Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
Just tossing some ideas out there...
Do you think you're nervous about falling off of THIS horse, or falling in general? If the latter, I don't think changing horses to one that you know even less is likely to help. What's your trainer like? There are some great trainers out there that specialize in building confidence (which really just means reducing fear) who might be able to help you out quite a bit. Some other suggestions I've heard are to DO something. Play horseback games like tossing a bean bag around, moving cows about, or trying to tag other people with those foam pool noodle things. Yes, they're silly games, but it's FUN! It's hard to focus on fear when you're otherwise occupied with a task.
The other thing is that it sounds like you think about all the things that can go wrong, so you've certainly got your brain involved already. Try writing out one positive affirmation (with pen and paper!) before you ride. Perhaps something like, "I am a good rider because I know how to do a one-rein stop." Couple that with sitting down and visualizing things before you ride. Visualize how you'll ride up to that pylon, your horse will look at it, and you'll confidently tell her it's nothing, cue with your legs to walk on, and ride right past it. I know it sounds corny, but making a point of visualizing and planning things going right the way you want them to really seems to help. Especially when you start getting nervous, you can go back to your plan/visualization and get a mental boost. Just being in a confident mental place will help things go better.