I'm scared of failing
 
 

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I'm scared of failing

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  • I am scared of a horse that im riding
  • I am scared feel like i failed and dont need to

 
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    07-23-2011, 08:49 PM
  #1
Weanling
I'm scared of failing

Yes. FAILING, not falling.

At long last, things are going SO well with my mare. She was never ever "bad" before (no buck, rear, bolt, running through my cues, or really any spook), just high-energy and tense, and, being a nervous and cautious person myself, it freaked me out.

Well, it seems like I've found the solution to all our problems. We could never trail ride before without her getting tense, then me getting tense because she's getting upset, and then her really getting scared because I'M getting scared, and...yeah. Well, the first thing I did was bring a music player (and a speaker) along in our saddlebags, so that when things get rough, I just zone out, listen to the music and chill while she figures out that whatever she's looking at isn't worth getting excited over (mostly because I'm not getting excited about it). That has REALLY helped me stay calm.
The second thing I did was take her out of her bridle. I figured out that she really needs her teeth done, and I'm betting that that was part of the reason she was so heads-up, zoned-out, spacey and such. Until we can find a vet and get her teeth done, I've just been riding in a halter and two lead ropes (if that), and every ride since I made the transition has had her head down, ears back on me, ambling along.
So, I think both factors have helped a lot.

Now, we've had a number of goods rides in succession. I haven't gone out too far, because I don't want to push it farther than I'm comfortable, but I've gradually been expanding the distance each day, and though at first she might start to look around, when I stay calm and listen to the music, she always settles right down and the rest of the ride goes with her head down and ears back, walking quietly along.

So...it seems ridiculous that I'm scared. But I am. I didn't ride the last few days, and today's excuse was "it's raining". I could easily have gone out before the rain, but I'm just...nervous. I am completely stupid for being scared to ride HER, but I'm not afraid of HER. After a good ride, I just want to leave it and not touch her again, because I'm afraid I'll mess everything up and we'll go back to being tense, anxious, and edgy. I KNOW I can do it, I KNOW I can ride her, I just don't believe it.

There's more behind this story (a lot more psychological and emotional factors) that I don't have time to explain right now, but can anyone give me advice or confidence-building statements to help me get over this fear?
     
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    07-23-2011, 09:44 PM
  #2
Weanling
Well, I think first of all that you're doing a great job. Then I want to tell you that you will NEVER have 100% good rides on ANY horse, all the time. That's just how riding is. Horses have their own personalities and maybe they didn't sleep well last night either.
I know how you feel though. My mare is also very hot, but has calmed down recently. She's great some of the time, but other times she's still excited. Some days we'll have not so great rides and other days we'll have wonderful rides. One day she'll let me stand on her back and summersault off it and another day it'll be hard work just to get her to stand still. The thing is to always remember there's another good ride coming around. Sometimes you get four bad rides and you feel like giving up, but then the fifth is great and you wonder why you were mad. I understand your fear, but it's something you're going to have to accept. A horse is not a machine and sometimes you need to make up for what they lack. If you only want good rides get a motorcycle =P
For me what helps during the bad times is to set tiny tiny goals. If i've achieved this goal it was not bad. For example, if I get my horse (who wasn't trained to walk) to walk one small circle during a bad day it's a success. During a good day two laps would be a success, but for bad days you have to scale back your expectations. It's also always a good idea to take baby steps with your horse when training, You have the right idea for your trail riding, maybe go a little bit further, and it'll be a success. You are doing well, just keep going and don't give up =)
     
    07-24-2011, 12:22 AM
  #3
Green Broke
I can relate. My adult horses are great, but I sort of dread working with my yearling because I never know if he's going to be good or a pain in the butt, and I am really afraid of failing with him and having to give him up.

I still work with him (probably too much) but I dread it because I don't want to fail, and if we have a bad session I feel like I am failing.

I would rather quit on a good session and go several days then work with him back-to-back because then I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster. I don't want to fail at my first and only young horse.

But the good news is you are making progress, and that is what I tell myself as well. As long as we are moving in the right direction, we are not failing, right!?
     
    07-24-2011, 12:24 AM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indigosblue    
well, I think first of all that you're doing a great job. Then I want to tell you that you will NEVER have 100% good rides on ANY horse, all the time. That's just how riding is. Horses have their own personalities and maybe they didn't sleep well last night either.
I know how you feel though. My mare is also very hot, but has calmed down recently. She's great some of the time, but other times she's still excited. Some days we'll have not so great rides and other days we'll have wonderful rides. One day she'll let me stand on her back and summersault off it and another day it'll be hard work just to get her to stand still. The thing is to always remember there's another good ride coming around. Sometimes you get four bad rides and you feel like giving up, but then the fifth is great and you wonder why you were mad. I understand your fear, but it's something you're going to have to accept. A horse is not a machine and sometimes you need to make up for what they lack. If you only want good rides get a motorcycle =P
For me what helps during the bad times is to set tiny tiny goals. If i've achieved this goal it was not bad. For example, if I get my horse (who wasn't trained to walk) to walk one small circle during a bad day it's a success. During a good day two laps would be a success, but for bad days you have to scale back your expectations. It's also always a good idea to take baby steps with your horse when training, You have the right idea for your trail riding, maybe go a little bit further, and it'll be a success. You are doing well, just keep going and don't give up =)
Thank you so much. These words are such a tremendous help, you have no idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
I can relate. My adult horses are great, but I sort of dread working with my yearling because I never know if he's going to be good or a pain in the butt, and I am really afraid of failing with him and having to give him up.

I still work with him (probably too much) but I dread it because I don't want to fail, and if we have a bad session I feel like I am failing.

I would rather quit on a good session and go several days then work with him back-to-back because then I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster. I don't want to fail at my first and only young horse.

But the good news is you are making progress, and that is what I tell myself as well. As long as we are moving in the right direction, we are not failing, right!?
It does. It feels exactly that. It's like an emotional roller coaster. I love this horse a lot, it's just so difficult for me to overcome my own "demons" and believe in myself.
     
    07-24-2011, 12:46 AM
  #5
Super Moderator
Wow, that is really cool that you thougth of and put into action both of those solutions to the problem. Many other persons would have got a stronger bit, or never gone out alone or ? But you found two workable alternatives. You get to pat yourself on the back and be so happy and grateful for the lightbulb moment you had.

Every time we have something to be grateful for, we can have greater faith that God (or fate, if you so wish) can be trusted to provide again in the future.
     
    07-24-2011, 06:23 AM
  #6
Trained
Have you tried any calming agents? I've started using Mare Magic with Mia. Based on 2 weeks, it seems to help her calm some and focus better. It isn't a substitute for training, but it seems to help her.

I've been re-doing her training from the beginning due to too many bolts, but she is so stubborn/dominant that her training seems to take a long time. As a result, I'm doing little tiny baby steps with her for fear of pushing her too fast and having her go backwards - so yes, I think I understand how you feel. I probably ought to build on the good days, but I sometimes skip it just because I'm afraid I'll screw her up - and moving forward seems to be so much harder than going backwards in her training!
     
    07-24-2011, 10:17 AM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Wow, that is really cool that you thougth of and put into action both of those solutions to the problem. Many other persons would have got a stronger bit, or never gone out alone or ? But you found two workable alternatives. You get to pat yourself on the back and be so happy and grateful for the lightbulb moment you had.

Every time we have something to be grateful for, we can have greater faith that God (or fate, if you so wish) can be trusted to provide again in the future.
Well, thanks for the vote of confidence. I knew the music would calm me down, and this is my personal riding horse and the love of my life (). No way would I jam a harsher bit in her mouth. Especially since she can go bridleless-if I can ride her with nothing at all, and she's having problems in a snaffle, then there's something wrong with her mouth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Have you tried any calming agents? I've started using Mare Magic with Mia. Based on 2 weeks, it seems to help her calm some and focus better. It isn't a substitute for training, but it seems to help her.

I've been re-doing her training from the beginning due to too many bolts, but she is so stubborn/dominant that her training seems to take a long time. As a result, I'm doing little tiny baby steps with her for fear of pushing her too fast and having her go backwards - so yes, I think I understand how you feel. I probably ought to build on the good days, but I sometimes skip it just because I'm afraid I'll screw her up - and moving forward seems to be so much harder than going backwards in her training!
Is there any calming agents for ME? Seriously, she's not the problem. 100% of our issues are my issues. Even if it starts out with her spooking or something, it always ends as my fault, because I only added, not diffused, tension. Of course, that also means good rides are entirely my doing as well, but that's not really any comfort to me. The mare is not a dominant or really even stubborn type, but she is a VERY sensitive horse. She is always exactly what her rider/handler is, and if I'm nervous, or angry or anything but confident, relaxed and happy, she gets tense and fast and high-headed with ears up. You don't have to be really experienced to ride her; you just need to feel confident. If you're confident, she is the easiest horse in the world to ride-she'll go anywhere, no spook, move off your cues instantly etc, but confidence has always been a big problem for me.

And you're right: it does feel a lot easier to go backwards than forwards with our progress. But I guess that's just how life goes, huh?
     
    07-24-2011, 11:10 AM
  #8
Foal
It's wonderful that you figured out that part of the problem is her mouth/teeth, because a lot of people go through lots of bits before they realize that! Have you considered switching to a bitless bridle? There are a few different types out there but the best one seems to be the Dr. Cook; I have friends who are having wonderful results with it, whose horses never responded well to any type of bit. You can read about it here if you're interested: Articles The Bitless Bridle by Dr. Robert Cook, FRCVS, Ph.D.
As for your tension, you already seem to realize that your sensitive horse is responding to you, so hats off to you!! There are so many things you can try, from therapy to yoga, but personally I've found that physical therapies work well for me - acupuncture, osteopaths, massage therapy, etc. Muscles have an emotional memory too, and we can store tension that dates back from a LONG time ago. Good luck - it sound like your mare is in good, sane, capable hands :)
     
    07-24-2011, 01:06 PM
  #9
Weanling
Well, I'm going to look around for a vet first, to get her teeth floated. They haven't been done in a few years and she went in a bridle when we got her, so I'll bet that's all that needs done. For now, my bitless bridle is just her halter with a rope attached on each side.
     
    07-24-2011, 01:23 PM
  #10
Foal
Hey, whatever works, right? :) if the floating doesn't do the trick, you can try to find an equine dentist, they are awesome (but not that common yet in some areas).
     

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