Hello, new here and confidence issues
 
 

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Hello, new here and confidence issues

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  • Post traumatic stress disorder horse accident
  • Really bad riding accident

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    12-11-2011, 11:17 PM
  #1
Foal
Hello, new here and confidence issues

Thought I would introduce myself. Im new and living in Las Vegas although only recently moved here from the UK.

I am horseless at the minute and really, really struggling with nerves and possible PTSD after a bad riding accident I had in 2008 where a horse reared and flipped over, causing me to break my back and I had temporarily paralysis from the waist down. (luckily I can walk now)

I did ride again after my accident but before I moved to the States I lost my horse very suddenly and it was devastating. She was only 6 years old and a beautiful bay TB mare.

Since I moved I've been for one riding lesson and had a panic attack while riding. I am almost at the point now of giving up. I keep having flashbacks to my riding accident, I am not sleeping and I have a high level of anxiety. I guess it's al got worse from losing my horse and the big upheaval of the move.

Saying that I am desperate to get over the fear I have and ride with confidence. I'm so passionate about riding and have ridden and owned horses for 20 years now. I just don't know where to start. Back home I had lots of horsey friends and spent everyday with my horse. Now I don't know anyone and I'm feeling lost and I'm almost at the point of giving up riding totally. :(
     
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    12-11-2011, 11:24 PM
  #2
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrrhic    
Thought I would introduce myself. Im new and living in Las Vegas although only recently moved here from the UK.
I lived in the UK too! Which part?? My bestie lived in Las Vegas for over 9 years :) It's a fun place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrrhic    
I am horseless at the minute and really, really struggling with nerves and possible PTSD after a bad riding accident I had in 2008 where a horse reared and flipped over, causing me to break my back and I had temporarily paralysis from the waist down. (luckily I can walk now)

I did ride again after my accident but before I moved to the States I lost my horse very suddenly and it was devastating. She was only 6 years old and a beautiful bay TB mare.

Since I moved I've been for one riding lesson and had a panic attack while riding. I am almost at the point now of giving up. I keep having flashbacks to my riding accident, I am not sleeping and I have a high level of anxiety. I guess it's al got worse from losing my horse and the big upheaval of the move.

Saying that I am desperate to get over the fear I have and ride with confidence. I'm so passionate about riding and have ridden and owned horses for 20 years now. I just don't know where to start. Back home I had lots of horsey friends and spent everyday with my horse. Now I don't know anyone and I'm feeling lost and I'm almost at the point of giving up riding totally. :(

I think you need to give yourself a looooooooooot more slack and a lot more time. You've been through so much! I'm sorry for your loss :( and moving across the ocean can be stressful.. I know how it goes!

Maybe you should start small. Hang around horses at a therapeutic riding center. Then maybe they can help you through your confidence blocks.

It's okay, we all get a little shakey at times, but that's the beauty of it. Horses don't run on a clock. They heal as fast as you can handle.

I think you just need some time around horses before you start riding again.

Best of luck *hugs*
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    12-11-2011, 11:36 PM
  #3
Banned
Wow...that sounds like quite a traumatic accident you had! You need to give yourself alot of credit for getting back on a horse after an accident like that. ALOT of people couldn't do so......

I've only known one person in my life who had a horse accident that caused him to be injured....and his was not nearly as severe as yours....he had a dislocated knee. ..... and he tried and tried to get over his fear, but he just couldn't. He sold us his horse, and gave up. That was so sad because he really wanted to get back into riding, but he just wasn't able to mentally.

So, what you've done in getting back on a horse is remarkable.

With the stress of the move and of losing your horse, what you need is to busy yourself in horsey things like volunteering at a rescue, make friends with horsey people, maybe even teaching youngsters to ride, etc....because for those of us who have horses in our soul, they are the best medicine in the world!!!
     
    12-12-2011, 12:15 AM
  #4
Foal
Thank you both for the replies. I guess I feel frustrated as I was riding and now I've gone backwards. Although when I was riding back in the UK I was constantly fighting my nerves and was always pretty stressed about riding. I was spending everyday on the ground with my girl, then helping a friend up at her riding school so my days were pretty full on full of horses.

What I find the most frustrating is I'm an experienced horse person, and when I had my accident I was training my own 5 year old Irish Draught for winter dressage championships, I had retrained ex-racers and I rode problem horses for people. I feel like I've had my life stole out from under me. In my mind there is all this experience and then when I get on a horse I turn into a jibbering wreck who acts like a total beginner.

I don't know if everyone has seen this video:


But this is pretty much what the horse did to me, expect it landed on me and then when getting up double barrelled me in the stomach. As well as breaking my back I had spinal compression, internal bleeding and bruising to my liver and kidneys. I was also pregnant with my daughter at the time, who luckily is fine and nearly 3 now. As soon as it happened I knew I couldn't feel my legs but I was in so much pain I didn't really care at the time. When I got to hospital and they did tests and confirmed I was paralysed from the waist down. They told me they had no idea if it was permanent or not and luckily it wasn't and one morning I woke up with my right leg in a different place. I'd moved it during the night and knew it was going to be ok. I was very lucky to be able to walk again and physically I am just left with low grade back pain everyday.

I didn't even know the horse that did it was a problem horse. I watched it being schooled and then got on and asked for a walk. The owner wanted to send it to me for retraining and I said I would come have a look to taking her on and working with her once I'd had my daughter.

I have looked up stables and horse rescues(something I'm very passionate about) here but I just feel so lost. I don't know where I should go, I feel too nervous to go and look at places and although I would love to volunteer at a rescue the nearest one I found was an hour away.

My husband says I should take it easy and give up, but it's my life.

I never thought about a therapeutic riding centre, I'll try and look one up. I think the next stage is to see a doctor and try and get my anxiety treated as it's affecting my daily life(I'm not sleeping and am having regular panic attacks and night terrors when I do sleep), not just riding and see if it really is PTSD and go from there.
     
    12-12-2011, 12:18 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
I lived in the UK too! Which part?? My bestie lived in Las Vegas for over 9 years :) It's a fun place.
I lived in the Scottish Highlands, loved in and Vegas is a big change from rural Scotland. I'm enjoying it though. Whereabouts in the UK did you live?
     
    12-12-2011, 12:19 AM
  #6
Weanling
If I didnt have any issues before, I sure do now after watching that video...
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    12-12-2011, 10:19 AM
  #7
Weanling
I've have the same issues and am trying to work through them as well. I had a fall over a year ago in a jumping lesson and I broke my collarbone. As soon as I was able I made sure I got back on the horse I came off of and jumped again. Then I quit jumping! I have a great horse now but he's young, and that makes me very anxious. I actually feel sick before every ride. I almost dropped out of a show this week because I was so afraid. I made myself go, managed not to throw up and we did just fine. I have a really great trainer who is very supportive and a great hand holder, she's helping me work through the anxiety. So my point is - maybe you can shop a few barns, interview some trainers, explain your issues and find someone to help you slowly work through them on a trusty lesson horse. Start in the round pen, just walk for a month or however long it takes. We actually have quit a few adult riders at our barn and I've seen plenty of people starting out this way. And as the others said, volunteering is great. I volunteer at a nearby horse park doing anything they need, jump judging, running scores, ring steward - I've discovered nothing encourages me more to get in the saddle than to watch others having a blast. And seeing others maybe having a bad ride is even encouraging for me - it helps me remember it happens to everyone. I also wear my air vest for most rides, even lessons at home - it just helps me feel a little more secure - would something like that help? I know where you're coming from, and how frustrating this situation is. Just go slow and work your way back up. You CAN do this!
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    12-12-2011, 10:27 AM
  #8
Started
Don't rush yourself. I agree with giving yourself more credit and time :) you deserve it!!

I have no advice but I will have you in my prayers :) and send you lots of hugs and support. Goodluck and I wouldn't give up :) you seem like a very determined person and I truly think one day you will overcome the confidence barrier and have a huge break through :)
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    12-12-2011, 03:44 PM
  #9
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrrhic    
I lived in the Scottish Highlands, loved in and Vegas is a big change from rural Scotland. I'm enjoying it though. Whereabouts in the UK did you live?
I lived in England, the Suffolk area in a little town called Brandon :P It was so tiny you could drive through it in about 8 minutes. Scotland must have been lovely.. but you're in Nevada for a reason as it is nothing like Scotland!!

Maybe instead of volunteering at a therapeutic riding center.. you might consider joining one/taking equine therapy lessons? They don't just do therapy on horse back but on the ground, and whatnot. It would help you overall, and maybe when you're feeling more confident, you can perhaps get a job helping out at the center. It'd be much nicer than formal lessons as I think it would probably bring up a lot of anxiety to outperform yourself.

I wouldn't give it up.. it's your passion. It makes you who you are.. just take teeny tiny baby steps. :)

Best of luck xx
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    12-12-2011, 05:08 PM
  #10
Foal
Thanks so much everyone for the posts. I have just got off the phone with a therapy riding centre here in Vegas, but for children. I'm going to volunteer to help muck out, feed, and do general stable duties. They asked if I wanted to help with lessons, but I declined and said that my anxiety levels were too high at the minute to be able to help people riding.

I have also left a message with a therapist here who deals with trauma and anxiety, so will hopefully hear back from him at some point.

I feel really stressed and anxious now after ringing these two places. I guess I try and ignore how much of an effect it has on me. Even thinking about talking to people about it in RL scares me and I have a strong feeling of wanting to be sick.

I think what I'l do is like you said Skyseternalangel, is go to a therapy riding centre myself but I will wait to speak to a therapist and get a proper diagnosis and go from there. Until then I will try and spend some time on the ground with horses volunteering at the children's place.

I start on Wednesday and they were really nice on the phone. I'm stressing already and I can't rationalise why it's so scary!
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