help me overide my lack of confidence in the saddle - Page 2

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help me overide my lack of confidence in the saddle

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    05-28-2011, 04:13 AM
DSJ46, I remember your accident, how are you now?

Netty, I think fear comes with age (I have no idea how old you are, but you are a returning rider, so you are older than you were). We are much more aware of the stupid things we did as teenagers, it is normal to be fearful and want to self preserve.

However you want to ride for a reason, and it is different from riding a bike where you are in complete control, the bike cannot think or react itself. That's the beauty of riding a horse that we can in some way master them.

My advise would be to figure out what your goals are and focus on them.

You can do it. There are 23,000 members on this board and we all do it, and it's not because we are any better human beings than you!
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    05-28-2011, 04:21 AM
thanks guys for your comments. I will try the breathing techniques as i'm going riding this morning. I absolutely appreciate that I won't get rid of all my anxiety but I just want it to disappear enough for riding to be fun not something I spend the whole time being frightened of until my feet hit the ground and i'm out of the saddle. The only reason I haven't given up completely is because horses have been in my life since I can remember and I would be lost without them in my life. I really have to get through this . Working with them on the ground has progressed very well and i'm alot more confident now. I feel great sadness that the days when I was younger and just jumped aboard and was on my way without a care in the world is long gone!
    05-28-2011, 09:40 AM
Heck. I came off during my second lesson and got a concussion bad enough that I left in an ambulance. I scheduled my next lesson as soon as I got home from the ER. I had to wait 2 weeks for the concussion symptoms to clear off, but there's a reason this sport gave us that saying about how you've got to get right back up! :)

Believe me, when I came back for that next lesson, I *definitely* had some...concerns. And having a concussion was super-nasty - made me feel like I was having the flu, a bad drunk, and a worse hangover all at the same time. I *sure* did not want that to happen again!

I just kept myself focused on how much I love the horses, reminded myself that the fall didn't happen because I screwed up or the horse screwed up, it was just an accident and not likely to happen again, and then I just paid attention to keeping my heels down. :) The instructor helped by just assuming that this ride was going to be on the longe line.

It is tempting to say that I didn't learn anything from that lesson, because I certainly didn't develop or advance any of my skills...but I did. What I learned was that I *could* get back on. And that it was *OK* to take it slow. And you know, since then I've had some terrific lessons - had a GREAT lesson yesterday morning, in fact, but I'd say that knowing I can get back on, that it's OK to take it slow, that it's not bad to be a little scared but that making that better is something under my control...I think that was the most valuable lesson I've had so far!
    05-28-2011, 10:42 AM
Green Broke
I'm a better rider if I have something to do instead of just going out & seeing what I want to do that day. I draw up a pattern I want to go through (or better yet have someone else do it), set up the course, and then go through it. It makes me focus on the pattern versus all the little stuff. The more complicated the better.
Also, the breathing really helps. When I tense up I take deep yoga breaths and think "sack of potatoes, sack of potatoes" until my body relaxes.
    05-28-2011, 04:37 PM
Sack of potatoes haha I love that. I went riding this morning after all your kind words. I felt no different from what I normally do, really nervous and scared when I got on mouth really dry but guess what half way down the bridlepath I set off trying trot walk transitions and my instructor followed on behind me. I figured if I tried to instigate the trot rather than her and me kind of just following on then I would feel more in control as i'd started the trotting. The initial set off made me scared but by the time I had done a few transitions I was calming down and am really proud that I have managed to trot today after a very tough few weeks of not going very far and only walking. Would like to say thank you for your lovely comments
    05-28-2011, 07:19 PM
Hooray! Seizing some control would be a great way to, well, feel more in control. Glad you had a positive experience, and I hope you have many more!
    05-29-2011, 02:32 AM
Green Broke
Yeah! :)
    06-03-2011, 03:41 AM
I've been through a similar confidence crisis, so I feel for you!

My little bit of advice, which worked for me, is just to simply pretend that you are confident. Fool yourself that you are confident. You know, deep down that you have nerves, but never ever let them show - because your horse knows when you are tense, when you are worried, and that only makes them worried as well, which can often lead to things going wrong, which is what you really don't want.

Like others have said, don't forget to breathe, as that helps you to stop tensing up, and just say to yourself, 'I AM CONFIDENT' and believe it. Stupid as it sounds, if you don't act nervous, your horse won't have any reason to be nervous either, and then everything should be a lot calmer for the two of you.

It worked for me - not a nerve in sight any more!!

Good luck - you can do it!!
    06-03-2011, 07:49 AM
Originally Posted by Sillyfilly    
My little bit of advice, which worked for me, is just to simply pretend that you are confident. Fool yourself that you are confident.
Ah...the "Fake It 'Till Ya Make It" strategy! This one can be VERY effective, not just in dealing with horses, either. Good one!

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