Scared, But Riding Anyway - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-15-2011, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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Question Scared, But Riding Anyway

Last week I had a very bad accident while riding my mare Maggie. We were in the cow pasture riding beside the woods and Maggie stepped on a snake. This caused her to go into a panic mode and gallop and bucked and reared as fast as possible back to the other horses.

In the process of getting back, she went under a branch. I however did not. The branch was high enough for Maggie, but not me. I was riding bareback, so at least there were no stirrups to be caught on.

As I was riding with no contact and I knew I had no chance of pulling her up I decided to let go of the reins completly.

I hit the branch hard and as soon as I was on the ground I got up and went to catch my poor horse... didn't want her stepping on the reins.

I caught her and turned her loose with her buddies.

Only then did I notice the blood. And there was alot of blood to notice.

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And then I started riding the day after. I was a bit nervous but I managed.

************************************************** ************

5 days after the accident I put on my Western saddle and did some schooling over some posts. Maggie's foal Secret pulled on the girth some, I didn't think of it. Then Secret got playing and kicked me and Maggie while I was riding. Maggie thought it was me and bolted. The saddle started to slip and i had no choice but come off with it. It hurt my side very badly and I couldn't ride for a week or two.

************************************************** ************

Now I am riding again but I'm scared. I can manage but I always feel like there is something bad about to happen. What can I do to build confidence. Lunging is out of the question.

The hardest thing in barrel racing is the ground
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-15-2011, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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Also, I have been riding Maggie and have owned her for a while. She is normally not spooky, and I DON'T blame her for the accident.

The hardest thing in barrel racing is the ground
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-15-2011, 05:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE Kansas
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First off, welcome to the forum
Riding is an inherently dangerous hobby. You're going to get hurt at some point, hopefully not badly. It sounds like you just had a run of bad luck. Make sure you're prepared for each and every ride IE saddle cinched down well, headgear in good working order and adjusted correctly etc. If you are aware of what you're doing and of your surroundings, the odds of getting hurt go down. Don't override your ability as well.
Everyone has a bad day once in awhile. Shake it off and climb back on
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"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-15-2011, 08:45 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South Carolina
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Welcome to The Horse Forum! Sorry about the accidents - glad you weren't seriously hurt. I am impressed that you are back riding even though you are dealing with confidence issues! I think most ALL horse people have had confidence issues at some time or the other! You said lunging was out of the question, but can you work with your mare on the ground with 'respect' exercises - I don't follow any one trainer, but you could do a little research and see whose program you like best. I think ground exercises not only help the horse, but it does wonders with building the handler's confidence! Don't rush yourself - I think you're on your way already! Best of luck and I hope you find the right answers for you and your mare!
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-15-2011, 09:23 PM
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Well, not much you can do about stepping on a snake! Sometimes you're just in the wrong place at the wrong time. At least it was bad timing and not a bad horse. Maybe just stay in real familiar territory for awhile until your confidence is back. It happens to all of us. My horse startled a sleeping deer just 5' from where we were and I also ended up on the ground. If you ride long enough, gravity is going to happen.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-15-2011, 09:34 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Bless your heart....I feel for you. I rode as a kid til I was in my early 20's and was a good rider. Fast forward to just before I turned 50, haven't rode in years, tried a horse to buy that was trained for western pleasure, yada yada yada. Long and old butt was on a run away bucking idiot and got thrown. Massive leg injury that still has my leg discolored 2 1/2 years later. I lost all confidence but still wanted a horse.

I just now have got my confidence back. I have had 2 horses...both gentle and sweet as can be. Lots of miles. Riding with people who know I have issues and don't mind accommodating them! God bless them. Little by little, I am getting my confidence back. I am trusting my horse and he is trusting me.

It takes time...go slow....breath deep. Concentrate on relaxing!!! I know that is hard but each and every ride helps me get better. Take lessons. That helped me turn a corner last year. My friends have been helping on our weekly rides this year and while I think I still have a long way to go, I can see MAJOR improvement and major improvement gives me confidence. Keep us updated. I want to know how you are doing!

Enjoying my Garmin and mapping trails
Visit my trail riding blog at
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-15-2011, 09:43 PM
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Sorry you had such a bad experience. Things do happen and yours was one of those noone can predict (or really train for). All I can say is just keep riding. The confidence will come back - it just needs little bit of time!

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-15-2011, 10:45 PM
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Sorry you had that experience, I would agree that realluy was a run of bad luck. In my experience, getting back on and riding out the nerves is the best thing one can do. However, if you are already uncomfortable....which is totally reasonable considering your ordeal, try working in a roundpen or fenced arena, then move gradually to bigger area. Also, finding a friend to keep you accountable to riding with purpose and not FEAR is really helpful. This is also helpful in that you have someone to spot you if for some reason another incident occured. Good Luck, just remember to ride it out.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-16-2011, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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Thank you everyone, I had a great ride this morning. We rounded up the herd, which I love. I was a little less nervous because we have rounded up cows alot and I'm really comfortable with it. I put an old halter around Maggie's neck and I held onto it when I got scared. The best time I had was when we went galloping off across the field. My mom was like "I thought you were scared to ride now?"
She is against me riding at all. My mom and dad are divorced. On my dad's farm I have to herd the cows.

I won't be riding for a few days. I have to show a cow and train my foal. But I think the wait will be good because I will be more excited to get back in the saddle than nervous!!!

The hardest thing in barrel racing is the ground
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-16-2011, 10:17 PM
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Hey. I know how you feel. I had a couple bad accidents on a horse a few years ago and I was terrified to go beyond a walk with him after that. I took a lot of coaching from my trainer and time before I could enjoy myself again. Sounds like you just had a round of really bad luck. So, I wouldn't push myself when you get in the saddle next. Really listen to yourself and even if that only means a simple walk/trot, stay in your comfort zone until your confidence is back. I love the halter idea to hold on to. That gives you an extra security blanket even if you don't ever need to use it you know its there. So maybe consider having it on the next couple of times you ride. Good luck and welcome to the forum =)
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