Getting over a fall - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-14-2014, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Getting over a fall

Last summer I fell off my horse and landed on my head. I am not afraid to ride but when comes to show I start hyperventilating and I can't talk about it. My 4h advisor asked me to do a demonstration on it so I did but before I got two sentences in to the demo I ran out crying. What should I do?
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-15-2014, 08:10 PM
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I certainly understand about the extreme anxiety and panic attacks. Mine started after several incidents.

- I was gaiting my horse in the woods really fast, he tripped and tried to catch himself with the other front foot and tripped on it also. Sudden impact. I with help did get back on my horse and ride home,

- I had not ridden for some times and was getting on by way of mounting block. The horse exhaled and I mounted to the side alittle. Saddle slipped under his belly. I bounced off the block and onto my head on a rock. Big dent in my helmet.

-And, on another day I got on my horse successfully, but the panic attack hit and I lost it. Somehow I dismounted.

This is an issue I have yet to solve. I love riding and am lost not riding. Want to die when I see others riding. Especially, now that spring is here.
The only thing I know to do is try to build confidence by doing ground work with my horse. I guess restarting for us both, my horse and I. Ihope this helps. Sometime knowing someone else understands helps.

Last edited by ellen hays; 04-15-2014 at 08:16 PM.
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-16-2014, 12:01 AM
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Last year our daughter was riding our new horse, trotting and loping hills, conditioning.
Coming up a long hill at a trot he started crow hopping. She hit the horn pretty good. We made her ride back, really no other option at the time.

But she was done with him for the season, was scared to even walk him.
Rode her pony the rest of the year and did super. Now this year, she's been riding the horse that scared her more then her pony. She just needed time to get over it, get her confidence back, and show him who's boss.
You'll get back after it, just gotta do it at your pace.
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-16-2014, 02:00 AM
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It can be something really difficult to get over. I had a bad fall about ten years ago landed on my head on pavement. I did have a helmet on but it rang my bell pretty good. Concussion, pinched nerves in my back and legs. I couldn't feel my legs. When I finally felt well enough to get back on a horse. I made myself get on that horse. We walked around the round pen. She had a little trip and I about came unglued. I got off and never rode her again. I was the kid that would get on anything, someone was going to try a new horse, I was the one that went along, I would ride first. I wasn't afraid to get on anything. After that I wouldn't get on anything but the old dead broke trail horses. It took me a couple of years to get back on younger horses. Now its been ten years and I'm back to training and doing speed events. I am more cautious then I used to be, but will ride most anything. Ive had other falls since then broken bones, and whatnot. But all I can say is it takes time. Maybe go to a show with your trainer or some friends, see if you can warm up a horse that you feel safe on. Take it slow and one step at a time. Don't get to the point of breaking down. Push yourself a little every time. When you do, do it you will feel better.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-18-2014, 05:02 PM
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Sounds like a lot of great advice here. My daughter had a bad fall (10 years old) and has slowly worked through her fear through group lessons where she chose to trot instead of canter while all the other kids were cantering. Only this week, 5 months later, did she try again. Time heals. Just give yourself more time. And don't get on anything but a dead broke horse until you gain your confidence back.
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“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-21-2014, 03:44 PM
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What you all are experiencing, IMO, is a form of PTSD. I would look in that direction for answers. It is something just about all of us have to deal with, or decide to not deal with. Determination and acceptance are key.
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-21-2014, 04:39 PM
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The brain is a very powerful part of us and if we let it then it can make something minor into a major issue bordering on a phobia.

Look at it this way, supposing you had been in a car wreck and bashed your head - would you now be frightened to get into a car?
Chances are that you wouldn't.

I am tough and had I been teaching you I would have made you get back on. I wouldn't have yelled and screamed at you but I would have made you face your fear that is the only way to get over it.

I taught a 9 year old boy to read. He was labeled as stupid by his school. He had a bad stammer until you knew him. He learned on a one to one basis, I used comics to start him and within a few months he was devouring books including classics which are not always easy to read.
He and his mother wanted me to go to the school when they had an appointment to decide his schooling. His teacher actually called him stupid. I nearly hit her!
I picked up a book that was in the head's bookcase and gave it to Lee. He started to read and could not get one word out for his stammer.
I just grabbed his shoulder and told him that he was letting me down after all the work I had done with him. I made him face the wall, told him to imagine we were at home. He took three deep breaths and read fluently.

The teacher then said he had learned it by heart. Through gritted teeth I pointed out that had he then it proved he was not the stupid one!

You can do it or you can let the fear gain a stronger hold. Up to you.
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-21-2014, 05:26 PM
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Agreed. The best advice I can give you is determination and don't give in or give up. I had a couple of bad accidents and I was pretty shaken up after them. Personally I took a day, climbed on my horse and put myself through my paces even though I was shaking like a leaf and wanted to get off. My instructor told me: "The only way you're getting off of that horse is when you calm down, accept what happened and move on." to prove her point she didn't let me off the horse until I could successfully do what scared me. Sometimes you just have to fight through it.
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-21-2014, 10:00 PM
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My first fall was during a lesson when I must have accidentally gave her the cue to canter and I wasn't ready for it, ended up loosing a rein and leaning forward to grab it which made her run faster and I went flying and landed on my head. The riding instructor got me back up on her, but I was terrified to ride her and after two more lessons I got switched to another horse. But a year later my mom decided to buy her for me. At first I didn't want anything to do with her and didn't ride her, took a while but I finally started to ride her at only a walk and trot, then started doing bareback at a walk. It took three years, but I finally gained the courage to try and canter her and I was glad I did.

Just take your time and do it at your own pace, there's no race. :)
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-22-2014, 12:06 AM
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I fell off during a show a couple months ago. I normally get back on after a fall but I don't think I could have ridden very well. I landed on my side/back. My whole back jarred itself and my knee hit the ground so my leg was shaking after I got back up.

I'm not afraid that it will happen again. The fall was my fault, he was just listening to cues. When I was hanging onto his neck I could feel him slowing down, my coach said my whip moved. He went back into a canter. My fault for holding the reins properly, just because he was sensitive that day didn't mean I needed to have my hands open.

Ya know sometimes you just need to get past that fear, don't think about. It's really hard to do, I know. Just do it.
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