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Riding after a fall

This is a discussion on Riding after a fall within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to start riding horses after a fall
  • Horseback riding after a fall

 
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    02-01-2009, 03:46 AM
  #11
Kim
Foal
I think everyone here has pretty much said great stuff!! So I can't really add anything extra, but keep at it and take your time to rebuild your trust in your horse. Don't let anyone push you into doing something you don't want to.

I really really hope everything works out, and your back to your old confident self soon !! Good luck with it all!
     
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    02-01-2009, 11:09 AM
  #12
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand    
You're probably right -- I just don't know how to stop myself from THINKING she will spook!
Okay this is going to sound really "out there" but it works.

This is a technique that is used by many athletes including high level riders. Visualization. What you will do is envision your next ride on her.
In great detail "see" each and every step, from the tacking up to the dismount and everything in between. If you have found that you tense up as soon as you mount, you will envision this and breath deeply and rythmatically and feel yourself relax. See the entire ride, also when you get tense and what you will do to overcome that, breathing, disengaging if she moves out too fast or begins to spook at whatever, ect... Also feel the control and the joy.

What you are doing is training your subconscious to respond and react without emotional panic. It will become an automatic response (like you use to have until you got hurt).

Through out the exercise, you will concentrate on your breathing, staying calm and in control, because you do know what to do, it's the fear that has blocked you.

After my accident with Walka, I did this before every session. I came to realize that the fear I felt, though perfectly normal after an accident, would eventually stop me from what I love if I didn't acknowledge and deal with it.

Hope this helps you , it did me. Take your time, small sure steps are better than unsteady leaps at this time.
     
    02-01-2009, 01:33 PM
  #13
Weanling
I went to an interesting demonstration recently about spooking horses and I'd like to tell you some things the guy said. I found it very useful in my own riding and it might help you, too.

There are some riders who refuse to get off when their horse spooks, because they think the horse will learn that if they spook, their rider will get off. If your horse spooks at something, it's because he's been startled, not because he's trying to get you to get off. In your horse's mind, he sees that scary corner as a threat to both of you. If you circle him and kick him and force him into that corner (as I believe somebody above suggested), he's only going to get himself into more of a panic.

Think of what a foal and its mother in the wild. The mother trots across the stream, but the foal plants its feet and is scared to go in. The foal isn't being stubborn; he has no reason to refuse to cross the stream other than fear. The mother comes back across. Does she get the foal to cross by coming up behind it and biting it or kicking it until it crosses? No, she will nuzzle her foal and step in beside him and encourage him the whole way across.

When your horse spooks at something, rub his neck and tell him it's okay. Close your legs and encourage him with your voice. Don't tense up. If you need to, get off and lead him from the ground.

Of course, you won't always be able to hop off... for example, in a show, you can't really get off in the middle of a class and lead him past a scary jump. But when you're just schooling, if you are calm and encouraging, and you are not forceful and tense, he will learn to trust you.
     
    02-01-2009, 03:53 PM
  #14
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equuestriaan    
If you circle him and kick him and force him into that corner (as I believe somebody above suggested), he's only going to get himself into more of a panic.
I'm pretty sure you're talking about my post, and I'm sorry if what I said came across the wrong way. When I said "get after and force her towards whatever she's spooking at" I didn't mean circle and kick and such. I meant by using whatever means necessary, which most likely includes quiet encouragement. By no means do I think you should be rough with a scared horse no matter what they're spooking at. That's just about the worst thing you could possible do.
     
    02-01-2009, 05:05 PM
  #15
Weanling
Oh okay, I just wanted to make sure she wasn't going to go out and kick and scream at her horse. Lol
     
    02-01-2009, 07:09 PM
  #16
Green Broke
Thanks everyone...no, I would never get angry or kick/force her into a corner that's scaring her. Normally what I do is say "shhhhh" in a quiet soothing tone, while patting her neck, it normally calms her down. But my problem is that right now, I am EXPECTING her to spook at the corner, so then she does of course! But it's ME expecting her to that I think is causing her to do it now. So I'm trying to figure out how to overcome my own mindset that she's going to -- it's really become a self fulfilling prophecy for me!
     
    02-01-2009, 07:22 PM
  #17
Foal
Wow great thread guys I just really learned a thing or 2 and I enjoyed reading it also
Lizz
     
    02-01-2009, 07:31 PM
  #18
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand    
thanks everyone...no, I would never get angry or kick/force her into a corner that's scaring her. Normally what I do is say "shhhhh" in a quiet soothing tone, while patting her neck, it normally calms her down. But my problem is that right now, I am EXPECTING her to spook at the corner, so then she does of course! But it's ME expecting her to that I think is causing her to do it now. So I'm trying to figure out how to overcome my own mindset that she's going to -- it's really become a self fulfilling prophecy for me!
I know exactly what you are going through, I am STILL there after a really bad dump 2 yrs ago. My mind plays games with me. I doesn't help that I have 2 very young horses to get riding. My ring is right next to a hedge row and my neighbors dogs love to come scrounging through it and then barking at us when we are in the ring. It even startles my 12 yr old trail mare!
     
    02-01-2009, 07:38 PM
  #19
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by HayburnerHeights    
I know exactly what you are going through, I am STILL there after a really bad dump 2 yrs ago. My mind plays games with me. I doesn't help that I have 2 very young horses to get riding. My ring is right next to a hedge row and my neighbors dogs love to come scrounging through it and then barking at us when we are in the ring. It even startles my 12 yr old trail mare!
Yeah that would startle the most bomb proof of horses!!

My trainer rode Sandie today (first time she's been ridden since before her 14-day stall rest!), and he had to ride her bareback bc of where the scar is, right where the girth goes...but he was fine and she was not acting up or anything, it was great to see it! She did kinda shy a little by the "scary corner" but he had her under control and she didn't bolt or anything. I think I just need to see more of that and then I will be less nervous when I get on her!
     
    02-01-2009, 10:26 PM
  #20
Started
Dunno if this will help you any, but my mare fell off the side of a ditch/banl with/on me last January and I could ride her for about two weeks because I was so sore and hurt and she hurt her leg for a few weeks in our fall... When I got back on her, I was so nervous and so was she... every step we took felt like she was extremely hesitant as though we were going to fall again and I couldn't hardly convince her to go faster than a very slow and careful walk... After a few weeks of our hesitance, I got tired of it and took her out in the pasture saddled and bridled and got on her. I was so tired of being nervous that I made her gallop across the pasture about twenty times half the time without me holding on until she would go for me at the slightest nudge and neither of us were nervous about it anymore... I think it had to do with her figuring out that we weren't going to fall again, because that was the first time we'd ever fallen... and me having to put my trust in my mare unwaveringly and just trust her to take care of me.

I'm glad I did that, too, because we're closer than ever now and I'd trust my girl with my life if I had to. (and yeah, I know I'm a bit of an idiot for doing that, but it was very fun and it worked for me and my girl!) Lol.
     

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