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Rider Fear. Please Read

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        05-30-2010, 07:59 AM
      #11
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by equiniphile    
    Do you have a friend or know someone who has a very safe, reliable horse? Sometimes you just need to know your horse doesn't want to eat you
    I think she explained that her horse is just that.

    I was in your father's shoes at one time. Horses were in my blood probably from in the womb - but not my children's. I forced horses on them and got mad when they didn't do it right. I was one of those fathers who thought I could teach my kids and didn't need anyone to help. The end result is that I have 3 adult kids (2 are married) that couldn't care less about horses.

    Were I you, I would have a friend with me when I go to ride and have them lead me around. It may seem silly but I've helped a lot of riders with little or no confidence begin that way (it's a shame that I didn't learn that technique in time to teach my own children). At first, if you did nothing but mount and stand there, that's fine. Doing stretching exercises while mounted is the next step, then, finally, moving. Take things slowly and in small, successful steps.

    I realize that you have already ridden but sometimes it's best to start from the very beginning again. It builds your confidence one step at a time.
         
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        05-30-2010, 08:03 AM
      #12
    Weanling
    Great post iride - thanks for sharing that, super applicable here I'd say.
         
        05-30-2010, 08:40 AM
      #13
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iridehorses    
    Were I you, I would have a friend with me when I go to ride and have them lead me around. It may seem silly but I've helped a lot of riders with little or no confidence begin that way (it's a shame that I didn't learn that technique in time to teach my own children). At first, if you did nothing but mount and stand there, that's fine. Doing stretching exercises while mounted is the next step, then, finally, moving. Take things slowly and in small, successful steps.
    This is good advice and does indeed work well for someone at any age. I couple years ago, my sister (60+) visited one weekend and said she would like to try and ride one of our mares. She hadn't been on a horse since a short equestrian course in college (all in the ring, 40 years ago) and was a bit unsure of what to expect. I put her on our bomb proof lead mare and 'ponied' her from one of our young mares. After about 30 minutes of riding (including riding on the road with cars) she said she was ready to 'cut the cord', she did fine, and had a great time.

    Take your time, get some confidence, and have fun.
         
        05-30-2010, 09:26 AM
      #14
    Foal
    That acully happened to me after a month of being nervous of jumping because of a fall thimk I can do it when you get back . I thoughtthat 2 weeks ago and sailed over 2ft3 fence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hop I helped
         
        05-30-2010, 09:56 AM
      #15
    Foal
    Hey, the important thing is to not worry - so many people have the same problem; I know I did. I fell off a horse that bolted on a road, and I wasn't wearing a helmet so needless to say I got a pretty bad head injury. I was in hospital for a bit, and when I started riding again, with a helmet, I was absolutely terrified, hunched over, shaking...

    I didn't have any horsey friends, none of my family ride or know anything about horses, my horse was exceptionally green and I didn't have a trainer or instructor or anything - I was completely alone. In the end, it was just me and my horse re-forming that bond and getting the confidence back. I think that's what you need - find a horse you can trust, and get to know it on the ground, face to face; remember riding is great, but trust is more important.

    Try and stick to small arenas and paddocks at first, places where it would be near impossible for a horse to bolt - the most they can do then is buck, and you can say "Alright, enough of that" get off, and try again some other day. Don't let anyone pressure you, do it in your own time.

    I'm almost nineteen and I've fallen off a million and one times, most of it without helmets (yes I know, I'm stupid), going over jumps and from horses bolting. You need to realize and remember that horses are creatures, just like humans, with their own personalities and their own quirks; sure they'll buck sometimes, kick or even bolt, but theres always a reason - they're not doing it because they don't like you or because you're a bad rider or any of those other silly reasons.

    Some other random suggestions, just thinking off the top of my head because you obviously love horses and I really want to help you get over this fear; do you ride english? I find that english saddles are very "loose" and the stirrups move a lot. If you're afraid of falling you might want to consider a stock saddle or a western saddle - the shape of them makes it a lot easier to stay on and keep control of the horse, plus western stirrups don't move as much as english stirrups and you're less likely to lose balance.

    Riding in a group might help you - if you have friends or family who ride, go for a trail ride - nice and relaxing - with them. Some horses act calmer when in groups - then again, other horses don't, so yeah... that could go either way.

    The only other suggestion I have is talk to your father. I know it sounds hard, but it might be nessercary, and he could help you if he knows about horses. You just need to be calm and say you're nervous, not scared, just nervous, and you would like some help to get your confidence back. Remember your dad was once just a boy, and he probably fell off horses now and again, maybe even cried about it. He might surprise you and understand how you feel.

    I hope this rant helped, and good luck with everything.

    - Fade.
         
        05-30-2010, 10:15 AM
      #16
    Foal
    I agree with FadeToShadows stuff happends on horses
         
        05-30-2010, 07:50 PM
      #17
    Weanling
    I think most riders go through a fearful phase. I, for one, certainly did. I was an extremely green rider, and though my horse wasn't green, she was young, and she was going to get away with as much as I let her-which was basically everything. She'd bolt with me, she'd rear, she'd buck-I was so terrified of riding that I would only ride her once in maybe a month. But the one thing I did do was groundwork. Every day-took her for walks, brushed her, learned how to get her respect, and even though it took me like, half a year to finally work up the courage and get on, it went really well! I swear, though-she was like, purposely good for the first few weeks so I got my confidence back, and now she's trying everything short of bucking and rearing with me-I'm glad I'm not afraid of her anymore.

    Do lots of groundwork, and if you want to take my advice don't get on until you're 100% sure. Even if it takes a long, long time, one good ride at the end of it all is better than 100 rides where you're scared out of your skin, because that's not helping anyone. If you want to keep getting on her regularly, don't do more than you're comfortable with. Or, set goals for yourself like: "Ok, today I'm going to walk once around the yard, then get off" and later: "I'll trot a couple times around the yard". If you only want to stay on for 5 minutes, do it. But then the next day stay on for a minute longer. Slowly and gradually make it harder, but go at your own pace. Don't let your dad boss you around. My dad is the same way-he's one of those fearless types that believes I should get on the horse and ride her through anything, sit out those rears and bucks and not take any fearful feelings away from the ride, and with me being a nervous and stressful person by nature, I have a hard time doing that. I either ignore him, or argue back at him with as much intensity as he faces me with-there's no way I'm going to let him ruin the confidence I've built up.

    As for lessons-they're cheap if they're only $10 each. Do you have a job? If your dad's so set against you having lessons then you might have to face the truth and work to pay for it yourself. It's worth it though-most instructors are trained and experienced in getting you to relax and feel more comfortable.

    Good luck!
         
        05-30-2010, 08:25 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    Fear is hard to over come. I have been through it. Petrified to get on my horse. Its your minds conditioned response to something it perceives or knows to be dangerous. You can not fake confidence. I wish I could buy it but believe me you can't I have tried. You have a good horse and a good horsemen on your property. I know that having a good horsemen next you can make you even more nervous because they might "judge" you. If your comfortable on the ground you are half way there. Work slowly. Wear a helmet. Build upon success. So what if you tack up and sit on your horse for 10 secs? Tomorrow it will be 1 minute and so on. Do you have an enclosed area to ride to your horse can't bolt? When I was nervous I would stack the odds in my favor. Made sure my dogs were inside kids weren't biking Husband not setting off fireworks (he did that to me) and slowly you get it back. Nothing to be ashamed of. Most riders go through some degree of it.
         
        05-31-2010, 08:03 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    One thing I really want to suggest is lunging. It seems like the only times where you ride, you are bolted and fall off. If you get more time just moving with the horse, under the control of another human being on a lunge, you can have confidence little by little before you feel you can do basic things again.

    When I fell, I wasn't really too frightened. It had happened many times before that he bolted like that, and it was just that time that he happened to fall. However I did learn that relaxing a lot will just make the horse freak, especially a horse prone to bolting. I would not recommend riding terrified, I think it's better and safer to slowly work your way up. If you're having trouble with the simplest things like mounting, then just mount once or twice every day, just to sit there, until you can do that comfortably, and move on from there.

    As for your father, I think you should be honest. Being a homegrown Texan, it has taken a LOT of persuasion to get my own father into letting me switch to English. However being tough and riding on trails isn't always showing the best horsemanship, which doing dressage and jumping can really provide for you. If this is something you really want to do do whatever it takes to achieve those goals and you will really be satisfied in yourself. =]
         
        06-01-2010, 01:01 AM
      #20
    Foal
    Yes,I do have a friend with horses. I've ridden there before. I plan on going there and riding alot with her, ( her family owns a HUGE camp (200 acres) of land and over 50 horses)

    They have lots of trails and we'll go out on them. I also am planning to sign up for 4-H very soon. Thank so much for your advice!
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    Tags
    afraid, bolting, bucking, rider fear, scared

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