As y'all probably know I've posted quite a few times on here and we are buying horses for riding (pleasure/trail type riding). Well, it's been about 12 years since I've been on a horse and I'm REALLY nervous!! Especially since I'll be riding a horse that I don't know anything about. I don't want to make the horse nervous as I know they can feel your "tenseness" ... if that's a word LOL... but I would like some advice on how y'all relax yourself before riding.
I do have quite a lot experience riding as the first time I ever rode a horse was when I was about 6.. he was 17hh and my feet wouldn't reach the stirrups!! He was a trail horse and my dad took me trail riding at a local stable.. I also had lessons when I was about 12 that were paid for by me working at the trail/lesson stable I mentioned above. I also used to take trail rides out at that same stable LOL.. My parents then bought me a horse of my own when I was 14 and I rode her in barrels and such but mostly just riding on the fields around our house.
I then went away to college for Equine Studies and part of the courses was english/western riding, driving and hunter/jumper. I hated the jumping part but it had to be done... well the instructor put me on a horse that had A LOT more experience than I did thinking I could handle his little "problem".. although it probably would have helped if she had of told me what that problem was!!! He had this ability to suddenly change direction just at the time when you'd expect him to go over the jump!! Needless to say he threw me into the jump.. my foot got caught up in the stirrup and I was dragged around the arena... I woke up in the hospital a few days later and was unable to move my legs for about 6 months.. had to re-learn how to walk and all that stuff.. and yes, I did get back on ONCE after I came back but never again.. I was too scared.
A few years later a friend of mine that I met in 4H horse club took me out for a night time trail ride.. back at that same stable I worked at all those years earlier.. and the owner remembered me.. and my riding ability (I'm assuming) I told them I wanted a "follower" not one that had a mind of his/her own as I hadn't been on a horse in a while and was scared outta my mind! I had a good time that night once I realized that I still knew how to ride and I ignored my fear.
Even though I've owned horses and worked with horses through the intervening years I haven't ridden since that night ride and now that I'm facing the fact that I have to ride IN FRONT OF HER OWNER... I'm really getting scared all over again!! So I need some advice before I make a fool of myself in front of everyone.
Sorry for the LONG post but I wanted to give y'all some background into why I have this fear... and why I need your help.
TIA for any help/advice given