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I am so desperate to learn to ride, it's insane.Just can't do it

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        06-18-2013, 01:11 PM
      #11
    Foal
    Take private lessons and tell your instructor your fear. Try riding smaller horses and work your way up. Maybe ask if you can stay with a older horse that is very laid back and easy to handle. And ask if you can ride that horse in every lessons that wise you learn to trust him/her. And NEVER Get scared or nervous on a horse because that will make them nervous. If it helps you feel more safe grab a chunk of the horses mane and have your instructor have a lunge line attached and ask her to help you with the horse. And if you are slipping out of the saddle a lot then buy breeches with grips on the knees. They help you stick to the saddle I have tons of'em and I never budge out of the saddle.
         
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        06-18-2013, 01:14 PM
      #12
    Foal
    And English probably won't be your best option if you feel insecure, try western so If you get nervous you grab the saddle horn. And there is a less chance of falling out. And western riding you don't jump or anything you mostly do flat work. Try western and see !! Don't let your fears stop you! :)
         
        06-18-2013, 01:37 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    Totally agree with justaroundthebarrel - try riding in a western saddle. Take lessons in western riding first. The saddles are much bigger, and you will feel more secure in it. It is very difficult to just "slip out" of a western saddle, and you do have a horn to grab a hold of if you do feel like you're going to come off.
         
        06-18-2013, 03:23 PM
      #14
    Started
    Talk to your instructor, communication is key.
    Some riders need to be pushed through insecurity, after I had a bad fall last year I'd spend some lessons in tears because I was scared of what my coach was making me do. BUT she knew I had the ability to do it (because I DID it before the fall) and I had flat out told her that I needed to be pushed through it. That same coach has worked with other riders with fear issues who still spend their lessons just walking, she doesn't push with them because they've told her they aren't ready to be pushed to move 'up'. She'll still ask them if they would like to try trotting, etc. but nothing is ever forced.
    If your instructor doesn't know, they can't help you.

    You could also ask to be put on a lunge line, work on your balance at the walk and trot without having to worry about controlling the horse, and then moving off of the lunge, and coming back to it to learn to canter.

    All of that said, I definitely think you need to invest in private lessons, as group lessons really aren't the best place for somebody who wants to move at their own pace.
         
        06-18-2013, 03:34 PM
      #15
    Started
    Turn your "desperation" and anxiety into something constructive, a drive to ride. Pick a goal, get motivated, and succeed. Todays goal might be to trot on a tall horse. Tomorrow to canter on that beginner safe pony.

    You have a choice, take the "oops" moments and learn from them and concuer your fear, growing as a person, or shrivel up and allow fear to take over your life. Don't give your self the option to fail. Don't allow fear to take over. Say " I'm going to trot this horse around the arena today!". Then do it.

    I have high anxiety, and a fear of heights. I've made it my personal goal to conquer every fear I can. I hate heights? I'm afraid of skiing? Nervous around a certain horse? Afraid of a specific manouver? I have to face it. I've learned to take pride in mastering my fears. I can be really scared, and still succeed.

    I went from incredibly, cripplingly nervous on every horse due to a series of accidents, some days it was all I could do to get on and back off again, to where I am now, galloping ottbs down trails, helping other people learn to ride, starting colts, handling stallions and cantering and jumping bareback.
         
        06-18-2013, 04:45 PM
      #16
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cowgirlnay    
    Totally agree with justaroundthebarrel - try riding in a western saddle. Take lessons in western riding first. The saddles are much bigger, and you will feel more secure in it. It is very difficult to just "slip out" of a western saddle, and you do have a horn to grab a hold of if you do feel like you're going to come off.
    That simply doesn't work for everyone. I feel more unbalanced and unsafe in a western because I can't feel the horse. My ex-boss had me lease her horse in a western saddle and then an aussie... and it just.. I didn't ride well.

    If you are comfortable in the saddle but your balance is off... then you should be on the lungeline.

    Now if you feel you'd be "safer" in a western, then try it out!
    wild old thing likes this.
         
        06-19-2013, 09:07 AM
      #17
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
    That simply doesn't work for everyone. I feel more unbalanced and unsafe in a western because I can't feel the horse. My ex-boss had me lease her horse in a western saddle and then an aussie... and it just.. I didn't ride well.

    If you are comfortable in the saddle but your balance is off... then you should be on the lungeline.

    Now if you feel you'd be "safer" in a western, then try it out!
    I really like this response.

    First (IMO) you shouldn't be grabbing the horn routinely. I'm not saying I don't love the horn and don't on occasion grab at it, I swear I do. But I try not to. I love the construction of the western saddle because it's so big and comfortable. But I try to make it my business to leave the horn alone. (except when I have to ride standing in stirrups - I have yet to figure how in hell to do that properly for an extended period).

    If you wear full seat breeches, on a really good day you might feel completely glued to the seat.

    However, it's true about not feeling the horse. I learned on an english saddles and that was the first thing I missed when I made the switch to Western - was that communication between my horse and myself.

    On a lungeline, you can practice a million different things to improve your balance, seat and confidence. Someone else will be watching and controlling the horse so you can ride without having to do that.

    For example you can do different gaits with no reins, no stirrups, no reins AND no stirrups. You can ride with your eyes closed. You can work on your balance and confidence. You can work on your seat and how you distribute your weight to control your horse's speed and movements. And because it's a circle, you'll learn more control with your horse's head and direction without fear.

    I love with tinyliney said as well - falling isn't the end of the world. This is a sport where falling happens. If you do a youtube seach and watch, you'll see every conceivable situation with every conceivable fall you can imagine. I did that and watched because I recently took a bad fall and my confidence was shaken. It put it in perspective for me.

    I'd also look into centered riding. You can take a few, just to understand and apply some principles. But the truth is, you can read the books and get into it and apply some of it when you ride your discipline. Visualization is very important in any sport, equestrian as much as any. If you see in your mind what you want from your horse, very often your horse picks up on it. Which is why it's important to be positive and relaxed in your head (even when you're not).

    We all get spooky - horses, people, dogs, cats, cows etc . Life is spooky sometimes. Don't be afraid of fear. It's perfectly natural and doesn't mean you're weak.
         
        06-19-2013, 09:32 AM
      #18
    Trained
    I can feel my horse very well in my western saddle. I can anticipate what she is going to do. It is not a terribly bulky saddle, and that might make a difference.
         
        06-19-2013, 09:57 AM
      #19
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Celeste    
    I can feel my horse very well in my western saddle. I can anticipate what she is going to do. It is not a terribly bulky saddle, and that might make a difference.
    true true. What I was trying to say was I found the English saddle gives me more direct contact with a horse. My horse's Western saddle is humungous. And heavy. And thick. The construction I believe is about wrapping the leather down and around the horse distributing the weight he's carrying better - for longer working/riding, ropes, etc. I could be wrong about that but that's what I think.
         
        06-19-2013, 09:58 AM
      #20
    Weanling
    Another option you may want to explore is a therapeutic riding center. Since it sounds like your anxiety issues are severely limiting your ability to work through it, this setting can give you some new tools to lessen the anxiety. The horses are used to all kinds of riders (from those like you to autistic kids and paraplegics). The instructors are also trained in a variety of behavioral modification techniques. Sometimes just sitting on a horse while someone leads and a "walk along" handler on either side of you can help YOU breathe, relax and feel the rhythm of the horse. That's where the magic is!!
    wild old thing likes this.
         

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