Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Southern California
I know this sounds weird but sometime faking confidence is a way to get there. When you are confident and secure, your horse will be more confident and secure. And of course having them relaxed will make you feel better :)
My sister is an example of your classic scared-of-their-horse horse owner, and it hasn't done her any favors. I started working with her mare recently because I'm sick of seeing her go for weeks without exercise. My sister got me worked up and scared a little bit with all her warnings "She's dangerous!" "Don't get on her if no one is watching!!" "She freaks when you dismount!!"
And since I tremble when I get the least bit nervous (lol I hate it) I got on her and was shaking like a leaf. I just stood there for a second, took a deep breath and decided I would expect the best and just prepare myself if anything happened, instead of bracing myself before she did anything wrong. (She ended up being fine, my sister's fears just got the best of her)
Now I'm riding her everyday and I get on her like she's grandmas horse, absolutely nothing to be afraid of. She's tried to buck me but I know I can stay on her and I work through it and focus on correction.
I'm definitely not the type of person who has unshakable confidence (I'm more likely to spook at a car passing than my horse is) but it is so much more rewarding to ride when you are no longer afraid of your horse. They are powerful and that can be scary but when you learn the skills you need to stay in the saddle and keep you and your horse safe you will learn how to handle situations instead of just sitting on them and dreading for anything to go wrong.