/2 but had to stop at 7 as we had to sell our horses/ponies. I started riding again about a year ago and everything was fine until I started riding an extremely stubborn 13.2 pony I was still very novice and could barely canter she then took advantage of me being a novice rider and started napping extremely badly, where she was a very strong pony and was 22 she had unfortunatly(sp?) become very hard in the mouth, so anyway she started napping which then developed into taking off with me this knocked my confidence and after I fell off her for the first time when she took off with me I was a nervous wreck! So long story short I was then terrified of riding but at the same time I loved it and didn't want to stop. So after a few more ponies I decided it would be best to go to a riding school this gave me so much confidence! And I even went back to riding the 13.2 and she was an angel once she knew who was in charge :) I even started jumping her and we jumped up to 2'6" together, although I wanted something a bit more as she was getting old and then we saw Rascal my instructor asked me if I would help her hack two ponies to our yard as she was going to train them so I went along and rode Rascal for the first time, we then bought him as I fell completely in love! He was green in the school as had only ever been hacked but this was fine, and everything was fine! Until a few weeks ago when I had to ride him in a big field due to the smal one having sheep in it! He got very excited and took off with me and headed straight for the fence with the other horses in it everyone thought he was going to jump it but I managed to turn him just at the last moment however I fell off.. I wasn't hurt to badly just bruised (thank goodness to hats and body protectors) I got back on and cantered and everything but ever since I feel the same fear I did before, I think this is because sherry took off with me and now rascal is too.. and I do NOT want to be scared of him I want to enjoy him and love him and have fun with him but I'm so scared everytime I ride him now and I know he feels it to.. and I just don't know what to do I'm sorry for the length but please if someone can help me :) it would be gratly appreciated, thanks.
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    11-10-2010, 03:29 PM
You need to discuss this with your instructor. She can help you overcome your confidence issues.
    11-10-2010, 03:51 PM
Um sorry I must have fotgot to say I don't have my instructor anymore as we had to move yards because I got accused of stealing! And I have NEVER stolen anything in my life... :( so yes I currently don't have an instructor but I am looking for one but it's difficult as we don't have a school etc and prices..
    11-10-2010, 04:02 PM
I definitely agree with Speed Racer, first talk to someone who know you and knows horses. Maybe you could find another instructor or have an experienced friend?

Don't worry, I really know exactly how you feel! I had a very similar problem when I was your age. I had a lovely pony who I adored and never had a problem with, his only issue is that he was afraid to hack without other ponies, and while we were out one day the person I was riding with decided to canter off without warning me, I tried to hold him back but he was scared to be on his own, and bolted to catch up, which I didnt blame him for at all! But I fell off and injured myself, and because of my injuries I wasn't able to ride for eight weeks. But the time I was back in the saddle I was a nervous wreck, no matter how well my pony behaved....and when he didn't behave it just got worse.

Do you know anyone who has a very quiet and reliable horse or pony that you would be able to take a lesson or two on? Shortly after my fall I got a rescue mare as a field companion. It turned out she was very steady to ride and completely bombproof and my instructor said that she saw an improvement in my confidence on my gelding after i'd been riding her. She really made the biggest difference, and she is my angel

If there are certain situations where your gelding is likely to be more over-excited then try to avoid them for now (riding in large open areas, near other horses, etc). If you can find an instructor ask if they can run you through some confidence building excercises. Also, if I were you i'd make sure your groundwork is tip top, the better your relationship on the ground, the more trust you can have in the saddle.

I don't know what country you are in, but you could also look into finding a product called 'Bach's Rescue Remedy'. It's like an oil that you can put a couple of drops of onto your tounge and it's supposed to have a calming effect and help you center your energy. You can get it at pharmacies around here, and you can also use it for your horse if necessary.

I liked to keep a good luck charm on me as well. I had a necklace with a horseshoe pendant, and knowing I had it with me/giving it a little touch every now and again made me feel better. I have a friend who believes in crystal healing, and she was always kept a very small piece of rose quartz in her pocket, as it is supposed to have emotional healing properties.

I don't know if any of this will help you as everyone is different, but the best advice I can give you is DON'T GIVE UP. If you really love your pony and you feel like you can keep hold of your relationship you will have to keep at it, because it will be difficult at times.

I had a rollercoaster ride with my boy, but I kept trying and we grew together. Since the accident I've ridden him in a halter, and learnt exactly how to deal with his 'quirks'. I have a lovely mare now and there's no stopping us - it CAN be done!

I wish you the BEST of luck. Feel free to post any other questions and let us know how you get on!
    11-10-2010, 04:15 PM
Do very heavy ground work with a big horse! That's how my confidence grew!!
    11-10-2010, 04:34 PM
BTW just to add that Rascal is gorgeous! Absolutely adorable. X
    11-10-2010, 04:53 PM
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply :) yes I will definitely try the things you've suggested! Especially the rescue remedy I'm in hampshire england and I know a health food shop that might sell it! And yes for now I will be staying away from open spaces! And probably avoiding company for a while to as that's when he also gets excited the problem is we're moving him again on saturday :( not due to people issues simply due to the fact at our current yard all the horses are stabled except one who stays out with rascal but he's being sold and I don't want to stable him as he gets a little stressed in the stable and I don't want to stress him uncessarily :) and so I will have to go out in company to learn the hacks around and I know that hacking will be amazing as you can hack straight onto butser hill or queen elizabeth country park however that does mean open spaces + company which may equal excited pony :/ but I will try to deal with it as it comes! And thank you very much! I absolutley adore him to! (but I am a bit biased haha) but he's very stubborn and a typhical new forest pony!! Lol I saw your 3 and they're all gorgeous! I especially love solo! So cute! So yeah thanks for all the useful tips will definitely be trying them out and will keep you updated :) x
    11-10-2010, 05:18 PM
Aha, If you're in England then you'll be able to find rescue remedy easy. They sell it in Boots. Moving yards is a pretty good time to try it if you're going to give any to him as the change might be stressful. I gave it to mine when they had to travel by putting a few drops of a slice of apple

Thanks, my babies are so sweet. Solo is actually the pony I talked about in my first post. He's a sweetheart really. He's still here but someone else rides him now as I got a bit big for him, so I concentrate on my PhoebeGirl
He's half New Forest, so maybe it's that wild NFP spirit coming out!

Make sure that once you've moved yards you start up slowly. If he's anything like my little lot he won't like the change at first. Xx
    11-10-2010, 05:43 PM
Haha I think it's definitely his NFP spirit! And yep I will definitely try that for our first hack at the new yard :) thanks xx

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