Fear after a Fall.. feeling like I've lost my passion :( - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 32 Old 03-15-2013, 11:59 PM
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you can get pass this BUT at your own time table not the trainer or any body else's which every trainer you go with they should take time so you feel ready to move on not force you too
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post #12 of 32 Old 03-16-2013, 06:01 AM
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So, get back on, and don't canter or gallop.

Ride your own ride. If you're not comfortable cantering then just walk or trot.

Go back to the basics and do the things you enjoy with your horse.

Just have fun with your horse and forget about winning the Kentucky Derby.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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post #13 of 32 Old 03-16-2013, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by loveduffy View Post
you can get pass this BUT at your own time table
^^^ This.

I am also an adult re-rider in the process of restoring my confidence. And why my sweet boy gently walks me around the arena until we are both bored out of our skulls. I think 'my time' is nearing because I think I am finally ready to wander around outside of the arena.
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post #14 of 32 Old 03-16-2013, 07:20 PM
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Hi I can totally feel you. One time I had a really bad fall when I was cantering too. I wanted to quit, and it scared me, but the thing I learned is, everyday is not going to be great, and riding is hard, but you have to believe in yourself. Its key. Also about your trainer, if she's getting frustrated, she probably shouldn't. You are trying to overcome your fear, and you usually don't do perfect at first, because it's scary. Just talk to her, and tell her how you feel, and maybe she will understand! Good luck!
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post #15 of 32 Old 03-17-2013, 12:01 PM
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I started riding at 50. The one fall I've had came during a dismount, when my mare spooked and exploded with my right leg above her rump. That injury has left me, 4 years later, with a back that is still stiff (lower right).

FWIW, I believe in cheating. If you have a very bad experience, it takes a lot of good ones to override your subconscious mind screaming, "I don't want to get hurt!"

I would often suggest a change in tack to a barrel racing saddle - deep, with a tall horn to help you get back on if you start sliding sideways.

However, since you are riding hunter/jumper, I recommend riding the flats in an Aussie-style saddle until you are fully comfortable with cantering.

I ride full time in one, because my mare is kind of high strung, and seems to enjoy imagining monsters - and at 54, riding in a rocky desert, a fall could cripple me for life. However, swapping between my DownUnder Master Campdraft and my Bates Caprilli AP saddle in the arena, I can't feel any difference in the ride. They feel identical to my rump and thighs, except the CAIR panels in the Bates feel bouncier.

However, if the horse hits the fan, the saddle below is MUCH easier to stay in than my Bates:

It is deeper. If she suddenly puts on the brakes without warning (what I call the OMG Crouch), the poleys (mickey mouse ears) on the front mean I won't slide off forward. If she suddenly spins, the poleys WILL keep my hips aligned correctly, to the point of leaving a bruise sometimes. If she gallops mindlessly, only a couple times in the last year but worth being prepared for, then it helps secure me while I try to regain control. A few days ago, she stumbled cantering in the arena and almost went down. The poleys may have saved us both, because it made it easier for me to keep my balance and help her regain hers.

And so far, it has worked. I've never come out of an Australian-style saddle. (Need a 'knock on wood' icon)

If you can't find an Aussie-style saddle, borrow a western one. And if the barn you are at won't allow that, move. You can ride a forward seat in a western saddle, at least I can in our Circle Y or Abetta, and you can certainly ride it in an Australian saddle. No one should start jumping until they are completely comfortable with cantering, and there is no harm in learning how to canter in a western saddle. Doesn't hurt to learn it on a western horse used to neck reining.

Once cantering on the flats puts a big smile on your face, you can go back to jumping. Jumping increases the risk of injury by 10-40 fold, depending on which study you believe. That is a 1,000-4,000% increase! Jumping should be done after you have a secure seat. If you can't laugh or talk while cantering, then I don't believe you should try jumping.

All this is IMHO as a rider now pushing 55, who cannot afford to learn by falling. I honestly think there should be very little falling while learning from an instructor. It can happen at any time, but a good match of activity, tack and horse to the learning rider should keep it minimal. Every fall includes the risk of a serious injury. It isn't a requirement. If anything, more falls will probably result in more defensiveness and poorer riding, even assuming you don't get a long term injury like I did.
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Last edited by bsms; 03-17-2013 at 12:04 PM.
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post #16 of 32 Old 03-17-2013, 12:19 PM
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3 falls in one year isn't that bad, to be honest. I've taken 3 falls in one hour and always got back on, trembling, to complete the work.

You need to talk with your instructor about your confidence level. Sometimes its OK to be pushed. Other times you need to take your time and rework the confidence. Some people can be pushed harder than others.

I was always and constantly pushed when I became a jumper. More, more, more. Fall? No ones going to baby you. If you can walk, catch your horse and get back on. If you can't walk, ambulance was called. When you get back on, you were pushed at the same level you had been before you fell. It made you tough.

I broke my arm one day and rode in a splint until I could get it casted, then I rode in a cast. I became timid and my instructor was alright with that until the cast came off. The week the cast came off, she put me on a monster who wouldn't tolerate a timid rider. I was afraid during the ride and it showed. And then he bucked me off. I was SO ANGRY when I hit the ground that I caught the horse, got back on and dominated the rest of the lesson with a new attitude.

I had an instructor who knew how I ticked. She said that was the only way she could shake me out of my "scaredy cat" mood. I didn't need to be reworked from the beginning to regain confidence, I needed to be bullied by a horse.

Did I have reservations about going to class when I was assigned that animal? Yes. Big reservations. I didn't want to go. I was scared of falling. I was scared of getting hurt again.

That is where my trust in a competant instructor came in. I trusted her completely and trusted her judgement, even though I didn't like it sometimes. Do you trust your instructor the same way? Sometimes you need to trust in what your instructor has to say. If you are on this horse out of default simply because there are no other horses to ride, then it could be a matter of "Lets just make the best of it". If there are others to ride and your instructor has specifically reselected this horse for you, theres a reason behind it. Do you trust that reason?

You WILL fall when you ride horses. You will b injured. You'll break bones, get stitches, sprain joints...whatever. That's the risk you take. Confidence is one thing, but horseback riding isn't for the faint of heart. Saddle up and get r' done.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music
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post #17 of 32 Old 03-17-2013, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Copperhead View Post
...I've taken 3 falls in one hour and always got back on, trembling, to complete the work...

...You WILL fall when you ride horses. You will b injured. You'll break bones, get stitches, sprain joints...whatever. That's the risk you take. Confidence is one thing, but horseback riding isn't for the faint of heart. Saddle up and get r' done.
Very strongly disagree. That approach works fine, until it doesn't work at all...

I've only had one fall, while dismounting. After 40 years of daily jogging, that fall forced me to give up jogging for 4 years. I'm now just starting to be able to jog without paying for it with visible swelling in my back. And 18" from where I hit the ground were a bunch of 12-18" jagged rocks. Had I hit a few feet to one side, I might well have been killed.

Falling isn't a part of learning.

"There goes Earl!"

Last edited by bsms; 03-17-2013 at 12:33 PM.
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post #18 of 32 Old 03-17-2013, 12:39 PM
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Sometimes it is :)

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music
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post #19 of 32 Old 03-17-2013, 01:30 PM
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there is definitely a difference of opinion on the risk value of a fall vs the value of pushing boundaries when you are 25 as compared to 55. A fall in your 20's or 30's is not such a big deal. In your 50's, it feels like being hit by a locomotive. Really!

I have fallen off many times. Something like 15 times in 13 years. What I learned is that most of the time, they are surviveable. If my one and only fall had been to badly injure my back , like bsms, I wonder if I'd have gotten back into the saddle. Kudos to you!

I am aware that any fall that I take could be the one that disables me, like Mr. Reeve. It can happen to anyone, anytime. Just like going out in my car, several times a day, can be the last thing that I do, too.

You don't HAVE to push your fear boundaries to ride. However, you may need to in order to become a better rider, and the better rider you become, the less likely , or shall I say less frequent, are falls. No guarantees, though.
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post #20 of 32 Old 03-17-2013, 01:45 PM
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Having three falls in a year is not such a huge deal if you are an advanced rider working with a more difficult horse. However, as you call yourself a beginner-ish rider, this is not as acceptable. You should be riding on horses that are babysitter types, and not doing things like cantering or jumping. I have been instructing for more years than I care to admit and in that entire time, I would have rather lost a student that didn't think they were learning fast enough than allowed, or forced (as the case may be), one to canter or jump before their experience level warranted it. It appears to me that your instructor is seriously overestimating you, and that could very easily get you hurt. It's time to have a serious talk with her, or find somewhere else to ride.

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
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