Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Western Pennsylvania
I've had 4 falls (one bail) in the 7 years I've been riding. I've always been a confident rider and I frequently push the envelope. The only thing any of those falls has compromised was my "ego" (I'm tired and I can't think of the word I wanted to use) when I fell at a show. But even so, even that wasn't bad at all, because I wasn't the only one to come off, much less the worst of the falls that occured there.
It might sound odd, but the only time I've ever lost any confidence is the times I was forced to wear a helmet. Before I realised that the helmet was my fault (most people that have seen me ride and know me in person will agree that it was, in fact, the helmet), I wore one. I won't try to lie about it or sweep it under the rug, I was a terrible rider when I was wearing one (and still am if I have to put one on). I was too preoccupied on the helmetto pay attention to my cues, finesse, tactic, etc; I yanked, I kicked, I hauled on the reins when I needed to stop, and paid no attention to my seat.
I tend to be a person who is very confident in their own abilities and are willing to risk some to add to those abilities. Even though I might be really sore and need a leg up to get back on, I've never been scared or worried to get back up. I've fallen off both with a saddle and bareback, the saddle probably being my worst fall. When I get into a situation (and I was always yelled at for it) I kick my feet out of the stirrups and do what I need to do to remedy that situation. If I exhaust all options, I just cling (or bail if the situation is appropriate, such as my one bail when I fell back behind the saddle and lost stirrups/reins). I've never fallen off since I started doing that, and I'm hoping it holds true for a good while. I can sit out a tantrum (kick, buck, rear) very well for what it's worth, and I use that to my advantage.
I'm sure at some point I'll have a fall that will shake my confidence a bit, but I doubt that my passion for riding/training will ever let me decide to stop riding.
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