Fear after fall... help! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 11-22-2009, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Fear after fall... help!

Hello everyone!
I am new here, started to take english riding lessons 3 months ago. During my 6th lesson, 2 months ago now, I fell while posting without stirrups. Since then I have continued to ride, jump,... but everytime my instructor asks me to trot without stirrups, I freeze, feel completely out of control and hate this feeling. I am so afraid of falling again. I landed on my hip and am still feeling some pain 2 months after the fall. I actually have an appointment with a physiotherapist to find out what to do to get the pain to stop. It does not hurt to ride, thank goodness. I am 38 yrs old.
I just wonder... is it absolutely necessary to ride without stirrups? I do plan on advancing to Dressage lessons eventually and I know I will need to get over my fear... I just feel too unstable still!
Today after my lesson, my instructor besically told me that I need to start doing it again and that I need to get over my fear of falling, since I will fall one day again. I know she is right, I wonder if there is a way to practice falling?
Any advice would be awesome!
Thanks!
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post #2 of 21 Old 11-22-2009, 11:11 PM
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Woof99 I feel your pain! I feel a few months ago (as you can see by my other posts) and my mare stepped on me and crushed my ankle. I've just started ridding again and I know exactly how you feel.
I've done alot of research and soul searching and this is how I feel:
I WILL NOT be pushed into doing something that brings on that feeling of terror. That doesn't do anything for me or my horse. I work up to that point, which gets further every time, and then stop. I know that it will be along time before I get back to ridding with confidence and enjoying it even half as much as I use to, but I will get there.
I have also decided that after a fall you have to have a trainer that is knowledgable in dealing with fear and falling. I was surprised when I went looking for someone to give me lessons and couldn't find anyone that had even delt with it before.
Give yourself time. Take baby steps. If your scared and tense all the time your just going to end up getting hurt again.
Good luck.

"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyways" -John Wayne
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post #3 of 21 Old 11-22-2009, 11:20 PM
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Definitely have her show you how to fall correctly. At 38, we've long stopped bouncing when we hit the ground. I had a massive leg injury at age 38 due to having to absorb the impact in one small area. The key to falling is to disperse the impact. When you know you're coming off, tuck and roll, away from the horse of course. You never want to hit the ground in a thud. I've fallen from my 16.2 TB several times over the past 2 years, and only once had a minor bruise since I roll. I find it very empowering to know I can fall off something that tall and not get hurt. It goes a long way toward building confidence.

To answer your other question, if you want to develop a good solid seat, you can't beat no stirrup work. There's little strap you can put on the front of your saddle that's referred to by most people as a bucking strap. It's great for something to hold onto instead of grabbing your horse in the mouth if you start to lose your balance. Another thing you might try is to just drop one stirrup. It's actually a little harder than no stirrups at all, and accomplishes the same thing without as much risk.

Two other things I can suggest are a nice sticky synthetic saddle instead of leather until your confidence returns or nice sticky suade or leather chaps.

Good luck!
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post #4 of 21 Old 11-22-2009, 11:22 PM
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Hi!

The psychological side of riding can be hard to work through. I know how you feel. I had a bad fall the last time I rode and even though I got back on and had a few lessons - now being ten years later, gosh I still think about it. I guess because Iam not as young and limber any more (27) and not under my parents insurance. If something happens to me- Im paying for all the x-rays and orthopedist appointments...ect

I would practice envisioning riding without your stirrups and having success. Positive thinking (as silly as it sound sometimes) goes a long way!


Anna

Always try and do the right thing
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post #5 of 21 Old 11-22-2009, 11:25 PM
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I would suggest to just walk for awhile with no stirrups to you are very comfortable with that.

Also, being lunged is an amazing thing ! Have your trainer lunge you & your horse. This way you can focus all on yourself & not on controlling your horse

Gypsy & Scout <3
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #6 of 21 Old 11-22-2009, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck View Post
Definitely have her show you how to fall correctly. At 38, we've long stopped bouncing when we hit the ground. I had a massive leg injury at age 38 due to having to absorb the impact in one small area. The key to falling is to disperse the impact. When you know you're coming off, tuck and roll, away from the horse of course. You never want to hit the ground in a thud. I've fallen from my 16.2 TB several times over the past 2 years, and only once had a minor bruise since I roll. I find it very empowering to know I can fall off something that tall and not get hurt. It goes a long way toward building confidence.

To answer your other question, if you want to develop a good solid seat, you can't beat no stirrup work. There's little strap you can put on the front of your saddle that's referred to by most people as a bucking strap. It's great for something to hold onto instead of grabbing your horse in the mouth if you start to lose your balance. Another thing you might try is to just drop one stirrup. It's actually a little harder than no stirrups at all, and accomplishes the same thing without as much risk.

Two other things I can suggest are a nice sticky synthetic saddle instead of leather until your confidence returns or nice sticky suade or leather chaps.

Good luck!
Can you come to my house and teach me?

"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyways" -John Wayne
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post #7 of 21 Old 11-22-2009, 11:30 PM
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I would definitely put some more thought into riding without insurance. This past Sunday I fell and lacerated both my liver and my kidney and had to be transported from the original hospital I went to by ambulance to a better one. And I was hospitalized until Wednesday. All without insurance.
(haven't got my full bill yet but I do know i'm paying almost $900 for just the ambulance ride)

Anyways, I don't (obviously) know the proper way to fall nor do I know anything about riding again after the fall (I have been on bedrest since) but I do know that riding at all without insurance simply isn't smart and will definitely be expensive.
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post #8 of 21 Old 11-22-2009, 11:35 PM
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I agree dacer44. My ankle injury has cost 60,000 and counting. We're still not done.
But my husband is in the military (Thank God!) and we haven't had to pay much of it

"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyways" -John Wayne
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post #9 of 21 Old 11-23-2009, 09:17 AM
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Alot of wonderful advice up there. I totally agree to do not let anyone push you beyond your comfort zone. Also the key to falling is to roll.

I had my confidence shattered when I was in my late 30's by my 16.2 knothead TB. I realized then I no longer bounced, but thankfully my sub-conscience would kick in and take over where I still rolled when being tossed.

My lack of confidence carried over to my young QH, who was newly under saddle, which wasn't a good thing. In my mind, she could blow up at any time. It took time to get my confidence back, which just blew my mind as I've ridden all my life, hit the ground before many times over many years, and was still next to fearless. We become more cautious as we get older.

My confidence came back, as will yours. I'm 50 now and do excercise caution. I ride my own horse as I've had this one all her life and trust her. I won't climb on froggy horses anymore - I think "what if I come off, land wrong and break a hip?" lol.. I'm old now.

You work at your own pace. Just tell your trainer what the deal is straight up. She will have to deal with it and comply with not pushing you past your comfort zone, period... like it or not.

<\__~
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post #10 of 21 Old 11-23-2009, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qtrhrsecrazy View Post
.
. I'm 50 now and do excercise caution.

You work at your own pace. Just tell your trainer what the deal is straight up. She will have to deal with it and comply with not pushing you past your comfort zone, period... like it or not.
You are still a child!!

I agree 100% with the second part of the post and the ones above. Work at your own pace and comfort level but push youself a little. Even though I have ridden my whole life and have owned my own horses for over 25 years, a rather severe accident I had in 2007 while trying a new horse, shook me to my core and it took a LONG time to even begin to overcome the fear. I had to really push myself to even step in the saddle again.

Learning to fall sounds good but unless you really practice it off a horse so that it becomes a learned reaction, I don't believe that it will be going through your mind as you come off your horse (LOL). Things happen in a split second.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.


It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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