Low on confidence - Page 3

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Low on confidence

This is a discussion on Low on confidence within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        08-08-2011, 05:05 PM
    Something what helps me, when your horse goes to do something silly laugh to yourself and ask, "what are you doing?? Goofball" or something equally as casual. Also, tell yourself "hey.. I have been doing this for years. I know what I'm doing and nothing you do will rattle me!" Give yourself confidence!!!

    My horse used to bolt off and rear on me.. sooo scary. Until I started to joke about it. When something scared him I said (as we were galloping off..) "oh, it's the boogey man! Don't worry, I'll save you!" And by me relaxing and joking around, he began to relax.

    It sounds really silly.. but the main point is when you are scared, your body tenses up, your lungs expand to get in more air so you can bolt off, and your heart rate triples! So, by making yourself calm.. making yourself snap out of the "OMG I AM GOING TO DIEEE" rut, things will be so much better.

    Also, start from the ground. If your horse gets scared when you're brushing him (a flinch,) laugh it off and stroke his neck and say "oh my goodness, it's the boogey man.. you're okay though, I'm here! We'll kick his butt together!" Just anything to make yourself calm down.

    Singing helps some people, talking to your horse, telling jokes, making every little thing they do into a "oh you funny boy" attitude..

    Your horse acts up because it gets a reaction. Give it a calm aura to begin with and you'll be fine :)!!

    Big hugs!
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        08-09-2011, 09:03 AM
    Do you have access to a round pen, or something similar? You might try working with your girl on the ground instead of the saddle. When I first got my Dancer, she was terrible. No respect for anyone - she was actually dangerous and I couldn't allow my grandkids anywhere near her. She'd run anyone over. She also bucked like a son of a gun when I saw her ridden. (I bought her sight unseen, but the owner rode her for me after I had already bought her.)

    Because I am very large, I was afraid to ride her - so I started working her from the ground. I don't tolerate any nonsense from my horses, but Dancer was pretty scary, so I had to fake being more confident around her than I really was. After a couple of months, she was an angel on the ground - much better ground manners. My grandkids can now lead her by themselves (with supervision, of course) from the lot to the pasture and whatnot.

    It takes hard work to earn a horses respece once they have lost respect for you or people in general. It may be safer - mentally and physically - for you to work with her on the ground and get some boundaries established for her.

    I know it worked for my Dancer. I rode her finally, and everyone expected her to buck like she did with her previous owner...but Dancer had no respect at all for her previous owner (the woman was actually terrified of her, but she tried to hide it the day she rode Dancer for me.) Dancer did really well when I did ride her - no buck at all and she did everything I asked.

    If I can do it - you can do it - especially if you work with your trainer. He/she can really help you get the ground work/respect thing down pat. Once you do that, the riding is much easier.

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