I've lost my confidence.. How can I get it back? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-04-2012, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy I've lost my confidence.. How can I get it back?

Hello.. I seem to have lost a lot of confidence riding horses. I started ridng about 7 years ago, I have backed horses and ridden race horses I could walk, trot, canter, gallop and jump 3ft-ish. I haven't really done much riding in the last year except a few of the older broodmares who are all quite sensible.
Anyway my grandfather has just bought my first horse she's a 15.3hh irish draught with a little bit of thoroughbred or something lighter in her, she hasn't really been ridden in the last 2 years and I've had her for about 16 days. I was riding her in the school today and I can walk and trot on her quite happily but the other day I fell off her in canter (it was completely my fault I had my reins too short and she wanted to go home so after ditching me she did) so now I'm not very comfortable cantering her and everytime she does I pull her up again so how can I get my confidence back?
I would also like to add that I lean forwards and push my hands into her neck whenever she goes into canter and I know it's a bad habit but one of the horses I used to ride would go into full blown gallop toward fences and stop at the last minute to get me off so that's the way I tried to stay on. Also the school was mostly flooded and it's sand so she was slipping a bit, was my instructor right to make me canter on this surface?
I apologise it's so long and if there are any mistakes or it doesn't make sense :/
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-04-2012, 12:56 PM
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I think you could so with some lessons on cantering. You have no control if your hands are pressing into the horses neck and leaning forward can get you flung over the horses head. Putting more tools in your toolbox for situations will help you when you're actually in them. One rein stops would also be a good thing for you to teach how to do.

The horse also sounds a bit barn sour if she's taking off on the way home.

And I would not have ridden in a partially flooded surface.

Just my opinions :)
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-04-2012, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I didn't think it was best to ride today but my instructor said it would help me.. Thank you for replying :)
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-04-2012, 01:09 PM
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I will tell you this about riding on sand when it is really wet- I once had a horse fall on me because we were cantering in a wet sandy arena. I was very lucky I didn't break my leg. If I did not have the confidence to canter her, I would simply lunge her at a canter for a while, and then stick with the walk/trot. Once you got comfortable with the horse, then I would attempt a canter. If she has not been ridden in 2 years, then a brief re training may be in order. She needs a refresher course on gaits, manners, etc....She is not going to be one to hop on and go. Take your time. Learn her cues; her body movements. Her movements and reactions will tell you a lot about her. The barn sourness is also something you are going to need to address. She cannot be permitted to act in the way you described. I also agree that you need to work on your form. You need to be in control, and how you described your riding, you have NONE. Don't give up. You will get there. Just take it slow and build you and your horse up. Good luck!
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-04-2012, 08:31 PM
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Others are telling you about what you can do for your horse, or about how to ride her or that you should fix this or that; so I’ll leave that to them. I will say that after you come off it can probably have a couple of effects on you, and getting your confidence back can be easy or hard depending on how the spill affected you. I have come off probably hundreds, if not thousands, of times, but then I start quite a lot of young horses and have worked on cattle stations across the north or Australia, and ridden some real mean old station horses, and mostly I took it as a given that it was going to happen. However, I once lost a lot of confidence doing some things on a horse. When I was about 14 I was mustering cattle on a place in North Queensland and as I went cantering down a hillside chasing a cow, which was taking off from the mob, I was ripped out of the saddle by hitting a tree, it was a small tree and caught me under the jaw. This lifted me out of the saddle but my foot got hung up so I was kept on the horse but behind the saddle and falling to the left (my right foot got caught). Then a big Ironbark tree got me across the chest and took me right off. I came too, winded, with broken ribs, a broken jaw, cracked teeth and a tongue nearly bitten right off; thankfully the stirrup leather came off the hook or I probably would have been dragged too. (Nearly got killed again about 4 years later but that’s another story, and didn’t affect me nearly as bad as the first one).
I recovered from the injuries in about 6 months or so but what I didn’t recover from quickly was the psychological damage it did, specifically, if I went into thick bush after a cow I would slow right down, to the extent I lost a fair few cattle in thick scrub because I couldn’t bring myself to go through it fast any more. Needless to say, cattle station owners and managers don’t appreciate that kind of thing. It took me a long time to get my confidence back, I had to start off slow and gradually build it up so that now I’m about back to where I was. The thing I think you need to do is decide whether you want to do it bad enough or not. If yes, go slow, build up your confidence from the ground up, as it were. Get the horse in hand on the ground, then a walk, then trot, then canter; don’t go onto the next stage till you are in complete control of, and have complete confidence in yourself, in the one you are at. I am figuring if you do it like this, you will regain your confidence; and possibly work out any kinks the horse has too. Good luck with it; just remember, if you want it bad enough don’t give up.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-04-2012, 08:50 PM
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i had sent my geldign to training this spring and the trainer couldnt get him to go down the road well and when i tried to didnt end well. the trainer got him to go 6 miles but he fought the whole way. so i dont ride him outside of in enclosed area. he got him to canter i tried once and it was a weird hop/canter/loung thing he did and so i only trot him. i want to canter he looks fun and fast but i dont wanna get bucked off again. (i got bucked off my QH 4 years ago and broke my arm a few months later he took off bucking broke my saddle and i bailed and got bruised pretty bad. if i dont feel like i have control i wont canter the horse. i can run around on my moms horse with no problem hes 3 and a half and i was ridding him in shows at 2 and a half (was told he was 3 he wasnt) but i can get him do to what ever asked with little to no fuse) but i would ride her trotting for a while it will get her more fit and let you get to know her better.

ive ridding exrace horses, jump 5 feet, ridding very green broke horses, W/T/C/G, had a horse take off down a road and couldnt stop him and almost flew off of him tring to stop him on gravel, raced barrel horses down roads, crossed flooded bridges, jumped a Pro horse over a 5 foot water ditch bareback and in a halter racing a friend. yet i cant canter a horse that ive owned and ridden for a year and a half..
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