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    04-11-2012, 09:21 AM
Originally Posted by sjwrightauthor    
Thanks everybody. I think I will put that plain snaffle back on him in the morning and stick with round pen walking until I am more confident.. It is just frustrating to feel such fear when I know this horse has been so well trained.
Something to think about. Don't expect the world out of him if he hasnt been riden for a while. Treat him like a young horse and think ok we covered one milestone today and that is great. Don't get mad about one problem. Focus the good things he did and not the mistakes, you will be happier riding him and not get so mad that he didnt do what you want.
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    04-11-2012, 09:57 AM
I would ride in the round pen for a while. That should be pretty safe. Wear a helmet. Just get on and ride. Stay at a walk for a while. If you ride successfully for 10 minutes, you have done something good. Riding more often is better than riding longer. I would bite the bullet and get up and ride just so long as this is a trained horse. So he didn't turn left just perfectly; keep trying. I am basically a chicken hearted person and I go through this on occasion. You have to ride to get your confidence up.
    04-11-2012, 10:02 AM
I used to be really nervous. My horse is a lovely boy, really easy to ride, and educated like yours, but I was heavy on his mouth and I would lean forward if he went faster than I wanted him to and he couldn't cope with that. It ended in me coming off badly and getting hurt, and I have struggled with confidence since. I used to feel sick at the prospect of riding.

What I did, was I put the equipment on my horse that I felt comfortable riding in. For me, that was a plain French link snaffle for flatting, and a kimblewick for jumping and hacking out, but it could be anything for you. Two rides in the kimblewick and I was feeling in control enough that I could concentrate on my responses to my horse being silly. I still ride in my kimblewick for jumping and I won't ride my horse cross-country without using the strongest rein setting, but I'm a different rider and we mostly have good rides now.

I do pop him over small jumps with his snaffle on now, which is something I just didn't do when I first put the kimblewick on. I haven't had a lesson since before I started using the kimblewick and though my coach gave me a lot of confidence I'm kind of dreading the day he sees the bit I use - he was dead against me bitting up!

IMO, use the equipment you feel like you have enough control in, and your confidence will improve. HOWEVER, I also think that you should do more round pen work in the snaffle working on stop. Stop means STOP NOW and if you don't get it, the horse needs to back up to the place where you first asked for the halt. With my boy, that can be anywhere from half a stride to halfway down the school, depending on how he's feeling, the speed we're going, and what bit I'm using. The important part is that I do demand the stop, and I do get it (regardless of how much force it takes - and a suggestion, don't use constant pressure, check and release), and that my horse backs up to the place where I originally asked for the halt.
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    04-11-2012, 10:18 AM
Oh boy do I know what you are going through! It's been almost a year since I got thrown and broke a bunch of ribs and collapsed my lung. I got rid of that horse (found her a good home) and bought an older gelding. I still have my old tried and true trail horse mare but I'm reluctant to even get on her. The fear is always there. But I did get on her this week and rode her for a bit around my yard with my hubby there. She was just as she always was but I'm still nervous. I can feel myself getting all tensed up even though she doesn't do anything bad. I made the decision today to take lessons to help boost my confidence. I want to get back to being the rider I used to be but I find myself pulling out all kinds of excuses not to ride, ya know?
    04-11-2012, 01:12 PM
Green Broke
How funny this should be here. I am going through same thing. 56, been riding all my life except for last couple of years, and now I am hesitant about riding? AND just bought a new horse last summer too.

But all you hear/read and know about is the donts, and the be carefuls and the such and such happened to so and so, and in the end? It makes you more worried, if not outright terrified to ride at all. All of the constant "get a helmet" gets to you after a while too, or it has me.

The more you do ride though, the better you will feel I think.
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    04-11-2012, 03:00 PM
Green Broke
I have 2 really good horses, but since I have not ridden alone for the last few years ( & if I did-it wasn't problem-free) I now have to wait for a trail buddy. Too bad DH won't ride, but he's into things w/wheels & motors. I'm in a totally new environment & lots of areas don't even have street signs,so I don't feel comfortable out alone & I guess the snakes will be coming out soon, too.

But please don't call yourseslf a coward, you are into self-preservation & w/better weather coming, you'll probably be spending more time w/your horse soon. We're getting wind right now & rain & snow is on the way-I hope that will be the last snow of the season.
    04-11-2012, 10:09 PM
My hubby prefers four wheels as well, but I am trying to turn him into a horse person. Not an easy
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    04-12-2012, 08:49 AM
Please don't call yourself a coward, you aren't that at all. Sometimes it just takes a while to get over your fear so take all the time you need to work it out. And don't let anyone push you into doing anything you don't feel ready for.
    04-13-2012, 05:57 AM
Thanks, mypets.
    04-13-2012, 06:08 AM
I am going back up in the saddle later this morning. Hopefully all will go well.
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fear, lack of confidence, rocky mountain horse

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