Are lessons the way to go? (long post sorry) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-21-2011, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
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Are lessons the way to go? (long post sorry)

A couple months ago my new horse reared and fell on me causing a rather impressive amount of damage and a lengthy hospital stay. I realized he was way too much horse for me so I sold him. I am healed to the point I can ride again and I am somewhat ashamed to admit I am having severe confidence issues.

We have another horse here (my husband bought one the same time I did, realized he wanted nothing more to do with horses after his horse bucked him off and gave him to me). This horse I would really like to keep, he is 6 yrs old and although he was sold to us as an experienced trail horse I would say he is green broke. I have been working with him for about an hour and a half every day, ground work and just tacking him up and going for walks with him. He has perfect ground manners and is always willing and very focused on what I am trying to communicate to him. I have gotten on him a couple times and we went on a short ride and he did ok.

I thought I was handling the nervousness and fear I felt ok but the other day I tacked him up and we started on a ride and he was nervous and started jigging along wanting to go faster, I got more scared and tried to slow him down that made him more nervous to the point where he started acting like he was going to buck and doing mini rears. I got so scared I panicked and got off and walked him home. I thought I had put my accident behind me but the minute he started actiing like that it all rushed back.

I have kind of mentioned that maybe lessons on my horse (or with a trainers horse) would help but my horse friends think that is a very silly idea as I have had horses and have been riding for about 45 of my 50 years. I intend to send my horse for some professional triaining in the spring as I don't ride in the winter but i would like to enjoy a few quiet trail rides in the meantiime and figure out how to handle this ridiculous fear I seem to have developed. If I can find a trainer to work with me and the horse I would probably only be able to take one lesson a week due to my work schedual and I would need to trailer him to the traiiners location.

What do you guys think? Should I try and find a trainer to work with me and my horse? or should I just wait until spring and then send him for profesional training? Or do you have any other ideas? How can I get over this silly fear issue? I have never really been a very confident rider and never had any professional lessons but I always had fun and even managed to raise and train 2 very well behaved sane horses in my younger days.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-21-2011, 03:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Bunbury, Western Australia
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i don't think that your fear is unfounded! you had a really bad accident and it takes time to get over it. but i'm glad to hear that your not letting fear rule your life!!

i had a really bad horse before i got ozzie, she use to buck until i came off, rear and spin til i came off, run flat out at a tree stop dead and swing her ass at the tree hoping i would come off, out in the bush she would jig jog on the way home and when i tried to stop her she would run backwards until she hit something, usually a barbed wire fence, prick her butt and bolt up a low branch then go straight back to the fence! she once double barrelled the fence and got stuck, she panicked and fell on the rider (wasn't me because i got off, i couldn't handle it) she pulled until she exhausted herself and collapsed on the rider, i was yelling at the rider to bail and save herself! i lost all my confidence, if i didn't find ozzie when i did, i would never have ridden again!
it took 2 1/2 years with ozzie and really good understanding friends dragging me out on the trails, to shows, on the roads, and riding clubs. i then joined pony club where my issue was being out in open spaces, i had a fear of my horse bolting. it would scare me when he jig jogged. i burried the fear until i got a handle on it. the breaking point when i lost the crippling fear was when i fell off ozzie in the open, riders and instructors everywhere at pony club, he reared and spun, i accidently spurred him and he did it again, then i fell off. it wasn't that bad! i realised that i was fearing falling off! my horse hooned around and acted like a total idiot and i just laughed! he gave the stockman a run for their money who eventually caught him, i got this horse handed back to me, tail in the air, eyes the size of dinner plates, totally tripping out....i got back on him. tat was my turning point. i trusted ozzie from then on.
6 years later, i still own him and i still trust him. he's going no where!

the moral of the long winded story is this.... you will get over it but not in an instant, give it time and get lessons, don't give up. your not alone with it. i still have flash backs but they aren't as vivid anymore and they aren't as scarey anymore.

send the horse to a trainer, establish the one rein stop on him, and learn it, make sure his mouthing is 10/10/10. the one rein stop will save your life one day, and knowing you got it there make you more confident.

good luck ! :)

Elly ::: Diam ::: Ozzie
~~~Introducing Barney~~~
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-21-2011, 03:29 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
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As CP said, having fear after such a nasty accident is not something to be ashamed of, it is normal human nature.

I would advise you to have a combination of lessons and sending the horse to a trainer. I believe that both of you could do with some confidence building work - the best situation would be for you to go and have some lessons on a quiet old plodder that you can get your confidence back on. Maybe some lunge lessons with no stirrups etc. to find your balance again and remember how it feels to ride with confidence.
While you are working on yourself, send your horse off the the trainers for a few weeks, or have someone experienced and confident come and get him back into work for you.
That way, you're not trying to get both yourself and the horse back into riding at the same time which may be a recipe for wiping both of your confidence for good.

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

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post #4 of 6 Old 09-21-2011, 03:31 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne
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Of course lessons are not a silly idea! Even though you've been riding for as long as you have you have an issue that you need to work through. Fundamentally that's what lessons are all about improving on something with guidance.

I have a new student who must be early 60s has ridden her whole life worked training youngsters etc, she had a bad fall and lost confidence she's tried regaining confidence on her own but struggled.

However after 2 lessons the difference is amazing.

Sometimes all you need is the security of a trainer being present.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-21-2011, 03:33 AM
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Personally I believe that EVERYONE would benefit from lessons. There is always more to learn and skills to improve upon...until you are the world champion. :)

My preference would be to find a trainer to work with both you and your horse to build both of your confidence and skills. I never knew this until I bought my first horse last December but horses can have confidence issues too! And a confident rider helps them build confidence. (Who knew?) So to send him off to a trainer and not have you be a part of building his confidence would be a loss. However, the right coach can help you work through your own confidence issues, add to your skills, and ultimately improve both your and your horse's performance. Wouldn't you want to be a part of that?

In time, once they get to know you and your horse, a good trainer would tell you if they thought you need a horse who is more experience and/or more even tempered. With your experience and your tenacity, I'm betting you'll do just fine with this horse. But a good trainer would be your best source of advice.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-21-2011, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
Posts: 492
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thank you everyone for all your words of wisdom and encouragement. I got the name of a very reputable trainer and I am calling her today.
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