Lost confidence after a fall - novice (long!)
I am new here, so please bear with me while I fill in the background....
I decided to pick up riding a couple of years ago, having gone on hacks through my teens and the odd one off in my twenties in NZ (including trotting and cantering). Over here in the UK it is all lesson based, so have had to start from scratch. First few were great, learnt how to post the trot and it all seemed fine. I left it for a while as it was too far and too expensive, then found one closer to home and had another great lesson, with the instructor saying you will be cantering next time.
Another year went by and then I picked it up this year. It just went from bad to worse. Everyone was saying different things and I hurt my coccyx from tucking under too far, landed too heavily on my foot, then had a spooky horse. And it wasn't really that fun just going round and round an arena for an hour and my confidence was plummeting. I found riding and thinking about all the different things pretty hard!
I then found a great charity up the road from home where I have been going every week for a half hour in a group (since June). I used to ride a slightly bigger horse, which had a bit of a fear about. I also had a real fear about cantering, as the transition seems like such a big milestone and the longer we didn't do it, the more of a big deal it became. I don't feel I have progressed a huge amount over summer, but its been a nice way to spend weekend time.
However, lately it has become more structured and we are moving more into the cantering. (I did it once accidently and almost another time). I have been riding a smaller horse, which has lessoned some of the fear, though she is very lazy! I finally felt like I was ready to press on and go faster, feeling like I was riding naturally, not just following instructions and hence being disconnected to the horse.
So I added in an extra weekday lesson and ended up on the bigger horse again, (who proably sensed my fear) and was being a bit spooky (the instructor was holding a whip and was holding him back while we were talking) so he took off and at the end of the arena, didnt stop, but carried on round the corner at which point I flew off and broke a fence.....
I got back on (they made me!) and did a few rounds sitting the trot. I went the next weekend and ended up just being led round the bridle path. I did a little trotting, but was conscious of it being a bit wet and muddy and was worried about the horse slipping. I had planned a quiet lesson during the week, but trapped a nerve in my back (part of the fall area), so had to miss it. So back this weekend where the usual quiet horse was out of action. I went on a different one who kept throwing her head around (which I was told to expect) and then started backing up, which was freaking me out. I managed to walk with a leader and then a few times round on my own before giving up.
I am so disappointed. I feel like this has been such a huge set back and don't see how I can overcome it. I have been "toughing out" the intense pain, bruising and huge lump of the fall - even the nerve on top, but there is a panicking fear that is gripping me of the horse taking off. It's like I have forgotten everything and can't access that information.
I think physically I should be fitter, but how do I fix the mental block. Or should I just let it go - learning as an adult is really hard. It would feel a shame to give it up, but then the huge danger factor freaks me out.
Any suggestions would be very helpful thanks!!