Re-beginner getting frustrated
   

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Re-beginner getting frustrated

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  • Getting frustrated with horses
  • I'm getting really frustrated with my horse riding

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    04-28-2012, 06:03 PM
  #1
Foal
Re-beginner getting frustrated

Okay this is sorta long. And..it's kinda all over the place. So if you don't want to read it all, and just skim, that's okay. But I feel like I have to write this all so someone can understand why I'm so frustrated.

So, I just recently gotten back into actual riding. I first started lessons when I was in high school. I took lessons for a year from a world champion barrel racer, and she was so amazing. She was not easy on her students, but I liked that. I knew if she told me I was doing something right, or I was doing a good job that she really meant it, and wasn't just going easy on me out of pity. So, I only took lessons for a year because at that point I was a senior in high school and was taking AP classes and I didn't have time for it sadly. I regret that decision, so much now.

A few years ago, my mom and I got back into horses - and we now own two with a foal on the way. However, something happened between now and when I first started riding at sixteen. I got...the fear. You know, mortality. Somehow I grew up, and I realized how dangerous horses are and I eventually became terrified. The horses my mom bought have beautiful bloodlines, but they were not trained. So I never got back into riding. I learned how to handle them, somewhat. Enough so they could stand tied, behave for the farrier decently (something i'm still battling with) and get their shots, etc. But anything more than that, I was terrified. Like shaking in my boots, on the verge of anxiety attacks, and tears. I almost all-together threw in the towel, because I was convinced that I could never get over this. I didn't belong in the horse world. Fear was keeping me from the thing that made my heart so full and full of bliss.

In January I moved, and moved my horses into boarding. My gelding is under saddle, but still very green. He's doing great with his trainer! Still big problem with the feet, but definitely improving.

However, my riding. I'm not riding Cowboy because a green horse with a green rider could be a deadly combination. I'M NOT THAT STUPID! So I'm riding other horses at the barn, getting free lessons from my trainer and the lady who I pay to keep my horses there. They've both become family, and they really really want to see me get over this horrible fear. I'm doing good, according to them. Once I'm up on the horse, I feel like flying. I feel alive. I feel like this is my highest, happiest moment and nothing could ever measure up to right now. But my form is AWFUL! I don't know if I'm just paying more attention to it now that I'm grown, or what. But it's really starting to piss me off. I'm starting off from scratch mind you. I think I use too much leg work when I'm turning, and I can't keep the horse in a trot. And let's not even address the fact that I can't post in rhythm with the horse. (I remember this being really hard for me when I was first learning too..)

Are there any re-beginners out there? I would hate to say..well I just don't have it anymore. I was told when I was younger that I was such a natural for it. I was my instructor's "barrel racing prodigy" and now I'm just hopeless. I hope it gets easier. Even when I don't have a lesson (like tomorrow) I'm going to be practicing. From the time I stopped lessons and when I restarted recently...it had been 10 year since I was on a horse. I don't need to become a champion in the ring. I want to ride correctly and just have fun!
     
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    04-28-2012, 06:11 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
YOu need a hefty helping of FUN!!! You need to get on a good steady horse, go out on the trails and just ride for fun, no eye at all on what you will learn out of it. Just go out and see what the horse has in store for you, and have fun! It will boost your self confidence hugely. If you lived near me, I'd put you on Mac and we'd go for a scoot int he woods and you'd be laughing and relaxing and ready to let loose .

You cannot recapture the past. So, since you have physically started over, let yourself mentally start over. Maybe you are nto meant to be a barrel racer. Try some other disciplines, you might find a better match .
     
    04-30-2012, 09:41 AM
  #3
Foal
I feel your pain, I am currently going through a similar issue and I understand your fear and frustration. The way I was able to over come the fear was to learn to have fun with my girl. I think what helped me get past the fear was I had to forget about all the different things I should be doing and just focus on her and having fun. Trail riding with a couple of other people and play games with one of my friends and her horses really helped that. I still get nervous when sage tosses her head snorts or speeds up but because I learned how to have fun with her I can recall those times and relax a little.
Also I am going to tell you what a very wise lady on here told me stop being so hard on yourself. Focus on the here and know and forget about what you knew in the past and are having issues with now. Doing that has made my last few riding sessions a heck of alot easier on me and my horse. I hope this helped :)
     
    05-01-2012, 12:43 PM
  #4
Yearling
I came back to riding after a year in a wheelchair with a badly broken leg (from motorcycle riding). Because of what I'd been through with that, I was scared as hell getting back on a horse and I rode for three years before I started to get over it. Part of it was that I had to actually fall at times and find out that not every fall is a disaster. Most aren't. Also, there is no way that I've ever found to just snap out of your fear. I know it wasn't that way for me. I clawed my way out of it one day, one ride, one tiny little victory at a time. It requires having a stronger desire to be a rider than the fear of being hurt, though. I would even characterize it as a consuming desire. Without that, you may as well forget it. No sane person would subject themselves to so much risk otherwise.

I also agree with tinyliny. I also believe that it's best to learn to enjoy the process and I wish I had learned that sooner than I did. I think I'd have saved myself a lot of stress. ;P
     
    05-01-2012, 01:31 PM
  #5
Started
I love what tiny said!!! Go out and have fun !!! That's why we all have horses is because of the joy it gives us.
As for "the fear" you mentioned is that only when working with your horses or with all horses??

I would also not get all worked up about position and form at the moment. I would just try to reconnect and handle safe broke horses to boost your confidence and once you get confidence usually everything else follows shortly after...of course outside help from instructors is very helpful
     
    05-01-2012, 01:46 PM
  #6
Showing
First, Congrats on rejoining the world of crazy horse people! :) Don't be so hard on yourself. We all have our confidence shaken and feel our mortality at some point.

I agree with others, at this point look to have fun and worry about equitation/form later. I have an adult student currently that is very similar. She isn't ready to leave the arena (she is much more nervous in the open) The biggest thing that has helped her is for me to ride with her vs walking/standing in the arena. At this point we do a lot of ride and talk, I could even tell you what grade her granddaughter got on last week's spelling test ;) When we do that, she relaxes and forgets to worry about how she is doing. We also do a lot of follow the leader. I set a full show trail course in my outdoor and I go first, then she will go. The first time she did the trail gate without changing hands, she was so excited and proud that we went to the local watering hole and had a glass of wine in our filthy, stinky barn clothes.

Keep riding the good quiet, well broke horses and let them boost your confidence. Good luck and keep us posted!
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    05-01-2012, 02:00 PM
  #7
Trained
Just relax and enjoy yourself. Don't worry about perfect form and keep riding the calm school horses. For now that should be your goal. Trying to force your form to be "perfect" at this point is just going to make you tense and make it difficult to enjoy the ride.

I'm a re-rider (5 years or so off), when I re-started I went for a long long trail ride with a friend on her slowest horse. Went back to the house, had a bunch of wine, caught up, and liquid courage led us to have some fun and take the horses swimming. Getting my courage back took longer than that, but I tried not to be so hard on myself (or my horse).

The horse I bought (4 months into re-riding) was a twittery, nervous, rearing wreck of a green horse. It's taken the 2 of us almost 4 years (with time off for injuries and school) to become the team we are today. It was probably a mistake to buy him, but with time, reading, and lots of patience (for both of us) we are a pretty darn good team. Ideally we both would've had lessons from a more experienced partner, at least we would've gotten there sooner. So just relax and enjoy the experience, you'll get there and probably quicker than I did because you're being a lot smarter about it.
     
    05-01-2012, 07:55 PM
  #8
Trained
Don't worry. That fear will morph into just a healthy respect of what can (but mostly likely won't) happen, because you'll be less likely to ride recklessly. When fear does not paralize you, it saves your butt. Eventually the fun of riding will override the fear. Just stay within your comfort zone. One day you'll wake up and want to go for a good romp in the woods!
     
    05-01-2012, 08:12 PM
  #9
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
Don't worry. That fear will morph into just a healthy respect of what can (but mostly likely won't) happen, because you'll be less likely to ride recklessly. When fear does not paralize you, it saves your butt. Eventually the fun of riding will override the fear. Just stay within your comfort zone. One day you'll wake up and want to go for a good romp in the woods!
You've just described what has happened to me over the last year and a half.
     
    05-01-2012, 08:16 PM
  #10
Foal
Thumbs up

I'm a re-beginner too, I just bought my first horse on Friday. I am so thankful that she is not nearly as green as me. She has tons of experience and she is so calm and gentle. Don't expect yourself to be a perfect rider, you want to have fun with this. Don't be impatient with yourself. You can do this. The more you ride, the more experience you get and the more you learn. Take it slow :) good luck!
     

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