I don't have a fear of heights but I am borderline Mellissophobic (fear of bees) so I know what it's like to be terrified of something.
I also am prone to get anxiety attacks for no apparent reason. The reason I bring this up is, learning how to cope with anxiety attacks has actually crossed over and helped me to an extent with my fear of bees.
The problem is, with anything we fear, heights, bugs, snakes, whatever it may be, we can not get away from these things so we have to learn to tolerate them.
The number one thing that I've found helps me when I start freaking out is to pay attention to my breathing. When you get scared your breathing become erratic causing your heart to race, only adding to the fear and anxiety you are already feeling.
Next time you mount up, try to just sit there for a minute, close your eyes and focus on nothing but your breathing. Take deep breaths in through your nose and exhale through your mouth, using a little pressure so that you make a "shhh" sound. Once you become comfortable, slowly open you eyes.
If being in the saddle is still a little too hectic for you, try to find some sort of platform that or something in between your horses height and work your way up to it.
The biggest thing is to just take it slowly. You can not trick yourself into thinking that you will cure yourself overnight. I learned a long time ago that I will probably be well into my 70s and still terrified of anything that flies and has a stinger on its butt!!!
Last edited by sammerson; 01-18-2012 at 02:06 PM.