I feel done...I just don't want to be

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I feel done...I just don't want to be

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    08-13-2011, 01:24 PM
I feel done...I just don't want to be

I feel like my mare is just too much for me. I've rode and battled myself for two years now, and though honestly, I have improved exponentially and things are MUCH better than they were a year ago, I'm still not completely comfortable and confident.

She's not particularly spooky-a normal amount, I'd say-she is just very reactive and prone to anxiety, and we are SO sensitive to each other. I'd swear she can read my mind. I barely have to give her a cue, and she'll do what I want. With me being as cautious and nervous as I am, this does not help anything.

I know not a single thing is her fault. After all, when we bought her from the trainer, she was as well behaved and quiet as you could possibly want. Everything is my fault, and I'm sick of not being able to set it right.

Last year I thought all the time about selling her, and after a mediocre ride yesterday, I began considering it again. I love this mare, she is a total sweetheart and well-behaved, and on the ground she's quiet enough that a child could handle her. She is just simply TOO MUCH HORSE for me, and I don't have the confidence to make her improve.

I don't want to sell her, but it's not because: "She's my baby and I would never leave her!" but because I want to learn and figure out how to solve this problem. I really hate giving up-I want to find a solution, not run from my troubles. The only thing is, I can't do it alone.

I used to take lessons from an instructor, but I had to stop going this summer because I am going on a really expensive school trip this fall and we don't have the money for both. That instructor taught me a lot, but, no offense at all to her, she teaches you to ride, and that's it. It's not like I could ask for a lesson to take it slow paced and ask her to help me raise my confidence, because that's not what she does.
The trainer who we bought my mare from gave me lessons when I first got her, and those lessons were some of the only times I truly felt in control and confident. I don't know why, though, but my dad never wanted me to take lessons from her. I'd always ask if we could switch from the instructor to her and he'd just say: "Finish the year with the instructor, and then we'll see". And we never saw. I never went to her. I know that trainer works quite a bit, but surely she'd have time to give me a half hour or hour lesson once a week?

I just am feeling sick of it, and not being able to progress. If I sold her, and only had our finished, super quiet and ridiculously easy pony to ride, I bet I would feel more relaxed and confident, but that would get really boring. It's because of this mare that I have learned so much and am so far advanced (in riding, not in confidence), and I know that if I could figure out how to proceed with this horse, I would learn so much more. I just don't know how to do it..
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    08-13-2011, 02:33 PM
I hate to say this because it sounds like money is an issue....you need an instructor that suits your needs. Otherwise you will continue on feeling the same way, if you don't take action to change things, nothing will change. True in riding as it is in life. Been there, done that.
    08-13-2011, 03:51 PM
I don't know if I ever will be able to take lessons again.
    08-13-2011, 04:04 PM
Green Broke
What happened that your confidence is lacking?
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    08-13-2011, 07:32 PM
When I first got her, she was well trained but young and I had ridden schoolmasters for the past 6 months and had literally no clue what I was doing. It wasn't long before things totally fell apart and she became nervous, spooky and anxious because I wasn't giving her stability or a leader. I never fell off or got hurt or anything...it just really shook my confidence, and hers, too.

I've slowly improved as time has gone on, but we are still far from perfect, and I just am having a hard time dealing with that fact. I just can't help but think how much bad I'm doing, how much better off she'd be with someone more experienced...it's really an emotional war I wage on myself every single day.

Even though she is better now, the scars of the past just can't allow me to let go of those bad memories, and I'm just stuck in a rut with her that I'm struggling to pull myself out of.
    08-13-2011, 07:41 PM
Green Broke
I understand. Didn't even read your whole post but you have to think of how far you Have come. How long ago did this shake you? It took me a year for me to gain confidence in my horse. Arab, raced her with my sister in the field. She went straight into the tree after I tried to stop her. I was crushed. Emotionally. But I ended up just taking my time with her. Everyday doing something. And not necessarily riding. Just gaining her trust and becoming bonded. We were a mess but I felt the same way you do. It was very hard to gain my confidence back but I went back to basics and rode slow and easy.

Eventually, we connected and I would trust her with my life. You have to try to push away from the negative thoughts and think of what you have accomplished so far. Who says you have to move fast? Breath, take time out to just be with her on the ground and I hope that your nightmare can just turn into a past experience learned and move forward.
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    08-14-2011, 05:54 PM
It does sound like you would benefit greatly from an instructor who could teach you how to train your horse and not just show you how to ride.

What about leasing your mare out to a more experienced rider for awhile, either lease or take lessons on a bomb proof horse until you're bored, and then taking your mare back?
    08-14-2011, 07:56 PM
We do have a bombproof horse...well, pretty much bombproof. She's a decade older than my mare, very well broke and has tons and tons and tons of experience. I trust that mare with my life a hundred times over. I'll do anything and go anywhere on her with never a thought of fear or apprehension. I can ride other peoples' horses. It's just THIS mare that I can't get over, no matter how hard I try.
    08-14-2011, 08:12 PM
That's unfortunate. What exactly about her is it that makes you uneasy?
    08-14-2011, 08:41 PM
Green Broke
Maybe if you can't take an actual lesson, you could talk to the trainer you would like to take lessons from? Maybe He/She could give you some training tips or instill some confidence in you and your mare?

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