Backwards confidence issues...

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Backwards confidence issues...

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    03-31-2012, 12:37 AM
Backwards confidence issues...

So lately I've been noticing some serious confidence issues in myself and it's frustrating because I really don't know what it's all stemming from. And the weird thing is, I'm much less confident on the ground with the horses than I am under saddle. When I'm riding, I love to get into a nice canter and 90% of the time I feel confident that I can properly handle and correct most behaviors, but I'm feeling pretty insecure and unsure on the ground.

I think this could possibly be because my last horse was young and she was bossy; on the ground she was safe with people but I would constantly anticipate her spooking, or exhibiting bad behaviors when we passed other horses (she's been known to outright kick at any other horse that comes up to say hello when I'm walking her out to pasture. I was also told that she "blew up" on someone under saddle because of an ill fit, so that kind of would make me nervous). She was also pretty moody when she went into heat. I think honestly that experience stressed me out more than it was enjoyable, and I feel like some of my anxiety might be from that. So now I don't own any longer but I still ride and try to take as many lessons as I can, but I'm frustrated and I don't know how to work through this. I hate that I always anticipate the worst and I know the horses can pick up on my skittish vibes. I'm 25 and I feel more timid than ever! Any advice/opinions? I feel like I need a restart into horses, but I can't seem to find an instructor who understands and is genuinely willing to work with me...
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    03-31-2012, 04:02 AM
Get some training in working with horses on the ground. Once you have more skill in this area, you will be more comfortable around them in general. You learn better how to read them and anticipate what they are going to do, and how to cut that behavior off before it happens. It's the unpredictability of horses that can make them scary. Although learning ground work will not erase a horse's unpredictability, it will make you both better able to read them and be prepared, and better able to control their behavior when it does happen.

Once you know that you can move a horse away from you, stop it, make it move off sideways and such, it isn't so worrisome.
    03-31-2012, 04:35 AM
Are there any therapeutic riding centers in your area? It might be worth your time to volunteer there, the horses are quite reliable and you'll get lots of time handling them on the ground, and perhaps you'll find an instructor who's used to working with people that need more encouragement and a slower start....

Good Luck!
    03-31-2012, 04:49 AM
Green Broke
I always find once you're up on a horse things seem less scary just because you're distracted. You forget how big they are, or how strong or whatever and just do what you do.

I'd spend some time on the ground with horses you know are safe. After a few weeks of handling one you'll probably get really comfortable with it, and then you can start branching out with other horses.
    04-07-2012, 12:45 PM
Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. I am looking for a trainer/instructor now! Hoping just more time on the ground and in the saddle will help me work out my jitters.
    04-07-2012, 04:54 PM
It will definitely help! I am speaking from experience. :)

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