I don't know what to do.... - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 Old 05-01-2010, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 8,450
• Horses: 1
I don't know what to do....

So, in these past few months I've noticed that my confidence and my abilities have been suffering. It started about the time my stud horse Jester started pulling lame more often. He started getting pissy and threw me once, then the next time I was riding in a backyard reining show and I asked for a flying change and he stumbled and nearly fell on top of me. I felt so bad and haven't done anything on him since to give him time to heal, but even with the other horses I have been very unsure.

It not so much that I'm afraid of the horses, its just that I think I'm going to do something wrong and in turn it happens. Especially with Rebel, being the new addition to the barn. He's so unpredictable because I don't know very much about him yet and he's hotter than my other horses or the ones I ride at Toni's. And with every mistake I make my confidence just plumets even more. And even when I ride Annie, the one I would trust with my life, I still am having these problems. I'm naturally nervous and had gotten better at it, but now I'm not so sure. I know I need to ride more but sometimes I'm just too afraid to go out, and when I do go out I either end up feeling so much better or so much worse. If it goes badly, I know its my fault. I know the problem is all me, and the horse has done nothing wrong. Situations I once knew how to handle now send my mind into a panic because I can't think straight.

How is it this is happening, when I used to react without even thinking about it and never once got nervous? And its not like what happened with Jester was the first time I'd fallen or the first time I'd experienced something that scared me. Could it be that it was just because it was Jester? He's the best horse I've very had and we are very close....he was the first horse our ranch bred and we are the same age and share the same birthday. I grew up and learned to ride on him from the time he was broke to now when he's middle-aged and on his midlife crisis. ( )

That was long.....cookies if you read it all ....... =/

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
SorrelHorse is online now  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 12 Old 05-01-2010, 10:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Georgetown, Illinois
Posts: 45
• Horses: 1
get away...and take a vacation.
horselover1428 is offline  
post #3 of 12 Old 05-01-2010, 10:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Montrose, CO
Posts: 449
• Horses: 3
Dont get in over your head. Do only what you know you can do well & with confidence for awhile until it gets extremely boring.

In riding, a horse's energy is like a river- guided by the banks but not stopped by them.
koomy56 is offline  
post #4 of 12 Old 05-01-2010, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 8,450
• Horses: 1
Mmk, first, NO vacations. No way in hell is that gonna happen. Vacations and me don't mix.

And I don't understand why it bothers me now, because the things I'm doing now are things I've been doing my entire life. I could successfully sit a slideing stop when I was six. By the time I was ten I could competitively cut and was winning.....But recently I can't even focus. =/

I really appreciate your reponses...Maybe it's all in my head.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
SorrelHorse is online now  
post #5 of 12 Old 05-01-2010, 11:21 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: abilene,tx
Posts: 4,229
• Horses: 4
maybe yu just need a change up like start doing something else such as more trail riding or just fun rides not including the reining or cutting it could be that you are just tired of focusing on only those sports

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
BarrelracingArabian is offline  
post #6 of 12 Old 05-02-2010, 01:11 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: IN
Posts: 780
• Horses: 2
Taking a break and getting away for a little is a good idea.

It sounds to me like you're maybe thinking too much and like you said, when you worry that something bad might happen, it will.

Go back and do things that you know you can do and that you're good at.

When I'd start to doubt myself and get nervous when working with horses, I would make up mantras in my head and repeat them to myself. xD Stuff like "I'm number one, not number two..." and other sayings that built me up. They worked!

"He doth nothing but talk of his horses."
~William Shakespeare
IslandWave is offline  
post #7 of 12 Old 05-02-2010, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 670
• Horses: 0
Just don't ride for a while. Go out and brush and feed and walk your horse but don't ride him. Reversed psychology. When you tell your brain you're not allowed to ride for a week or something (a time period that fits your personal problem), that entire week you just spend building your confidence with easy and boring stuff, and then you look forwards to the end of the seven days when you are allowed to ride again. Also, by doing this you don't have to worry and stress about "Oh, I should ride....but I can't...yet I need to...I'm nervous though, and something bad is going to happen!" and you give your nerves-and head-a break to recuperate and rethink things.

Last edited by ilyTango; 05-02-2010 at 03:19 PM.
ilyTango is offline  
post #8 of 12 Old 05-02-2010, 03:43 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,580
• Horses: 5
Hey, sorry to hear about your accident with Jester, I can see how that would affect the way you look at riding.

Treat yourself like you would any horse that has lost confidence - build yourself up slowly and surely, humans are mentally conditioned just like horses exept we're likely to be much more unforgiving towards ourselves. Also, just like horses, we tend to remember one bad experience much more vividly than 100 good experiences and that is how both people and horses can lose confidence overnight. Start off with the things you find most enjoyable and the least challenging and move up from there. Don't be embarrassed to ride in a round yard on a lunge line, like a beginner! (I know I do when I jump on someone elses horse for the first time, makes me feel more secure until I can suss out how I feel about the horse and what they might do). Even though you are more of an experienced rider, if it helps you feel more confident, do it! If there is one thing horses can sense, it's fear and they react to it very strongly because they look to us, the rider, for guidance and reassurance.

Also, don't be so hard on yourself - beating yourself up won't help you (or Jester!). Think about what you would do if a horse suddenly lost their confidence going over jumps after having a bad fall or something: Would you yell at them and tell them they were hopeless? Probably not, my guess is you would do everything possible to re build their confidence in a compassionate and supportive way.

So be as nice to yourself as you would to your horses! Everyone goes through times where you feel disheartened, whether it is riding related or not but the best thing you can do is find an activity that will allow you to gain confidence and don't rush yourself or set timelines, you'll know when your ready!

Good luck. (a long reply for a long post, sorry)

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
sarahver is offline  
post #9 of 12 Old 05-02-2010, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 8,450
• Horses: 1
Thanks Sarahver, and I'm sure you're right. Easy stuff then, or at least until the summer circuit starts in a few weeks. That will give me time to get used to Rebel and give Jester time to heal his injury. I could probably start riding more at Toni's and taking more lessons there. She's breeding her mares to Gringo so maybe I could just do that in exchange for lessons instead of a stud fee, then, until I get back to normal. Just hard for me to accept that this is actually happening :/

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
SorrelHorse is online now  
post #10 of 12 Old 05-05-2010, 06:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: .... a place ....
Posts: 45
• Horses: 2
i went through a stage like that... i admit i was 12 but anyways i thought i couldnt trust my horse and i was even considering selling her... but i kept riding and now i have turned her into a lovely horse. You just have to stick it out for a while. im sure it will go away! well situations are really quite different but y'know :P


TabianoPaint is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome