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Getting over a fall

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        04-22-2014, 03:38 AM
      #11
    Green Broke
    Gosh, I've had this problem as well. And still do honestly.

    When I first got my greenie back from the trainer I rode him for a few weeks and then he had a major spook where a crow flew up off the ground and he spun and bolted, bucking as he went. I came off and landed hard. Nothing broken but I had bad back pain for about two weeks and couldn't ride until I got a steroid shot in my back. I think that two weeks let the fear sink in. I've had fear issues riding him ever since.

    Sometimes just thinking about riding him gives me butterflies in my stomach. But if I ride him regularly, then I have confidence and am not afraid. But if we have bad weather for a week and then I go to ride him again, it's almost like I am starting all over.

    Now I did come off him another time and landed softly and that didn't seem to stick with me as much as the first fall. I think the person who said it was PTSD is right. Because it's almost like I am having some sort of panic attack. And nobody around me really understands. They just think I need to "toughen up." And I do. But I don't think they realize how bad fear is.

    One time I got on my horse and everything started going wrong......in my head anyway. Dogs were barking, horses in the pasture we were riding past were galloping and bucking, crows were flying around. I had a total crying meltdown right there on the horse. All I wanted to do was survive the ride. But you know what? The horse, whom is only 3.5 yrs old, just stood there while I had a meltdown and didn't react to anything. Not the horses bucking, not the crows flying, not the excited barking dogs. Not even me turning into a sobbing mess. He just stood there. I ended up forcing myself to ride out like I had planned and after about 1/2 hour I regained my confidence and enjoyed the ride. I knew if I quit when I was afraid I might not have the guts to ride him again. And it was the right decision. He's a good horse. Green, but he's got a good brain on his shoulders most of the time.

    Gradually I am getting better and more confident but it's been really hard.

    There was a time I was pretty carefree on a horse. It's funny how one fall can shake your confidence to the core. I still have anxiety and relapses of fear, but I want to get back to the place I was before so that's what I'm working on.

    I don't know anyway to get over it other than to try to replace the bad memories with good ones.
         
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        04-22-2014, 05:09 AM
      #12
    Super Moderator
    One advantage I had learning to ride was that half the times we fell we were doing things we shouldn't so rather than the wrath of the stable owner we just laughed it off.
    There was never any sympathy, just laughter even if you did hurt.

    I once fell over a fence and then the horse jumped bashing the telegraph pole which landed on my wrist. It hurt. I got on and rode that lesson, my wrist was swelling so was wrapped with a tail bandage. Only later when it really hurt, did I walk to the
    Local hospital and find out it was broken.
         
        04-22-2014, 06:56 AM
      #13
    Green Broke
    Foxhunter--PTSD like symptoms are actually very common with car wrecks xD

    That aside...
    Nothing to it but to do it :< Reintroduce yourself slowly. Unfortunately, nothing but time and exposure will make this better.
         
        04-22-2014, 09:29 AM
      #14
    Super Moderator
    Nowadays there is always a title to give anything that is not working out.

    I had a serious fall from an over bold horse I was eventing. We were both laid off work for a while.
    Come the first event I took him to the course was a good galloping one that suited him. Near the end there was a trappy fence, you had to go into it at a collected pace, pop the sleepers, land on a ledge, slide down a steep slope, around a corner and over a biggish spread.
    As out fall had happened at a drop fence I was very concerned about doing this. The horse was going brilliantly and had seemed to have learned from his over jumping. He was listening and looking assessing each fence without thinking of stopping.
    I came over the fence before the drop, going across the stubble towards it. I stopped riding and had every excuse as to why I could have pulled him up with no one thinking the worse of me.
    There were several people standing watching as it had proved a problematic rider frightener!
    All of a sudden I saw my old riding instructor standing there. My horse, hesitant because I was not riding him, was suddenly ridden again, I brought him down to a strong trot, popped the sleepers, slid down the bank and over the spread. It was a classic as to how the fence needed riding.

    I rushed back to see my old instructor only to find that it was not her!

    Now, my fear of jumping that fence was less than my worries of her wrath at me not riding it as she would have told me to.

    The only way to overcome any fear is to face it. Having someone behind you who understands but will not let you fail when you do face it, is more help than anything else.

    It is like a horse that is frightened of something and you stand and coo over it. All you are doing is encouraging the fear. The handler who says that they are not going to take that nonsense and is calm and cool will get far better results.
    DanielDauphin likes this.
         
        04-23-2014, 02:55 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    I just started my own thread about a new fear I have of trail.

    I have taken three spills, two of them on trail.

    The first was knucklehead horse dipping for weeds on a flat grassy spanse, she topples over and I go airborne.

    Second was on trail, horse has a little too much rein and spacing w horses in front opened up. When they went into an uphill trot, my horse took off and I ended up sailing into a dead skinny tree which broke my fall.

    Third was an arena exercise, took a dressage lesson (I ride western), I was very tired from the endless posting, asked for a canter in a bad body position and went flying.

    I don't have issues with riding or loping or posting or any of it. Now apparantly I have fear of trail. Went on a trail Monday and I hated every moment. I couldn't find any joy in it, which REALLY stinks because I used to like trail a lot.

    I don't know what to do about this either since most of my lessons are formal arena lessons. So I'm kind of not knowing where to go or whehter to be proactive and MAKE myself do trail. (my 67 yo scaredy cat side says: maybe I should just go with my instincts. But my brave side says, DON"T GIVE IN.)
         
        04-23-2014, 05:58 PM
      #16
    Super Moderator
    I read an article a while ago about hypnosis for horse riders that had lost their nerve badly but still wanted to get back in the saddle - might be worth considering if you're as bad as you sound to be
         
        04-25-2014, 02:26 AM
      #17
    Green Broke
    Not everyone who hikes plans to climb Mount Everest. And not everyone who rides has to be a jumper or go out galloping. Riding should be fun. Do what you enjoy. One of my favorite things is just a lazy trail ride where we just walk and enjoy the scenery. If that is where someone's comfort level is at, whose to say that is less important than any other riding activity?

    Now if your fear keeps you from doing what you want to do, then you need to push yourself. I push myself because I love horses and riding and I don't want to give that up because I am afraid after a fall.
         
        04-27-2014, 01:57 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
    Not everyone who hikes plans to climb Mount Everest. And not everyone who rides has to be a jumper or go out galloping. Riding should be fun. Do what you enjoy. One of my favorite things is just a lazy trail ride where we just walk and enjoy the scenery. If that is where someone's comfort level is at, whose to say that is less important than any other riding activity?

    Now if your fear keeps you from doing what you want to do, then you need to push yourself. I push myself because I love horses and riding and I don't want to give that up because I am afraid after a fall.
    I've been writing a bit about riding and fear and that's it in a nutshell. You get back on because you die a little if you don't. Hypnosis sounds very VERY positive and helpful. If I wanted to ride and I was afraid, I would try that. I'm all about pushing yourself to ENJOY your life. Sometimes we dream really big and that's really good, so why not try to have your dream if it's attainable.
         
        04-29-2014, 03:21 PM
      #19
    Foal
    Thank you all for your help I'm riding a little more now and I talked to a hypnosis expert about it because that is a great idea but because I have the damage to my head and possible damage to my brain and the damage is unidentified on the cat scans and mri's they don't want to do it and risk further damaging my brain but I went and saw the horse I fell off of and that seemed to help a little but its to bad I can't ride her again because someone else is leasing her but thank you again for all your advice it really did help
    DanielDauphin likes this.
         
        04-29-2014, 08:34 PM
      #20
    Super Moderator
    I am just now, like 9 months after my last fall, getting my confidence back to pre fall levels. It takes repeated successful rides, many more than unsuccessful, for you to be able to believe, or to fake that you believe, that you can ride through any spooks that happen. It's a fallacy , true, but we go out every day on the freeway believing that we will get to out destination in one piece, so we have to have the same selective blindness in riding. We have to choose NOT to envision the worst possible outcome and believe that the best one will happen. Psychologists have a word for that kind of functional delusions. But, it works.
         

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