I am so desperate to learn to ride, it's insane.Just can't do it - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 06-15-2013, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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I am so desperate to learn to ride, it's insane.Just can't do it

Ok my long story here is goes .Hope somebody can give me some advise here !
Started riding 4 years ago.Had a gap of about 10 mths when I lost interest but it came back after watching a local show

Been always a weak rider and timid.Was learning how to canter on a balanced morgan horse but then was wearing some slippery pants and actually almost slipped off.also had some minor incidents in which almost fell off but never actually did Never been able to canter since

Have taken lessons at numerous facilities, still am extremely timid, freeze up on new horses, also have a morbid fear of heights.I tend to do slightly better on the Packer type beginner horses but still can't canter or even trot a taller horse as I freeze up. I've owned 2 horses who both got chronic illnesses and had to be given away or retired so now I do have one but can't do anything with it because of chronic navicular disease.

Trail riding is also hard as most horses tend to follow the leader horse and tend to run if the first one runs and I get very insecure and scared.

I am SOOO desperate to learn to ride and show ! just on flats is fine.Don't have any urge to learn to jump etc.I also love saddleseat riding but just feel it is too much beyond my ability as the horses can be fast !

Can somebody give me some advise what to do? Find a place that does bareback? and do that any advise to help with fear and improve my seat would be greatly appreciated.I am a older age rider 35 yrs who started late.Thank you
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post #2 of 23 Old 06-15-2013, 03:44 PM
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You need to search for riding academies. Make SURE that you can watch a lesson or two to see if it's a good fit. I suggest that you swallow any pride you have and see if you can join a child's class. You initial fear will get worse if you are pushed too fast, and, unfortunately (from posts I've read here) that can happen. Look, also, for a certified instructor--not everyone is.+
This should NOT be a "take your heart in your throat" exercise, like bungee jumping.

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post #3 of 23 Old 06-15-2013, 03:53 PM
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Hello and welcome.

First and foremost if you have read here you will realize that there are lots and lots of people who battle with their fears, so you are not odd or unusual, you are not alone.

The steps to success are finding the right trainer, who will understand how you feel, and Be will keep on pushing you that little bit further, not scaring you by going to fast, or ignoring you and never letting you develop.

As I have discovered, the right horse makes all the difference, what feels impossible on one horse, is totally doable on another. So get out there, talk to people, go watch lessons, the right person is out there. Good luck
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post #4 of 23 Old 06-15-2013, 04:01 PM
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First of all, I come from a timid family, and there are a lot of MH issues. In particular, I have some issues with anxiety. AND I'm afraid of heights too...

You know what? Do you know how much we MISS OUT ON by not grabbing life by its...pants and going for it? If you really want to do something and you are being held back by your own fear and timidity...either tell yourself that you WILL NOT let that beat you!!! While you sit on the sidelines...and just go DO IT!

You know what? If a facility rushes you TOO MUCH...and they don't listen to your cries of slow down....LEAVE! You are paying THEM for the privilege of knowledge and experience. You must find a teacher that will push you a little, but not past your abilities to cope.

Honestly, if you need it...also think about talking to a doctor. I usually have a prescription for anti anxiety meds. I try not to take them, but I take them if I NEED THEM. If your fear is unreasonable and preventing you from doing what you WANT in life, then take action.
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post #5 of 23 Old 06-15-2013, 04:28 PM
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I'd suggest looking into "centered riding" lessons but you'll have to be diligent and find a certified centered riding instructor, which isn't easy to find everywhere.

centered riding site

It's a different approach - there's much visualization and less emphasis on gaits and speed and more on posture, balance, relaxation, breathing. You feel differently aboard. You communicate differently and i think most importantly, if you are riding a trained centered riding horse, you'll have a horse that's very responsive to how you are breathing, sitting, etc. So if you are not balanced in whatever gait some centered riding horses are trained to stop or slow down. But all instructors are looking for you to relax, to feel the connection between you and the horse.

The fear can happen when we are not connected to our horse, when we're bobbing along, up top, all alone. I think the fear goes when we are one. It's sometimes hard to find that connection.


Last edited by wild old thing; 06-15-2013 at 04:37 PM.
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post #6 of 23 Old 06-15-2013, 04:51 PM
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If you can find a gaited horse facility that takes beginner riders you may find your fit. Other than that I agree with demonwolfmoon you have to decide to do it and set your mind to it and if you need a pill or a shot or whatever will settle your nerves then go for it. Of coarse you need to relax but you already know that. Finding a good trainer of riders is harder than finding horse trainers. It is difficult for long time horse owners and trainers to relate to what you feel.
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post #7 of 23 Old 06-16-2013, 08:36 PM
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Wear full seat breeches whether you are riding English or western. They help "glue" you to the seat.
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post #8 of 23 Old 06-16-2013, 08:53 PM
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The other thing to realize is that even falling off is not the end of the world. I am not saying go out and fall off, but if you did fall off, 90% of the time, other than a short shock, it's usually not as bad as you think it will be. I don't mean to say ignore it and pretend it isn't a scary thing. But maybe to remind yourself that it's totally survivable.
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post #9 of 23 Old 06-16-2013, 09:01 PM
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I fight the fear thing all the time. I have to consciously tell myself to breathe and take the death grip off the reins, and if I feel the need to, hold the horn or fork of the saddle instead. I'm getting much better. I am a real wimp because my horses are already well-behaved and my pinto is only 14.1hh and quite wide and has slow, comfy gaits.

Just find a good ridding instructor like the others have said and the right horse to get your confidence up. You can do it!!
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post #10 of 23 Old 06-16-2013, 09:18 PM
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I was the same exact way. A good instructor, confidence in yourself, and a trustworthy horse will help!!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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