getting over fear issues (RANT) - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By themacpack
  • 1 Post By DimSum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-02-2012, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Nebraska
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getting over fear issues (RANT)

I started lessons about 6 months ago to learn to ride properly & to get over fear issues. I had a bad wreck about 6 years ago & got out of horses. I was too the point just sitting on a horse had me shaking & hyperventilate.
My super, wonderful, AMAZING trainer has gotten me a long way in 6 months. She had me laughing & enjoying ridding again. Walk, trot & canter on my first two lesson horses, no problem. She is slowly starting to put me on horses that are more chalenging to ride. Last week was a 16 hand TB/Paint with a huge up-ity stride. This week was a QH mare that has a super huge drive from the rear end & likes to test you by dropping her head & pulling (if she thinks she can get by with it).
As soon as I start feeling nervous, I put a death grip on with my legs, my heals come up (which causes more problems) & I start to hyperventilate. Neither of these horses has done anything dangerous, one just took me by suprise & the other was trying to see if I would let her get by with stuff. Both times my trainer told me I recovered quickly & regained control with no help from her. But once that panic attact happens, I might as well end the lesson. I can not relax & will not do more than walk & trott for the rest of the lesson. I am 35 years old & feel like a little kid! I'm sick to death of getting scared from little things! Last night I was close to tears & told her I wanted to quit & felt like I had no business on a horse. Of course, she wouldn't let me quit & had me post the rest of the lesson.
Am I ever going to get over this? Why can I not get over this stupid fear of coming off agin!!! I'm begining to think I should just stick with my minis.

Cowgirl up!
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-02-2012, 10:54 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Are you open to (or have you tried) talking with someone to help you sort through the fears? I am not talking about getting in the saddle, working with a trainer, etc - I mean someone who can sit with you and talk about what happened and help you find your way past the fears you have as a result.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-03-2012, 12:38 AM
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I agree with themacpack. Maybe talking to someone who can really sort out your feelings would help.
Maybe you need more time with less difficult horses? And maybe you need to keep riding after that nervous moment until that nervousness is gone and you can revisit and conquer the thing that caused the nervousness. Also, if you felt like a little kid you would have no regard for your health or safety. :) Most kids don't think about all the things that could go wrong like an adult does. I don't know how much you rode before your accident, but it's often more difficult to learn and overcome fear as an adult (in my experience teaching both). Your body's natural reaction to danger is the fetal position, without any consent from you! Sometimes simply understanding that can help a lot. Don't give up though! Don't you feel incredible on top of that beautiful animal? I definitely think you CAN get over this fear, it will just take time and understanding! For me, it took coming off a couple times to realize "hey.. that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be" So maybe you just need to fall off some more. Hahaha, no, no, I'm just kidding. :)

Last edited by Tessa7707; 10-03-2012 at 12:41 AM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-03-2012, 07:16 AM
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I would suggest you try and find a therapist in your area that specializes in Cognitive-Behavior therapy if all else fails. C-B is basically the idea that our mind influences our bodies and the therapist teaches you how to "talk yourself out of" negative thought processes. If you are motivated (and it sounds like you are) it may help you to overrule those feelings with logical self talk :)

Cognitive therapy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-03-2012, 07:23 AM
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CBT was very helpful for me in reducing (non-horse) panic attacks, depression and negative thinking.

Horse-wise, I always make myself smile when I feel nervous or worry I'm about to come off, it's amazing what an affect on the rest of your body (tension etc) and mind (anxiety) flexing a few cheek muscles can do! Being relaxed in your core and legs helps deal with spooks too, and if you do fall you are less likely to break anything. Takes a lot of practice but it comes eventually.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-03-2012, 07:41 AM
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I use it too because I've had issues in the past with fear of heights and confined spaces. It works if you are consistent-almost like training a barn sour horse LOL.

We grow too soon old, and too late smart.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-03-2012, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
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I guess I've never thought of it that way. I always just assumed that once I rode enough, I'd get over it. Guess it's a good thing that my trainer is about to graduate with her phychology degree! The first horse she put me on, after the second ride, it just clicked that he wasn't going to hurt me. The second horse, the very first time I rode her I was able to canter & laughed & enjoyed the entire ride. Unfortunelaty, the owner of both of these horses moved & took both with her. The last two I have ridden are both good horses, just more chalenging. They are both very fast movers as well. I think that's what scares me. My wreck was on a run away horse. My trainer said if I need to, she will move me back down, to either her donkey or a 32 year old horse that can still be ridden lightly.

Cowgirl up!
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-03-2012, 11:50 PM
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Discuss it with your trainer and ask her to put more tools in your toolbox. I think part of your fear may stem from not knowing how to try to regain control of the situation (the runaway horse). So ask your trainer to teach you how do spot the cues better, help diffuse situations, and how to do things (like one rein stops, maintaining your balance, etc) that will help you should you ever be run away with again.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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