Join Date: May 2011
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I think that fear is what makes you a safe rider. If you're not afraid of injury or death, you're going to be more likely to push the boundaries and do something a little more daring.
I'm terrified of riding, but I still ride. Why? Because I love it. I know I'm risking my life every time I mount a horse, but I also know that I take every precaution. I wear a helmet. If I feel uncertain, I don't push myself. I don't ride 'difficult' horses. That said, I'm training an older Standardbred mare. She used to race and has spent the better part of the last decade raising babies. She was ridden once before I brought her home, and I crawled on bareback two days after I unloaded her. I could have gotten hurt. Heck, I could have been KILLED. I trusted that she wouldn't, and my trust paid off. Granted, I had a helmet on and a spotter. If things would have gone south, my boyfriend was there to call an ambulance, catch my horse, etc. I took precautions, I knew the risks and I recognized them.
Riding horses is a thrill. It's exciting, but like any other extreme sport, you can get hurt. It's just a matter of deciding if the thrill is worth the chance of injury. If you're safe and alert, you can reduce the occurrence of injury.