Loss of confidence in riding - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 06-29-2011, 12:42 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Acworth, GA
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You know what I think :) You're a great rider, I'm sure you'll feel better about it in no time.

Horseless currently. Hoping someday that will change.
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post #12 of 19 Old 06-29-2011, 11:57 AM
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Location: England
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Hi I can relate to this I am 56 and bought a 4 yr old Is this another phase in my life called insanity? My new boy is lovely and has a fab nature but is young and spooky as everything is so new to him. We are slowly getting confidence in each other and learning to trust. I know it will be worth it in the end and we will be able to have many happy hacking years together. John Wayne said "Courage is being scared stiff but saddling up anyway"
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post #13 of 19 Old 06-29-2011, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Waxhaw, NC
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You are definitely not alone. I was in a similar situation, riding from 7 years old til about 13/14. I did trails in between the years that flew by. I am now 25 also and have the same fears. I will stand on that mounting block, sometimes longer than i should, trying to exhale my stress away. My horse has yet to give me a reason not to trust him, but yet I know what happens if i get hurt. My family relies on me, I have a young daughter that I have to be around for.

I used to ride bareback, had a great seat, and loved playing games etc. Here I am at 25 and I only do walk/trot. I had a fall last year on a friends mare, nothing major. But it did dwindle my confidence at the canter. Its the reality of responsiblities, and real life that makes us as adults more "cautious". Practice breathing when you feel yourself tense up. I wish you lived in NC, we could both help eachother through this as I cant ride by myself either bc my horse is horribly buddy sour. Good luck!
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post #14 of 19 Old 06-30-2011, 06:00 AM
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Location: England
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Hi Isn't it always the same we find like minded people of great sites like this and are able to offer support and advice but all live not only in different parts of the country but also different parts of the world! I am 56 and I am only walking and trotting I have yet to canter on my boy and yet I go for a lesson 90 miles away from where I live which is a 4 hour round trip and I am able to walk, jog and lope on the horses there I guess its because they are older well trained and experienced and they give me confidence. Unfortunately living in England western riding and AQH's are few and far between and when I was looking for an older horse I could not find a good one so went for a younger horse which I thought would not come with any baggage and no one has had the chance to spoil him and I certainly have that with my boy he is really lovely and after losing my old girl 3 years ago who knew what I was thinking before I knew it myself it is very different with a youngster but we will make it through I know.I understand how you feel and how age makes you cautious I did not learn to ride until my 30's and my children were young and I was constantly aware that if I were to have any accident what would happen to them. Now after having a back operation which has stopped me riding English I took up Western riding in a western saddle as I found it so comfortable and could ride without being in agony however it is always in the back of my mind what happens if I fall off will it cause problems with my back and yet the thought of never riding again is too awful to think about. I thin once you have the riding bug it is there for ever "a magnificent obsession" Good luck will think of you when I am riding and hope you doing ok.
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post #15 of 19 Old 06-30-2011, 11:55 AM
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Location: North Carolina
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Age definitely has an affect on your overall cautiousness/confidence. I rode pretty fearlessly when I started riding at 17, then took several years off and came back to riding at 25. I have spent the last three years riding my fairly green mare, and it has been a huge adjustment getting used to my sudden lack of confidence. Riding schoolmasters and taking lessons has helped, overall time in the saddle, extra time spent working out, especially to strengthen my core...and I ended up sending my mare to a very experienced trainer. The more I see her progress, the more it boosts my confidence that we will get there. It is just a matter of time, and taking baby steps to push yourself a little, but not too far out of your comfort zone. Best of luck to you!!
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post #16 of 19 Old 06-30-2011, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
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WOW! I can relate also! I use to ride anything! The ranker the better for me, lol. I even rode a bull once but all of that changed with a green horse that learned to rare up and fall over backward on me. It didn't bother me at first but I sold my horses and went about 3 years without riding. Then the anxiaty started........ PTSD maybe?? Anyway, I have a nice gelding that I am working through my fears with. He is young and we did the basic ground work and saddle work but I never left the pasture with him. He has NEVER BUCKED OR RARED UP including the first time he was saddled and sat on......NEVER, lol. I sent him to the trainers a couple of weeks ago because exposing him to trails is out of my comfort zone. When I get him back I KNOW I will be afraid of what he might do if he sees something that scares me, lol. But my love for horses will force me to work through this. It is either that or give them up wich I refuse to do. A hint for you is to take your time. If you find your heart racing, focus on that and force your body to relax. You will see a change in the horse. The better you do, the better your horse will do as he feels your anxiaty. Fake it till you make it.
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post #17 of 19 Old 06-30-2011, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: PA
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I think like everyone else has said it is something that happens with age. I have rode horses my whole life and now at 30 i all the sudden have a fear. I have a particurally difficult horse right now that can scare the bejesus out of me. Sometimes if I know we are going into a situation where he has been exceptionally hard to handle in before I will have trouble sleeping the night before. I push myself through it and at the end of the day am really glad I did. Its natural.. I have been on completely unbroke horses before and some of the crazy's of the world and it never use to bother me. My family makes fun of me because I just dont care for a horse that is predictible. I dont want to be along for the ride, I want to have to actually ride and engage the horse and myself. But doing that has made me fearful. Keep going and if you feel like lessons would help then do it. You are the only one who knows how you feel inside and what may make you feel better about it. Admitting fear is the biggest way to overcome it just like anything else you cant fix a problem if you dont admit that it exsists... GL and hope you can become more confident!!
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post #18 of 19 Old 06-30-2011, 03:49 PM
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Location: uk
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I broke my back 5 years ago after my mare had a huge bronching episode and launched me in the air. Till then I'd had no confidence issues and had sat her bucks many times, I used to laugh about it, suddenly it wasn't funny any more. I didn't ride for the next 3 years and had no offers for anyone to exersise my horse (not surprisingly). About a year ago I realised that not riding had left a huge gap in my life, I went for some lessons on a very safe school horse then set about trying to pretty much re break my girl, no one had sat on her for 3 years. I had no intentions of letting her go and couldn't afford another so she was all I had. I was scared, very scared, but we took it slow and I tried to remember what it felt like to ride all those years ago and I remembered the laughing, so I did just that, laughed, every time I felt scared I made myself laugh. It was hard at first but it really helped.
To sum up I'd say remember what it used to feel like, not what you did, I wont ever do the crazy things I did 15 years ago but I can walk and trot round and laugh and enjoy myself, I dont need to do the crazy things anymore so dont put too much pressure on yourself and it will take as long as it takes.
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-04-2011, 08:59 AM
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Location: England
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Hi there. I gathered up all my fears and stuffed them in a bag last Friday and rode in the school on my boy and had a great ride. Everything went great and he had played up earlier when I brought him in as he had to wait for the farrier and by the time his feet had been done and it was time to ride I thought he is going to give me hell in the school but he rode like an angel. So on Saturday evening myself and another girl took our horses around the fields for a hack. It was the first time my boy had been there. Anyway we had only just got into the field turned right and rode about 100 yards along the side of the field and he saw something and stopped, I read in a magazine that when this happens let them look at the object for about 7 seconds to take it in and then encourage them to go forward past it. Well in our case that was 7 seconds too long. The next thing we have shot sideways then backwards and then up then down then his head shot back at the same time I went forward. End result his head hit my cheek bone I saw stars but what a result I did not come off. I don't think I showed much in the way of finesse I think there were arms, legs and reins everywhere but he stopped and stood still then we walked past the offending LOG. (I thought it had to be at least a 6' snake) We continued to walk through 3 more fields past an enormous electric pylon, a big green tent, 2 quad bikes and a yellow ball and guess what absolutely NADA. He got a bit nervous half way round when we met up with another horse then he was ok but then they went round a corner and he could not see them and got a bit pannicky. He was not the only one!!!!!!! But we got back to the yard in one piece so I thought that was a result. The strange thing is when it was actually happening I was not scared its only when I think of what might happen I get an upset stomach I did not even want to get off after the spook which is good for me. So I think I am improving. I am going to have another lesson tonight in the school. I so want him and I to be able to hack out all over and not just be confined to either the school or a small field otherwise we will miss out on so much. Its just being able to keep going staying on with the spooks and letting him have the experience he so badly needs. When he was in training they did take him around the farm and showed him all sorts but that just gave him confidence in the person who was riding him at that time he needs to get that confidence in me and know that when something frightens him I will keep him safe.
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